If It Works for Defense:

Senate intelligence authorizers want the Intelligence Community to incorporate the Nunn-McCurdy provision for intelligence acquisition programs, reporting as DOD does when a major program breaches its baseline cost by at least 20 percent. The committee report (see above) on the 2008 intelligence authorization bill says, “A framework similar to Nunn-McCurdy would be beneficial to IC acquisitions,” citing concerns with “growing costs.” According to the Select Committee on Intelligence, one unnamed IC agency had 21 programs out of a sample of 30 that experienced cost overruns of 30 percent or more. And, when it comes to current IC space acquisitions, the committee says “half have experienced cost growth of 50 percent or more” and calls that “unacceptable.” The committee would have the Director of National Intelligence certify that a program should continue if it grows by 20 percent and would bump the certification level up to the President should a program break 40 percent.