Industry input sought for DHS tech infrastructure

Industry input would be critical for determining where the Homeland Security technology infrastructure should be, said Steve Cooper, chief information officer for the department. Officials last month released version 1.0 of the DHS enterprise architecture, which links systems and initiatives to the department's mission areas and reveals thousands of redundant systems.

At the center of the architecture is a so-called sequencing diagram, which outlines potential projects. Commercial companies can help guide where the department goes, Cooper said, speaking today at a breakfast sponsored by Input in Arlington, Va.

Each set of conceptual projects matches different objective areas, including unifying the department's infrastructure, addressing immediate/mission-critical needs, addressing legislatively mandated project dates, rationalizing/optimizing corporate solutions and providing new/improved mission capabilities.

DHS officials want companies' views on whether the initiatives in the sequencing diagram make sense and are mapped to the correct areas, Cooper said.

CIOs from across the department have agreed on a set of information technology priorities, which the department's senior executives are now approving, Cooper said. Those are:

* Fostering state and local information sharing.

* Integrating watch lists.

* Improving cybersecurity and land mobile radio and wireless interoperability.

* Establishing incident management and alerts capabilities.

* Developing a single DHS information structure.

* Reducing the number of Web sites and portals for homeland security.

* Increasing intelligence and information sharing.

Officials want consolidation and optimization of current systems complete by December 2005 because "we need to get to a simplified, highly-stable, single infostructure from which we can launch new capabilities," Cooper said.

The department received almost $120 million for enterprise architecture and investment planning in the fiscal 2004 budget. Officials expect to release version 2.0 of the enterprise architecture in June, with an update in September or early October, Cooper said. They expect to continue releasing updates about every six months, he said.

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