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S. Gilmore, III, former Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia and chairman of the Advisory Panel to Assess the Capabilities for Domestic Response to Terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction; Ambassador Francis X. Taylor, coordinator for counterterrorism at the Department of State; Mr. Claudio Manno, acting Associate Under Secretary for Intelligence at the Transportation Security Agency; Mr. Joseph B. Greene, Assistant Commissioner for Investigations, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service; Mr. Louis E. Andre, Special Assistant to the Director for Intelligence, J-2 of the Defense Intelligence Agency; and Edward T. Norris, Police Commissioner for the City of Baltimore.
Additionally, the committee has received three statements for the record that will be that will not be accompanied by oral testimony. These three statements for the record are by David M. Walker, Comptroller General of the United States, Rear Admiral Lowell Jacoby, acting director, Defense Intelligence Agency; and Robert C. Norris, Jr., Chair Operations Information Technology Department of the National Defense University.
I ask unanimous consent that each of these statements be made part of the record of this hearing.
Chairman Goss. So move, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statements of Mr. Walker, Admiral Jacoby, and Mr. Norris follow:]
Messrs. Chairmen and Members of the Committees:
Since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, both the Administration and Congress have focused on the performance of the intelligence community and whether intelligence and other information is effectively shared - between federal agencies, with state and local law enforcement and other officials, and with private entities - to prevent or respond to terrorist attacks. Both the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have, in their joint inquiry, helped to illuminate many issues from which lessons can be drawn to improve how our intelligence community and other homeland security stakeholders share, analyze, integrate and disseminate important information, both at home and overseas.
Today, governments at all levels, as well as private sector entities, recognize that they have a greater role to play in protecting the nation from terrorist attacks. To achieve this collective goal, homeland security stakeholders must more effectively work together to strengthen the process by which critical information can be shared, analyzed, integrated and disseminated to help prevent or minimize terrorist activities. The work of these committees and of others in Congress and the Administration in crafting solutions to leverage agencies' abilities and willingness to share timely, useful information is critical to the fundamental transformation required in our homeland security community to ensure an affordable, sustainable and broad-based response to new and emerging threats to our country.
In your request that GAO provide a statement for the record, you asked us to focus on the information sharing activities of the intelligence, law enforcement, and other agencies involved in homeland security, as well as the role of state and local governments and the private sector. You also requested that we provide a description and status of the principal recommendations we have made related to combating terrorism.
We have developed an extensive body of work on combating terrorism over the years and more recently we have issued a number of reports on homeland security. Based on GAO's Strategic Plan issued in January 2000, which included a new emphasis on addressing key emerging threats to national security in a post-Cold War environment, GAO issued many reports prior to September 11th on combating terrorism and related matters. At the request of Congress, or on our own initiative, we currently have more than 80 engagements under way to examine a variety of
Challenges to Effective
homeland security issues. Our ongoing work includes evaluations of information sharing activities in homeland security, including reviews of airport and transportation security, seaport security and law enforcement agencies. However, as the committees are aware, GAO's work in evaluating the activities of the intelligence community historically has been limited, due in part to limitations imposed by the intelligence agencies and the small number of requests made by Congress. My statement today reflects this limitation on evaluations of the intelligence community and focuses more broadly on information sharing among various homeland security stakeholders.
In my testimony today, I will discuss (1) some of the challenges to effective
The success of a homeland security strategy relies on the ability of all levels
of government and the private sector to communicate and cooperate effectively with one another. Activities that are hampered by organizational fragmentation, technological impediments, or ineffective collaboration blunt the nation's collective efforts to prevent or minimize terrorist acts.
GAO and other observers of the federal government's organization,
GAO believes that the consolidation of some homeland security functions makes sense and will, if properly organized and implemented, over time lead to more efficient, effective, and coordinated programs, better information sharing, and a more robust protection of our people, borders, and critical infrastructure. At the same time, even the proposed Department of Homeland Security (DHS), will still be just one of many players with important roles and responsibilities for ensuring homeland security. In addition, the creation of DHS will not be a panacea. It will create certain new costs and risks, which must be addressed.
As it is with so many other homeland security areas, it is also the case for intelligence and information sharing that there are many stakeholders who must work together to achieve common goals. Effective analysis, integration, and dissemination of intelligence and other information critical to homeland security requires the involvement of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National Security Council (NSC), the National Security Agency (NSA), the Department of Defense (DOD), and a myriad of other agencies, and will also include the
'U.S. General Accounting Office, Combating Terrorism: Selected Challenges and Related Recommendations, GAO-01-822 (Washington, D.C.: September 2001).
"U.S. General Accounting Office, Combating Terrorism: Comments on Counterterrorism Leadership and National Strategy, GAO-01-556T (Washington, D.C.: March 27, 2001).
"U.S. General Accounting Office, Homeland Security: Critical Design and Implementation Issues, GAO-0957T (Washington, D.C.: July 17, 2002).