License to Kill Your Darlings,

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May 2021 Issue [Readings]

License to Kill Your Darlings


From extracts of official CIA documents that the agency cited in a report asking officers to use clearer and more concise language. The report was released in November.

In view of the fact that I am yet unable to report any decision in connection with your application for employment with the Central Intelligence Agency, I do want you to know once more that the interest we retain in your qualifications is an active one.

Every employee of the organization whose duties involve the obligation and expenditure of confidential funds should not only understand the regulations governing their obligation and expenditure, but the underlying philosophies as well.

Delegation of authority for particular actions to levels considered to provide the degree of discretionary judgment commensurate with the magnitude or significance of the acts involved.

There was tentative agreement to adopt the agency filing system, but the recommendations provided for waiting until the materials of all divisions could be reviewed in order that the manual could be adapted for the entire office rather than this one division.

The organization regulatory system provides the vehicle for the expression of policies and procedures essential to the performance of the organization’s mission. It encompasses and delineates the functions of all components of the organization individually and collectively with the objective of establishing singleness of purpose and efficiency and continuity of operational and administrative activities.

Wasted effort would not obtain.