Intelligence Support, United States Office of
The Office of Intelligence Support (OIS) is the sole United States Treasury Department office that also belongs to the national Intelligence Community. Established in 1977 to replace the Office of National Security, it assists the Secretary of the Treasury, who serves as the president's chief economic and financial adviser as well as the head of the second largest federal law-enforcement department. The OIS also participates in the preparation of National Intelligence Estimates.
In 1961, Treasury Secretary Douglas Dillon established the Office of National Security (ONS) to act as an interface, liaison, and coordinator between Treasury and the National Security Council. Ten years later, in 1971, a presidential memorandum clearly established the ONS as a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community. In response to the report of the Murphy Commission to Congress, which placed an emphasis on links between the Intelligence Community and the nation's economic policy leadership, Treasury was added to the National Foreign Intelligence Board in 1972.
In 1977, Treasury Secretary Michael Blumenthal changed ONS to OIS to emphasize its role in support of the Intelligence Community. Executive Order 12333 ("United States Intelligence Activities"), issued by President Ronald Reagan on December 4, 1981, explicitly spelled out the intelligence role of Treasury alongside that of other agencies and departments more obviously connected with intelligence gathering. The Special Assistant to the Secretary (National Security) is a senior officer in the Intelligence Community, as noted in E.O. 12333. On December 19, 2002, Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill issued Treasury Order 113–01, defining the duties and responsibilities both of the Special Assistant and the office he or she directs, OIS.
The Special Assistant, along with his or her staff, supports the Secretary of the Treasury, whose critical functions include his or her role as chief economic and financial adviser to the president; director of the second-largest department in the federal government (after Justice) with law-enforcement authority; and chief official responsible for the integrity of U.S. currency. The Special Assistant is charged by 113–01 with providing day-to-day intelligence support to the Secretary and other officials, representing Treasury on committees of the Intelligence Community, and maintaining continuous liaison between Treasury and members of that community.
There are three principal components to the mission of OIS. First, it is responsible for alerting the Secretary and other officials of fast-breaking events, both foreign and domestic, of which it becomes aware as chief intelligence officer of the treasury. Second, it provides Treasury officials with intelligence reports and products, usually obtained from Intelligence Community collectors and producers of intelligence. Finally, it is charged with overseeing the relationship between Treasury's offices and bureaus and the members of the Intelligence Community, as well as the Community as a whole.
Additionally, OIS assists in the preparation of National Intelligence Estimates. It also assists other members of the Intelligence Community in the production of intelligence by contributing information to which Treasury is privy. OIS officers act as Treasury representatives of national intelligence committees and subcommittees within the Intelligence Community.
█ FURTHER READING:
Office of Intelligence Support. Federation of American Scientists. < http://www.fa.org/irp/agency/ustreas/tdois.htm > (March 17, 2003).
U.S. Department of the Treasury. < http://www.ustreas.gov > (March 17, 2003).