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DHS Seeks Collaboration in IT

DHS CIO Richard Spires, Photo: itdashboard.gov; afmil.gov

The Department of Homeland Security wants to increase collaboration on its IT projects, said DHS Chief Information Officer Richard Spires, continuing an ongoing theme of agency coordination

Speaking before the American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory Council, Spires said this new approach, known as enterprise governance, would bring together those who work in disparate agencies but often do similar work, Nextgov reports.

“You need [to be] where everybody gets on the same page,” Spires said, according to Nextgov. “If they get to know each other and they start to understand each others’ issues, like in screening, they can come together in a way that’s very powerful.”

For example, there are almost 50 screening systems for travelers coming into the United States. Under enterprise governance, the process would be streamlined.

Bringing together those working on similar missions would also help streamline the budget, Spires said.

The program will help make “good decision-making mechanisms … so we know how to spend the next dollar efficiently,” he added.

But the change won’t happen overnight, Spires cautioned, only through working together on shared outcomes.

“It won’t happen instantly,” he said, “but over a year, two years, I’ve seen a fundamental change.”

Spires remarks follow an announcement made by DHS and the Defense Department earlier this month, where both agencies laid out a new, collaborative framework for dealing with cybersecurity issues.

The framework emphasized sharing of information, equipment and personnel between the two agencies. It also sought to more define each agency’s role and laid the groundwork for more effective “joint operational planning.”

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