IT has stake in EPA homeland plan

EPA's Strategic Plan for Homeland Security

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Information technology has a stake in the Environmental Protection Agency's new Strategic Plan for Homeland Security.

The security road map, unveiled Oct. 2, identifies four main areas that include communication and information. The following IT-related goals fall under that category, according to EPA chief information officer Kim Nelson:

* The EPA will use reliable information from internal and external sources to ensure informed decision-making and appropriate response.

* The EPA will effectively disseminate timely, quality environmental information to all levels of government, industry and the public, allowing them to make informed decisions about human health and the environment.

* The EPA will exchange information with the national security community to prevent, detect and respond to terrorist threats or attacks.

* The EPA will continuously and reliably communicate with employees and managers.

The plan "we are releasing today is designed to ensure that this agency is doing what it should to meet its responsibilities as part of [the homeland security] effort," EPA Administrator Christie Whitman said in announcing the strategy.

Agency officials hope to tie those responsibilities to the agency's core mission of protecting human health and safeguarding the environment.

Meanwhile, the EPA intends to award a contract on a sole-source basis to the National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council to review its homeland security program and make recommendations, according to an Oct. 1 presolicitation notice on FedBizOpps (www.fedbizopps.gov).

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