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ITAA Makes Counter-Terrorism Recommendations

The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) has sent a series of recommendations aimed at helping the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and other government agencies improve the conduct of counter-terrorism operations through the use of integrated information technology. Earlier this month, INS Commissioner James W. Ziglar sent the ITAA recommendations to Office of Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge.

Ziglar said the recommendations, "will provide a more disciplined and better-managed response to the business needs of integrated enforcement and intelligence operations, support good investment decisions, and shorten the time for IT support to become an effective underpinning for our operations."

A group of ITAA member firms met with law enforcement and intelligence agencies last November to begin developing these recommendations. Al Edmonds, EDS' president of Government Information Solutions and an organizer of the meeting, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Technology and Procurement Policy on Feb. 26 commenting, "EDS strongly believes that private sector involvement in homeland security initiatives is essential to success. We are committed to doing our part, in partnership with government, to preserve our economy and way of life."

INS Associate Commissioner for Information Resources Management and Deputy Chief Information Officer Scott O. Hastings said, "We believe that the forum that produced these recommendations represents the type of cooperation between the private and public sectors that is needed to meet this crisis."

The nine recommendations, available on the ITAA website, include:

  • Leapfrog to federal enterprise planning in order to develop the interagency/extra-agency business needs to counter terrorist based threats
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  • Establish a managing partner, an authority to manage the enterprise
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  • Define the federal enterprise
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  • Develop and record the business objectives that will accrue to the federal enterprise
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  • Identify data required to support these processes
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  • Develop and maintain a quick inventory of existing interagency projects or projects that could be leveraged by agencies while the management and administrative structures for the federal enterprise are being put in place
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  • Work with the Administration to examine federal budget mechanisms that will support these federal enterprise projects
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  • Establish and maintain common project management structures and reporting so that these interagency IT issues will become standardized for these federal enterprise projects along with commonly understood measures, roles and responsibilities, schedules and costs; and
  • Identify a legal review and policy group to support federal enterprise projects
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    "ITAA believes integrated information could be the most powerful tool available in the war against terrorism, and we hope that Gov. Ridge will give our recommendations strong consideration," said ITAA President Harris N. Miller. "We are proud to have been able to contribute to the strategic thinking of the INS and other federal agencies as they move to address this issue, and we anticipate building on this excellent start by supporting the federal government going forward."

    The Arlington, Va.-based ITAA consists of over 500 corporate members throughout the U.S., and a global network of 46 countries' IT associations.