Minutes from the Special Agents Advisory Committee (SAAC) Executive Council Meeting

The document is a memorandum including the minutes from the SAAC Executive Council Meeting held at the FBI Headquarters from September 28 through 30, 2004. The document includes information provided by every speaker at the conference.

Doc_type: 
Non-legal Memo
Doc_date: 
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Doc_text: 

Minutes from the Special Agents Advisory Committee (SAAC)
Executive Council Meeting, 09/27/2004 - 09/30/2004,
-FBI Headquarters ALL INFORHATION CONTAINED
•rzl•_;. HERE TN Tti ITNITAti,7 -FTED
The following information. was provided'by each speaker: DATE 10-06-2009 EY 65179
1) Mr. Joseph L Ford; Assistant Director (AD),-Finance Division:
*The Council was provided docuMents outlining the cost of a proposal, projecting the
cost of enacting an accelerated advancement of Special Agent to GS-13 in three years, supported
by the SAAC, for the following seven high cost offices: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New
York, Newark, San Francisco and Washington. This document indicated that the implementation
of.such a program would cost $48,07Z410 for the next 6 years. Details of the projected Agent.
numbers and cost per office were proVide. AD Ford noted that these costs would be in addition
to a projected unfunded total requirement for fiscal year (FY) 2005 of $312,200,000. (Note
actual total increase for this program for fiscal year 2005 would be 0. Amount for year 2 would
be $5,773,465. This would be for all affected offices. That amount would then increase each
following year.) AD Ford indicated that movement of funds would be necessary but he saw this
program as possible if the Director chose to enact it. The Office of Personnel and Management •
(OPM) would still have to approve the grade increase.
*AD Ford indicated that the FY 2005 budget was projected to be $5.9 billion; $3.2
—billion of that is slated for.persomatl.cfikf41-itirm-naining.fungla:sa,paXiMately 90%..goes_tO
FBIHQ, 10% goes to the field. He anticipated a continuing resolution into- 2005. This should be '
at the projected funding so there shoilld'ilbt be any FBIHQ excuses for lack of funds based on the
continuing resolution. The presidentaSkedfor a 1.5% pay increase and a projected employees
pay increase of 3.5%. The additional 2% is not funded and must come out of the agencies
budget. AD Foraprojects that in FY-05 clerical support hires will increase by 200 persons.
* AD Ford is trying to instill better money management. .
* The discretion of spending the money within the budget mostly rest with Headquarters.
* The finance division has a web page set up which shows the break down of the money
within the budget.
*DOJ guidelines outline the rifle's 'governing FBI overtime. For, every $1.00 spent on
overtime, the hiring of support emploYees" are affected.
* AD Ford noted funding in the following areas for FY 05:
1). $10 million for rotational transfers and PRLs
2) Funds for blackberries to replace cell phones and pagers as well as
supply wireless intemet. (For AgentSrntt & Safe Streets TF ).. This is anticipated to be
distributed by end of calender.05. (Note:. this information was supported by information
provided by Zal Azmi, Chief InformatiOn'Officer)
21 1 Supervisory SpeCial Agent, Transfer Unit:
*To date there have been 169 PRLs provided by.the Unit. This is approximately 15 more
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than last year. The units goal is to have at least 100 PRLs per year, SSAI 'opinion is that b6
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*Overseas TDYs are having adequate responses but CTD TDY's are not receiving
adequate responSe on a volunteer basis: There are other options being reviewed in an effort to
identify a better means of providing coverage to CTD than through mandatory TDY's. SSAI
noted that in the Intranet, under library, go!to Jobs and all TDYs are listed. •
*SS261 linformed the Council that there is an EC in draft form concerning rotational
transfers, some proposals to this EC are as follows:
1) The policy proposed by this draft EC calls for rotational transfers to
begin in April '05.
2) Agents waluld be subject to rotational transfer on their third anniversary.
3) Rotations would-be to one of the top 15 field offices, measured by TSL.
4) 60 days prior to your third anniversary, Agents will be asked to rank
their choices of top 15 field offices. Needs 'of the Bureau will trump personal choice.
5) After four years in your top office, you would be eligible for a PRL
transfer.
6) Transfers will be to Headquarters City for the top 15 offices and can be
amended for orders to an RA anywhere'in the Division. The orders must be amended prior to
their arrival.
7) RAs within.50'miles of Headquarters City are within purview of the ,
Agen.t*wiont:' Anything Ov8r5.0 miles-requires an EC from the fidd,Orme4n_ord.er„._:___
to justify the transfer, since this will be a cost transfer. The Transfer Unit reviews these on a case
'by case basis.
This is a proposed policy only, also being considered are:
t Making the fourth year as the rotational transfer trigger date.
* Making rotational transfers to the top 10-12 rather than the top 15 offices.
* There are _currently 307 CTD TDYs.
* The Director is currently pondering requests for same sex common household transfers.
* Hardship Transfers - any and all will be determined on a case by case basis
Ombudsman, Office of the Ombudsman:
* Agents are encouraged to visit-the SAAC website for an update on pending issues.
* The FBI is working on creating a universal building pass which would allow
Agents/Support to move throughoufth6e. ritire FBI.
* The SAAC requested thatthe:1;y laws be changed to allow for more flexibility when
sending SAAC representatives to meetings and allowing the SAAC representative to proxy in
another Agent when the representatives are unavailable.
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*An all Advisory Committee Symposium has been scheduled for March 19, 2005 at the
JW Marriott Hotel, Washington DC.
*The SAAC will follow up with pending issues' through the office of the Ombudsman.
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-,---loCations searches. -For,nvar..r.•..iafermati:-apabout-WACS.,,,Az ‘lrabglvLit' s in it for you,.contact-UC:-- b2 •:• b6
via email or•by phone as b 7 C
Scavongelli provided information on Web-ACS (WACS). This information b7
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identified some of the most commonly used functions of ACS that are now available via a web
browser. WACS has been available since Sept 03. To access the WACS application Agents
should go to the Intranet, click Applicationi (under Resources in navigation pane on left), and
then choose Web based Automated Case Support. All IMA's (Rotors) and support supervisors
should be aware of the system. It allow:several changes in how searches are conducted. One of
the most timely is the simultaneous search of telephone applications and UNI. The application
also allows an easy review of leads. The process appears to be easier than traditional multi
Supervisory Special Agent, Investigative Law Unit, Office of the
General Council:
*SSA' I indicated that a revie* of the present evidence custody sign in and out
process has been reviewed. The proposed changes and or concerns voiced by SAAC regarding
the lack of an acceptance of custody when an evidentiary item isturned in is of,concem and'OGC
has no conflict with the proposal of reinstating a sign in and out process.
si Unit Chief, Automated Case Support Unit, and Ms. Gail Scavongelli;
Section Chief, Systems Support Section, Information Technology Operations Division:
*A request for information wa. released to vendors for •information pertaining to
processes to work on modifying VCF.
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6) Mrs. Candice M Will; Assistant Director, Office of Professional Responsibility:*
*Information was provided which noted the change in how OPR matters are handled,
• noting that OPR is now responsible only for the adjudication of disciplinarY matters.
Investigation of allegations is now conducted by Inspections Division. AD Will also' noted that
the OIG has the right of first refusal on internal investigations. In response to a Ruestion about
the length of time•that internal investigations are pending, AD Will stated that OPR does not
currently have any matters that have beeh 'pending in OPR for a lengthy period of time. AD Will
noted,that, generally speaking, cases will be pending longer in the Inspection Division, due to the
nature of investigations, than they will be in OPR, given that OPR now only adjudicates
disciplinary matters. •
* An upcoming EC will be published regarding the new OPR procedure and penalties.
Mrs. Cassandra Chandler; Assistant Director, Office of Public Affairs:
*After the Presidential elections, there will be a big push to improve the public image of
the FBI. This is being put off until after the election in 'order to avoid making the ,effort
a political subject.
*The FBI media representatives and the community outreach representatives are working
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together to get positive FBI information out to the public.
*Public Relation videos portraying a positive FBI image are in the process. of being
completed.. Council members were allowed a preview of the new video and it was a significant
improvement.
