This week marked the beginning of a gathering of minds on the intelligence community's current capabilities and future needs. Over the next few months, two panels of intelligence experts from inside and outside the federal government will take stock of the intelligence community, with a focus on the areas of science and technology. A panel of outside experts, led by retired Gen. Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser during the first Bush administration, convened Tuesday, while a second federal panel plans to kick off its deliberations Thursday. Both groups are still adding members, said a CIA spokesman. In May, President Bush directed the CIA
to review the intelligence apparatus and assess whether the government should spend more money on gathering foreign secrets. In addition to looking at science and technology issues, both panels will study ways to streamline acquisition procedures, consolidate intelligence-gathering activities among agencies, and improve management practices at intelligence agencies. The two groups will meet in secret and report to Bush at the end of the summer. The CIA reorganized its administrative office last month to improve internal operations. The new management structure divides the directorate of administration into five separate areas: information technology, finance, security, global support and human resources.