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Homeland Security: Efforts To Improve Information Sharing Need to be Strengthened

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2003
59 pages
This study examined what homeland-security initiatives have been undertaken to improve information sharing among governmental levels and whether Federal, State, and city officials believe that the current information-sharing process is effective.
The study surveyed Federal, State, and city government officials to determine their perceptions of the effectiveness of the current information-sharing process. Overall, no level of government perceived the process as effective, particularly when sharing information with Federal agencies. Information on threats, methods, and techniques of terrorists is not routinely shared; and the information that is shared is not perceived by recipients to be timely, accurate, or relevant. Further, Federal officials have not yet established comprehensive processes and procedures that promote information sharing. These survey findings are confirmed by numerous studies, testimonies, reports, and congressional commissions that have examined the issue. This report recommends that the Secretary of Homeland Security work with the heads of other Federal agencies and State and city officials to ensure that States and cities are fully integrated into the information-sharing process. Actions should be taken to evaluate and overcome perceived barriers to information sharing. Appended selected initiatives to promote information sharing and survey responses that show categories of homeland security information deemed needed by survey respondents