ODNI releases sharing strategy for intell community

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) made public today a new strategy for how federal intelligence agencies should work together.

The new plan aims to bolster intelligence sharing through creating a “collaborative information environment” where analysts and collectors will be aware of intelligence data from across the community that can help them, the agency said.

ODNI said if intelligence across the intelligence community is available to analysts, they will be able to better “connect the dots.” The strategy also laid out the challenges of changing the culture and processes of the intelligence community to better share information.

“Together, we must challenge the status quo of a ‘need-to-know’ culture and move to one of a ‘responsibility to provide’ mindset,” said Mike McConnell, the Director of National Intelligence, in a preface to the strategy, The strategy is dated Feb, 22, but was released publicly today.

The strategy noted that each intelligence agency has its own networks and data repositories that can make it difficult for the intelligence community to piece together information. The strategy laid out four strategic goals for information sharing within the intelligence community meant to spur collaboration through clearer guidance and oversight, data standardization, improving identity management to build trust and changing the culture in the intelligence community.

Those goals are:

• Establishing “uniform information sharing policy and governance” that includes  common policies for intelligence classification, clearance processing and standards compliance.

•Advancing “universal information discovery and retrieval” through common metadata standards, security markings and networks.

• Forging a “common trust environment” through identity management, information security standards, information access rules, user authorization, auditing and access control.

• Enhancing collaboration across the intelligence community by rewarding information sharing and helping to establish a “virtual collaboration environment.”

Officials say they will release an implementation road map to guide the efforts, which will be continually reassessed every 100 days. No date has been set for the release of the implementation plan.

That road map will have long-term milestones for the strategic goals and objectives, define performance metrics for assessing progress in reaching the goals, assign different members of the intelligence community specific information-sharing roles and outline how the information-sharing strategy will be updated, the agency said.

ODNI’s strategy said that the current 500-day plan that is guiding the agency’s integration efforts will serve as the short-term framework for increasing information sharing in the Intelligence community and several parts of that plan specifically address the strategic goals of ODNI’s new intelligence-sharing plan.

The document also says that through the Intelligence Community Information Sharing Steering Committee, ODNI will align and leverage other information-sharing strategies that have already been released, including plans from the Office of Management and Budget, the Program Manager for Information Sharing Environment, the Homeland Security and Justice departments, and the White House.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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