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The President's Intelligence Oversight Board (PIOB) was created in late 1981 by Executive Order 12334 as "a White House entity with oversight responsibility for the legality and propriety of intelligence activities." The PIOB is the direct descendent of the Intelligence Oversight Board, formed in 1976 by Gerald R. Ford. Its purpose was "to enhance the security of the United States by assuring the legality of activities of the Intelligence Community."

The PIOB is composed of three private citizens appointed by the President and has remained traditionally bipartisan. The functions of the PIOB include:

  • Informing the President of any intelligence activities believed to be in violation of the Constitution or any law, order, or directive.
  • Forwarding to the Attorney General reports of intelligence activities believed to be unlawful.
  • Reviewing the internal guidelines of each member of the Intelligence Community.
  • Reviewing the oversight practices and procedures of the Intelligence Community inspectors general and general counsels.
  • Conducting investigations to carry out these functions.

In 1997, the PIOB was made a standing committee of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB).