The Senate Intelligence Committee refused yesterday to confirm or deny reports that the requested budgets for the U.S. intelligence community total $6.2 billion for fiscal 1978.
A committee spokesman said the panel's "views and estimates" of intelligence spending were submitted to the Senate Budget Committee by the March 15 deadline, but he would neither confirm nor deny a story in yesterday's New York Times putting the total at $6.2 billion.
The reported estimate is $1.5 billion higher than the $4.7 billion in "direct costs" for fiscal 1976, but it is not clear if the two figures can be compared.
The committee had tentatively decided last year under the chairmanship of Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho) to make the $4.7 billion figure public as part of its final report outlining wasteful spending and pointing to a lack of real control over the intelligence budget by either the White House Office of Management and Budget or by the Congress.
According to the Church committee, total intelligence spending, including ancillary expenses such as training facilities, commissaries and supply bases, has been running at about $10 billion a year, approximately twice the direct cost.
Appropriations for the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence agencies have customarily been hidden in the vast federal budget under items such as "other procurement, Air Force."