House bill orders spy agency review

The US House on Friday approved legislation aimed at fixing the lack of information sharing that may have hindered investigations into Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the months before the Boston Marathon bombings.

The bill, which is the first piece of legislation in response to the bombings, requires several intelligence agencies to review their practices for sharing information. The agencies - the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence - are required to report back within 90 days.

"It's something that's plagued us since 9/11, this lack of information sharing," Representative Bill Keating, a Bourne Democrat who wrote the legislation, said in an interview. "This is why we have breakdowns. They're not talking to each other, they're not sharing information, they don't have a prearranged agreement that they will share information."

Under the legislation, the intelligence agencies would have to review the agreements the agencies have among each other for when, how, and what information can be shared. They would have to examine portions of the agreements that could prohibit information sharing, as well as recommend ways to improve the flow of information.

The provision passed on Friday morning as an amendment to a bill that funds the government's intelligence agencies. The amendment passed on a voice vote, and the overall bill was approved 345 to 59.

The legislation now heads to the Senate.

(This article originally appeared in theĀ Boston Globe)