Information Sharing with Fusion Centers Has Improved, but Information System Challenges Remain [open pdf - 1MB]
This Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) report "addresses the strengths and weaknesses of DHS' information sharing with state and local fusion centers and the implementation of information technology to support these activities. It is based on interviews with employees and officials of relevant agencies and institutions, direct observations, and a review of applicable documents. [...] We reviewed the department's approach to information sharing with state and local fusion centers. Our objectives were to determine (1) the effectiveness of DHS' strategy, processes, and activities for facilitating information sharing with fusion centers; and (2) the extent to which information technology systems support information sharing between the department and these centers. DHS has made progress in its efforts to improve information sharing with fusion centers. Fusion center personnel indicated that information sharing had improved over time and the information received from the department met their needs primarily due to the deployment of DHS intelligence officers to the centers. As a result of improved information sharing, fusion centers have successfully collaborated with the department during numerous large-scale events and maintained situational awareness after attempted terrorist attacks or other incidents. However, DHS component collaboration in the information sharing process needs improvement, and some intelligence products could better meet state and local needs."
Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, Report No. OIG-11-04
United States Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General: http://www.dhs.gov/xoig/