DHS agencies still struggle with net issues

Lee Holcomb, Department of Homeland Security Chief Technology Officer

PHILADELPHIA-- Unlike the cyborgs in the "Terminator 3" spectacle, homeland security IT systems are having trouble forming a seamless network.

Speakers and attendees at the Information Sharing for Homeland Security conference agreed that several factors are stifling integration of federal, state and local homeland networks.

Retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark cited funding problems and turf wars as enduring problems. He added that government agencies that have combined under the Homeland Security Department umbrella face the same problems as merging corporations in connecting their systems-- and like companies will have to jury-rig systems to achieve information sharing.

Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) called for ending turf disputes and oversight problems in part by granting full program authorization authority to the House Select Homeland Security Committee. That authorizing power now is split among several panels.
Lee Holcomb, DHS' chief technology officer, said that strategic information sharing agreements are in place, but procedures and policies remain to be resolved at the tactical level.

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