Fusion center requirements coming

The Justice Department next month will release baseline standards for the information-sharing capabilities of the more than 50 state and local intelligence fusion centers nationwide.

The Bush administration’s National Strategy for Information Sharing (NSIS), released Oct. 2007, designated fusion centers as the central nodes for sharing terrorism-related intelligence between the federal government and state, local and tribal authorities. The administration also said the fusion centers must achieve baseline capabilities and that the federal government would provide grant money to help them meet the requirements.

John Cohen, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment, said the baseline capability requirements will incorporate the role in the federal information-sharing environment laid out in the 2007 NSIS. He added that much of the guidance is not new and that state and local authorities were involved in developing the directions, which will include additional guidance on privacy issues.

States and urban areas have been establishing the centers since the terrorist attacks of 2001. They often use federal grants to improve their ability to share information with the federal government. Agencies have become increasingly interested in integrating the centers’ capabilities into the federal information-sharing environment.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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