Integration office may not happen

The proposed Information Integration Office, an important information technology initiative in the Bush administration's homeland security effort, may never exist, according to Steve Cooper, senior director for information integration and chief information officer for the Office of Homeland Security.

The office, which would design and help roll out an information architecture that will enable agencies to share information across their technology silos, is supposed to be created at the Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office. The office's role would include everything from helping to identify the appropriate technology standards to enforcing their use governmentwide, administration officials said in February.

But the way things are looking in Congress, that may not happen, Cooper said Aug. 19 at the Government Symposium on Information Sharing and Homeland Security in Philadelphia.

Earlier this year, Congress removed the funding request from the fiscal 2002 supplemental funding bill submitted by the White House, so the administration placed the office and the funding request in the fiscal 2003 budget released in February. But now Congress is getting ready to cut the administration's request for the second time, Cooper said. The reason? "Because they don't think it can be done," he said.

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