*ASAC's/SAC's are provided talking points to present to the media during high profile
cases.
8)1 1 Unit Chief; Senior Executive Service Unit (SESU)
1 1 Acting Unit Chief; Special Agent Mid-Level Management Unit (SAMMU):
*The new interim Special Agent Mid-Management Selection System has been
implemented. Under the interim SAMMSS, passing the Leadership Skills Assessment (LSA)
will not be required in order to apply £or. any mid-level management position.. However, as the
LSA will eventually be utilized as Some or all of the initial hurdle into the SAMMSS, EDSP
participants must have taken the LSA prior to. applying for GS-14 and non-ASAC GS-15 midlevel
management positions. The FD-954 is being utilized for mid-level management positions.
The FD-954 is seen as far superior in collecting correct background information on each
candidate and setting forth a candidate's knowledge, skills, and abilities with respect to posted
qualifications. It is the responsibility 'of thecandidate to assure that the FD-954 can be verified.
Current contact information; for any verifier the candidate chooses to utilize; must be included in
the FD-954. This may entail maintaining Contact with retired supervisors so a candidate can
provide such contact information.

*The LSA is still offered every Month so individuals wishing to-take the test have access.
The SAMMU is currently providing Oral feedback to those who take the LSA and also plans to
provide a written feedback report to all who.take the LSA,
* A working group is being formed to help advise the FBI as to a final initial screening
mechanism or set of mechanisms to be utilized as an hurdle to apply for, mid-level management
positions. It is hoped by FBIHQ that pilOt testing will take place by spring or summer of 05. The
goal is to have the 'final system in place` in 2006. "
* FBIHQ continues to work on the steps necessary to implement field SSA term limits
and the corresponding alternate career path for a stationary supervisory advancement. The
specifics. as to how the alternate career path will operate still need to be determined.
*EDSP/SAMMU has a website'On the intranet with a full background regarding
promotion proCess and submissions. The site specifically outlines how to complete the FD 954
'and all the other, information candidates should be familiar with.
9) Mr. Frankie Battle; Section Chief, kesponse Section, Counterterrorism Division:

*A review was made of the points brought up by the SAAC Lesson Learned paper .
regarding oversees deployment. Specific instances of failures on TDY assignments to have the
proper briefing, coordination and equiprnent were outlined. It was stressed that Agents ,d esired
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adequate training, coordination and equipment for deployments and that we as an organization
should learn lessons from each deployment and not routinely make the same mistakes that have
been noted in the past.
*SC Battle presented information regarding overseas deployments. Indicated that there is
now in place a 5 day briefing for everyone going into an overseas assignment (Afghanistan/Iraq).
This includes 2 days of medical training before deployment. It is now required that all overseas
deployments must receive the 2 week State Department training before deploying. This is.
mandatory starting in FY05. A program taught by FBI at Quantico is in the process of seeking
certification so we can teach our own.
*EAP has gotten involved in debriefing employees who have been deployed oversees.
10) Office of the General Counsel, AdministrativeLaw Unit,
-Administrative Services Division:
" *The Director is in the final stages of approving retirement credentials for FBI
employees..
*HR bill 218 was passed, allowing qualified retired law enforcement officers to carry.a
firearm throughout the United States.
*HR bill 218 does not mandate any Agency to issue retired law enforcement
identification.
The SAAcrequestelthrough theOffice oftim;Dtnbudsman :lobe parcof thc,..retired
credential committee.
Chief Inspector, Inspection Division:
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*Inspections are moving away from a sample based inspection process towards a more
full file review style of inspection. The new evaluation system is looking to set up a better way to
evaluate the Agent. It is not being set up for other means, such as a way to terminate
employment.
*A new survey is being implemented which will try and determine morale issues.
Inspections wants to implement this to all divisions simultaneously to gauge moral and then
compare that outcome to the performance observed in that division. .
*There will be no more findings of E & E (Effective & Efficient) or I & I (Ineffective .&
Inefficient) on the inspection process. Individuals will be written as having adeficiency not be
given a label referring to performance.
*An attempt will be made to identify Agents who are marginal performers. Marginal
performers must be told before the inspection process and it must not have a adverse affect on
their career. There is no target number for how many individuals would be marginal performers.
