A key challenge in securing our homeland is ensuring that critical information collected by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) is shared in a timely manner with federal, state, and local governments and the private sector. It is important that federal networks and associated systems, applications, and data facilitate this vital information sharing. GAO was asked to (1) identify DHS and DOJ networks and Internet-based system applications that support homeland security and (2) determine whether DHS efforts associated with its Homeland Security Information Network are being coordinated with key state and local information-sharing initiatives. GAO assessed the coordination between DHS and two key state and local initiatives of the Regional Information Sharing System program.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Homeland Security||The Secretary of Homeland Security should direct the Director, Office of Operations Coordination, to ensure that the Homeland Security Information Network efforts are effectively coordinated with key state and local government information-sharing initiatives. This should include (1) identifying existing and planned key state and local information-sharing initiatives and assessing whether there are opportunities for the program to improve information sharing and avoid duplication of effort; (2) where there are opportunities, adopting and institutionalizing key practices related to OMB's guidance on enhancing and sustaining agency coordination and collaboration, including developing documented policies and procedures to operate across organizational boundaries; and (3) ensuring that its coordination efforts are consistent with implementation of the Information Sharing Environment plan.|
|Department of Homeland Security||The Secretary of Homeland Security should determine whether there are coordination and duplication issues with other homeland security networks and associated systems and applications. In each case where issues are identified, the Secretary should direct the appropriate department executive to ensure that the efforts are effectively coordinated consistent with our recommendation above.|