IG: DHS has problems with top secret data

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OIG report

The Homeland Security Department still has problems handling classified top secret intelligence information, according to a new report from the department’s Office of the Inspector General.

Overall, DHS’ Office of Intelligence and Analysis has made progress in managing intelligence systems departmentwide, and in establishing an information technology security program for those systems, to meet Federal Information Security Management Act requirements, the report said.

However, there are still unaddressed problems, the IG concluded. A four-page copy of the report, which has been redacted for public release, is posted on the inspector general’s Web site.

“Procedural and operational issues, however, remain regarding the effectiveness of the implementation of the department’s intelligence security program and system controls,” the report said. “Furthermore, the department has not yet fully addressed the issues and recommendations that we reported in fiscal year 2006.”

The report focuses on security program management, implementation and system administration of intelligence activities. The review covers the intelligence analysis office as well as the Transportation Security Administration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

To improve the situation, the IG recommended that the DHS undersecretary for intelligence and analysis, through the director of information sharing and knowledge management, issue formal guidance for the department’s intelligence activities and establish an information systems’ security education, training, and awareness program for intelligence personnel.

The report also advises that the DHS Office of the Chief Information Officer address the system control issues identified during the review.

DHS officials agreed with the findings and are following the recommendations, the report said.
 

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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