Maritime Security: Information-Sharing Efforts Are Improving

GAO-06-933T Published: Jul 10, 2006. Publicly Released: Jul 10, 2006.
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Sharing information with nonfederal officials is an important tool in federal efforts to secure the nation's ports against a potential terrorist attack. The Coast Guard has lead responsibility in coordinating maritime information sharing efforts. The Coast Guard has established area maritime security committees--forums that involve federal and nonfederal officials who identify and address risks in a port. The Coast Guard and other agencies have sought to further enhance information sharing and port security operations by establishing interagency operational centers--command centers that tie together the efforts of federal and nonfederal participants. This testimony is a summary and update to our April 2005 report, Maritime Security: New Structures Have Improved Information Sharing, but Security Clearance Processing Requires Further Attention, GAO-05-394. It discusses the impact the committees and interagency operational centers have had on improving information sharing and identifies any barriers that have hindered information sharing.

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