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[infowar.de] Technologieplaene fuer das Homeland Security Department
Interessant: Die eigentliche sicherheitspolitische Strategie und die
Technologiestrategie werden getrennt entwickelt. Ob das gut geht? Die
Techniksoziologen sagen da was anderes (vgl. etwa Dierkes/Hoffmann/Marz:
Leitbiuld und Technik, die akzeptierte soziotechnische "Leitbilder" als
Bedingung von soziotechnischem Wandel in Organsiationen identifizieren).
July 1, 2002
White House crafting homeland security technology plan
By Shane Harris
- govexec -
The White House is writing a massive blueprint, known as an information
technology architecture, to integrate the computer systems of all of the
agencies that would be moved into the new Homeland Security Department
under Bush administration plans.
The Office of Homeland Security, the Office of Management and Budget and
the agencies slated to move into the new department are preparing a
?communication document? to explain to federal, state and local
officials, as well as to private companies, how the plan will work, said
Steve Cooper, the chief information officer at the Office of Homeland
Security, in an interview with Government Executive.
The new department?s architecture will mirror the overall federal
enterprise architecture, designed by the Chief Information Officers
Council in 1999 as ?a road map for the federal government in achieving
better alignment of technology solutions with business mission needs.?
That alignment has yet to occur. The General Accounting Office has
reported that most agencies trying to write their technology
architectures haven?t moved beyond the planning stage. Norman Lorentz, a
former technology company executive, became OMB?s chief technology
officer in January and was told to help agencies develop their
The Office of Homeland Security has established three working groups to
examine architectures in three of the four proposed divisions of the new
department: border and transportation security; emergency preparedness
and response; and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear
Cooper said the Office of Homeland Security is ?mapping and documenting
the business strategies? for the new department. Those strategies are
designed to mesh with the overall homeland security plan that Homeland
Security Director Tom Ridge was expected to announce in June. Cooper
said that plan would go to President Bush for his approval within the
next two to three months.
The national strategy will define the ?vision? of what the department
hopes to achieve, and what homeland security means for federal, state
and local agencies, as well as the private sector, Cooper said.
Cooper described the Homeland Security Department?s information
architecture as a pyramid, with this vision at the top. The next level
down will address ?business processes??such as border security or
biodefense?and all their respective activities: clearing people in and
out of the country or inspecting shipping containers for explosives, for
The third level of the architecture consists of ?information
products??such as terrorist watch lists and shipping manifests?that are
essential to conducting the department?s business, Cooper said.
The fourth and fifth levels cover the actual technologies that would be
employed at the new department. Ridge?s Office of Homeland Security has
asked technology chiefs at the merging agencies to make a quick
assessment of the technology assets?including hardware, software
applications and databases?that they think are relevant to the new
department?s mission, Cooper said. These assets may or may not make
their way into the department if it is created. The inventory is
?probably 60 percent complete.?
CIOs commonly list accounting for technology assets among their most
difficult tasks. The arduous process of cataloging such assets often
must rely on inadequate or incomplete records of what has been purchased
or deployed in offices throughout the country. One CIO said recently
that finding all the technology assets in a particular agency is like
?trying to find all the fat marbled through a piece of steak.?
Cooper acknowledged the technology inventory could show a gap between
what the vision calls for and what agencies already have. In that case,
Cooper said his team would develop a ?migration strategy? that could
involve both buying new technology and upgrading existing systems.
The overall homeland security strategy, which is being written by a
separate team in the Office of Homeland Security, and the development of
the technology architecture are proceeding simultaneously. Cooper said
that wouldn?t stop his team from moving forward with plans for the
departmental architecture?even though by design, the architecture can?t
be executed without the top-level strategy in place.
Agencies involved in homeland security have already launched $6 billion
to $8 billion worth of technology modernization efforts, Cooper said.
Despite the fact that agencies might be buying and installing
incompatible systems, those initiatives haven?t been stopped. Rather,
Cooper?s team is working to coordinate them with the architecture.
Cooper said he hopes to have the inventory of border security and
transportation functions completed within the next 90 days. He didn?t
give an estimated completion date for the entire architecture.
Cooper said whoever is named CIO of Homeland Security will inherit the
enterprise architecture and probably take over finishing the plan,
presuming the official is named before the entire architecture is
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