Journal: Agencies fail to make information sharing a priority


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By Jill R. Aitoro 07/30/2009

The Obama administration needs to restructure how interagency information-sharing initiatives are funded and implemented to encourage compliance by agencies that currently place a higher priority on their own missions, government and industry experts told House lawmakers Thursday.

“Differing missions, overlapping turf conflicts, resource constraints, bureaucratic inertia and agency tunnel vision still exist and impede information sharing,” said Ambassador Thomas McNamara, program manager of the Information Sharing Environment, a post within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. ISE was created by Congress in 2004 to facilitate the sharing of terrorism information across all levels of government and the private sector.

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The 2010 Intelligence Authorization Act, being debated in the House, includes a section that would move the ISE program manager position from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to the Executive Office of the President, though President Obama stated that “such legislation is premature and could create undue administrative and managerial burdens by creating a completely new category of information for agencies to manage.”

+++++++Phi Beta Iota Editorial Comment+++++++

The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) means well, but this entire challenge of information sharing, like the challenge of global coverage, is about mind-set and culture.  The secret world does not have it and never will.  They have to be instructed and mandated and ultimately forced to give up half of their bloated budget that produces, “at best,” four percent of what the President needs to know and next to nothing at all for all of the substantive Congressional jurisdictions and the Cabinet officers they oversee.

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