US spy agencies spent nearly $85 billion in 2014

 US spy agencies spent nearly $85 billion in 2014
A clerk counts US dollar bills at a bank in Taipei on November 11, 2010.

WASHINGTON - US spy agencies spent nearly $68 billion (S$85 billion) in fiscal year 2014, about the same level of spending on intelligence gathering in the previous year, the government said Thursday.

Funding for the country's 17 intelligence agencies reached a peak of about $80 billion in 2011 and has gradually declined since, according to figures released every year by the office of the director of national intelligence (ODNI) and the Defence Department.

The numbers released Thursday reflected the total funds approved by Congress in the fiscal year that ended in September, with the national intelligence programme -- including the Central Intelligence Agency -- spending at $50.5 billion and military intelligence programme funds at $17.4 billion.

Total spending for fiscal year 2013 was also about $68 billion. The proposed intelligence budget for 2013 had been higher but automatic spending cuts mandated by Congress scaled back funding by several billion dollars.

Officials declined to provide a breakdown of the intelligence budget or any further details about how the money was spent.

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