Feds discuss plans to merge systems for proposed HSD

'We are not sure what the optimal number is, but we know it is not 25 HR systems for one department,' James Flyzik says of systems for the proposed Homeland Security Department.

Henrik G. DeGyor

Homeland Security Office mulls how to roll 24 agencies into cohesive unit

HERSHEY, Pa.'The Homeland Security Office has begun meeting regularly with the IT officials in the 24 organizations slated to become part of the proposed HS Department.

The office's IT team is working on a technical reference model as a part of an enterprise architecture for the proposed department, said James Flyzik, Treasury Department CIO on detail as a senior adviser to Homeland Security director Tom Ridge. Flyzik discussed a variety of the office's projects during the opening ceremony of the Interagency Resources Management Council conference.

The model will help the new HSD organizations figure out what systems they are using now, Flyzik said. For instance, he said, there are 25 human resources systems, seven payroll systems and more than 12 financial systems in use by the 24 agencies.

Table talk

'We are not sure what the optimal number is, but we know it is not 25 HR systems for one department,' Flyzik said. 'We are looking at what we can do in moving that forward. We are bringing people to the table for the first time that need to sit around the table and talk about these things.'

The Homeland Security Office also is setting up a secure videoconferencing system to let Ridge communicate more easily with state governors.

The videoconferencing system will be in place by the end of the year, Flyzik said. It will use Integrated Services Digital Network and other types of fast connections.

'It will start with portable devices and over time merge into a permanent system,' he said. 'We want to be able to set it up and take it down quickly.'

The Homeland Security team also is working to connect law enforcement officials through two other projects.

The office is connecting the FBI's National Crime Information Center and the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System to the Law Enforcement Online Intranet portal and the Regional Information Sharing Systems network, Flyzik said. State and local officials have used LEO and RISS to share information with each other and federal officials.

He added that the Justice Department will offer grants to states that need to set up systems to access the portal and network.

The office also is consolidating 25 federal watch lists and not all of them have the same names listed.

'It's time to connect the dots, and it's time to look at what we need to do to consolidate those,' Flyzik said.

'We have to make sure we are not in a situation again where one agency knows something that another one needs to know in advance.'

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