HSD to develop information sharing procedures

The Homeland Security Department will develop procedures under which federal agencies will share homeland security information among themselves and with state and local governments, according to an executive order issued yesterday.

The department likely will issue the procedures this fall, and they could affect the IT systems that agencies use to exchange homeland security information, a department spokeswoman said.

The Homeland Security Act of 2002 requires that the president develop procedures for domestic defense information sharing, and in the executive order President Bush assigned the responsibility to DHS secretary Tom Ridge.

The spokeswoman said the procedures would assure that agencies share homeland information in a way that safeguards sensitive and classified information. 'It remains to be seen if the [procedure development] process will be public,' the spokeswoman said.

The executive order directs the DHS secretary to coordinate the procedure development function with the secretaries of State, Defense and Energy; the attorney general; the directors of the CIA and the Office of Management and Budget, and other officials.

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