The GAO report is an unclassified version of a classified assessment that was completed last year. According to a statement of work obtained by Secrecy News in 2012, the GAO project was to address the following issues:
"(1) To what extent do civilian intelligence agencies rely on and strategically review their reliance on contractors to perform critical professional and management support services? (2) To what extent do these agencies have policies and guidance that address the use of contractors for these services? (3) What steps have these agencies taken to manage the risks associated with using contractors for these services? (4) To what extent have these agencies addressed challenges with retaining federal personnel?"
The new contractor study is not the only GAO activity related to intelligence; it is one of "several, maybe half a dozen" GAO projects that are underway. By its nature, GAO tends not to deal with intelligence operations, or with sources and methods, the congressional official said. Rather, it is mainly concerned with workforce management, human capital, and similar issues in which it has particular expertise. [Read more: Aftergood/SecrecyNews/21January2014]