Thursday, May 10, 2007

GAO Critiques HSIN

The Government Accountability Office has just released a report on the effectiveness of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)'s Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN).

DHS is responsible for coordinating homeland security communications with all levels of government, the private sector and the public. DHS's web-based application (HSIN) operates at least 11 networks.

The GAO found HSIN did not work effectively for two key Regional Information Sharing Systems, of which it was asked to testify. The Regional Information Sharing Systems is a nationwide information-sharing program operated by state and local officials. It provides services to law enforcement, emergency responders and other public safety officials.

GAO said the department rushed to deploy HSIN after the September 11, 2001 attacks. In doing so, it limited coordination and risks effective information sharing and duplicating state and local capabilities. DHS has agreed to implement two improvements: 1) improve coordination and 2) ensure similar coordination and duplication issues do not arise in its other networks.

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