Bush sets up terrorist data council

'The mission of the council is to plan for and oversee the establishment of an interoperable terrorism information sharing environment,' President Bush says.

CAMBRIDGE, Md.'President Bush has ordered the Office of Management and Budget to create an interagency council to coordinate the sharing of terrorist information.

Clay Johnson, OMB's deputy director for management, will be chairman of the new Information Systems Council and Karen Evans, OMB's administrator for e-government and IT, will be the panel's executive director. Evans detailed plans for the new group at the IRM Council 2004 conference.

President Bush established the council in an executive order he signed late last month. The order, 'Strengthening the Sharing of Terrorism Information to Protect Americans,' included recommendations from the 9/11 Commission.

'The mission of the council is to plan for and oversee the establishment of an interoperable terrorism information-sharing environment to facilitate automated sharing of terrorism information,' Bush noted in the order.

The council will include representatives from the departments of Commerce, De-fense, Energy, Homeland Security, Justice, State and Treasury, and the CIA, FBI and National Counterterrorism Center.

Evans said OMB sent letters to the heads of the 10 agencies asking them to assign a representative to the council.

'We want a person who can help make decisions on what types of systems to deploy and what guidelines to develop,' she said.

The order also requires the council to deliver a plan by January with milestones, identification of resources and funding.

The council also has six other objectives:
  • Consolidate current programs, systems and processes to share terrorism information, and redirect resources to support interoperable terrorism information sharing
  • Identify gaps between existing systems used to share terrorism information and the proposed interoperable environment

  • Recommend near-term ways to do away with the gaps

  • Create a plan to implement the interoperable environment

  • Suggest how the proposed system can be extended to allow interchange of terrorism information between federal agencies and state and local governments

  • Determine whether the system should be expanded to encompass other categories of intelligence and information.

Evans also said that Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12, which calls for a common federal employee identification card, will rely on the work of the E-Authentication and E-Clearance e-government projects.

'The common identification card will work anywhere in the government,' Evans said.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is developing a framework of standards for the logical and physical access cards, Evans added.

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