* During a three year window, items such as OPR's, EEO's and Inspection deficiencies
may only be part of an Agents evaluation process.
* The SAAC suggested that an SA must be told before the inspection process if they are
categorized a marginal perfatiner and the SA must be able to challenge this process:
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12) Mr. Chris .Swecker; Assistant Director, Criminal Investigative Division:
*An initiative has been set up to establish a Middle Eastern Criminal Program.
*A number of high profile cases involving informant problems,' has made DOJ clamp
down on FBI informant guidelines. •
*AD Swecker requested that the SAAC come up with a number of suggestions to
improvepthe Confidential Informant guidelines. The SAAC provided a number, of writtensuggestions
to AD Swecker.
* The Inspector General's Office has been discussing with the FBI the possibility of
'obtaining Cooperating Witness (CW) and Confidential Informant (CI) files. No decision has been
made on this matter.
*The Criminal Division is attempting to identify criminal enterprises around the country:
*During new Agents training,Quantico is. offering more Cl/CW training.
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*Quick Hire - This fiscal year was a unusual hiring year, due to the intense focus on
hiring of IA's. Many applicants were being pushed through in order to complete the process. The
quick hire process is being evaluated. The Council noted the problem in the field with the
process and the large quantity of unproductive background work done by. field Agents on
candidates that do not meet a specific entry threshold which has not been deterinined through
basic interviews and records checks. - •
14) Mr. Zal'Azmi; Chief Information Officer (CIO)
*The Clinger-Cohen ACT of 1996 formalized the role of the CIO and required that each
• organization has a CIO to assure that information technology is managed as an investment. CIO
Azmi is to take care of the oversight of the Information Technology investment, process,
development and obtaining of new technology, and employee staffing and training to support the
IT needs of the FBI.
*CIO Azmi noted that some of the new technologies that can help the organization are
new and innovative. The FBI is moving towards the combination of cell phone and pager -
functions to issue blackberry's in the near future. This will ad e-mail and eventually direct access
to applications and real-time informatiOriprough these devices.
*Trilogy - CIO Azmi noted that Trilogy was a three prong approach. The first two
components have been successful and are in place. The third component is VCF. This process
has not been successful and because of continues changes to the requirements and vendor's
ability to manage the process. Last June, the Director authorized a two track corrective action
plan. Track One, also known as Initial Operating Capability (IOC), will test the VCF"s
automated workflow process. Beginning in mid-January a small group of users, one or two
offices will use the IOC as-their document routing system. Employees will create electronic
documents such as 302s and EC on•standard FBIforms as they currently do, but instead of
carrying paper copies to the supervisor"s in-box, and then onto other levels for approvals,
employees will conduct this process electronically.
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*CIO Azmi notes that there has been an entire change of the IT managenient team. He
now has a program management component, a technology development component, a policy and
planning component, a operation component, and also a new senior agent component. This last
group is an active participant in defining all user requirements and reviewing the implementation
of those requirement to ensure that the IT staff are delivering services and products that are
required/requested by the users. This group is a mixed bag of Agents-and Intelligence Analysts
who have a great deal of field experience and technical expertise.
*Currently the FBI is rating very poorly on the governments evaluation of computer
security. FBI is actively working with DOJ to ensure that our processes are on track for 2005. By •
the end of 2005 CIO Azmi states that he wants to have 10,000 interne connections on line
Bureau wide to assist in gaining access to wanted and needed resources, of course this number is
dependent on the availability of funds.

*The enterprise operation center (Help desk) is being revamped to provide 24hr, seven
day a week support to all FBI employees and systems users.
Additional SAAC matters which were address during the meetings:
1) Upon retirement of SAAC Co-Chair S4 I Baltimore, the SAAC Executive
Council voted SAI ISAAC, NYO, to be the new Co-Chair.
2) An effortwm1d,b:a,put-forth-by the SA2‘00.:rzathe•Dinbudsman Office-to follow-up on
preSented issues.'
3) The SAAC would assisfthe Ombudsman's Office.in the preparation of the Advisory
Committee Symposium, scheduled for March 2005.
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