WASHINGTON (AP) _ While questions remain about whether a CIA informant was involved in torturing a rebel commander in Guatemala, the agency's director announced new guidelines Tuesday to keep the worst thugs off the government payroll.

``We will continue to need to work with unsavory people,'' John Deutch, who took over as CIA director in May, said of the agency's recruits from within hostile foreign governments, terrorist groups and drug trafficking organizations.

But new guidelines are being developed to determine if a spy's record of criminal activity and human-rights violations outweighs the value of the information he or she can provide.

``What will be different is that we will not do these things blindly, without thorough vetting and established procedures for accountability,'' added Deutch, who inherited an agency rocked by the treachery of double-agent Aldrich Ames revealed last year and the more recent allegations involving the 1992 death of Guatemalan rebel leader Efrain Bamaca Velasquez.

Late last month the White House said a presidential commission had exonerated the CIA in the death of Bamaca and in the 1990 murder in Guatemala of American innkeeper Michael Devine. But it left open the question of whether a Guatemalan colonel connected to Bamaca's case was on the CIA payroll at the time.

And, an inspector general's report also released last month confirmed that the CIA had not kept Congress fully informed of details in the two cases.

Deutch, addressing the National Press Club, said his own report on the inspector general's findings would be done by the end of this month.

In the wake of the Ames and Guatemalan scandals and in Washington's present budget-cutting climate, Deutch said, the agency has ordered a ``rigorous evaluation'' of all overseas informants to eliminate duplicative and obsolete sources.

At the same time, the agency will be expanding its spy operations into the global economic field, tracking economic trends, technology patterns and possible takeovers of U.S. corporations by hostile governments, the director said.

``I'm a strong believer of having the intelligence community collect information of the appropriate type for our economic leadership to assist in protecting the economic security of this country,'' Deutch said.