The Homeland Security Information Network is supposed to facilitate information-sharing among federal, state and local officials. The network, funded to the tune of $21 million a year, is not working, asserts DHS inspector general Richard Skinner.
As reported by Washington Technology, Skinner found the agency speeded up network deployment without finding out from users how to structure connections. DHS officials neither developed clear policies and procedures nor furnished adequate training, the report said.
The network is not being used regularly because there is lack of trust among users, and it has not proved useful in delivering greater awareness of threatening situations and other information, the inspector general reported.
“Users are confused and frustrated without clear guidance” on the network’s role or how to use it to share information effectively, the report states.
DHS split the network off from the the Joint Regional Information Exchange System in 2005 and JRIES officials criticized the department for rushing the network into operation without adequate consultation and training, contending that the rapid timetable increased misuse, security breaches, privacy violations and user confusion, the inspector general said.