Committee Releases Report On the National Network of Fusion Centers and Information Sharing

Washington, D.C. – In 2013, the House Homeland Security Committee released a report on the National Network of Fusion Centers and provided 25 recommendations to maximize value from the federal, state, and local partnerships through fusion centers—information sharing hubs with a unique state and local perspective. The past four years have seen significant developments of the network and partnerships with federal entities. Building upon prior work completed by the Committee, today the majority staff released a new report titled, “Advancing the Homeland Security Information Sharing Environment: A Review of the National Network of Fusion Centers.” This latest review highlights the strides federal partners—including the Department of Homeland Security—have made in improving information flows to fusion centers.

Chairman McCaul: “Fusion centers are a key element of our homeland security because they improve partnerships at the state, local, and federal levels  and help ensure better coordination of vital counterterrorism information. As threats to our homeland continue to evolve, we must take the necessary steps to mitigate gaps in threat-sharing and reporting. This latest report includes 24 recommendations that promote the sustained growth of the National Network of fusion centers and more fully integrate front-line law enforcement, first responders, and our intelligence community, contributing to a more robust national infrastructure to defend against the threat landscape.”

The report includes several recommendations intended to move DHS to create a more holistic and strategic engagement strategy with fusion centers.  These include a DHS-wide engagement strategy and enhanced coordination and support from FEMA’s Fusion Center Technical Assistance Program. These recommendations will facilitate greater access to and training on federal information systems and databases, and expand fusion center access to DHS component information.

Other key recommendations include:

  • DHS’s Office of Intelligence & Analysis should increase and empower DHS field personnel working with fusion centers.
  • DHS’s Office of Intelligence & Analysis should track State legislative changes that may damage information sharing with DHS.
  • Social media companies should improve their information sharing arrangements with fusion centers and law enforcement.
  • DHS, FBI, and fusion centers should enhance suspicious activity reporting processes and analytic capabilities.

Read the full report, here.