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September 13, 2013

DHS Needs Centralized Social Media Policy

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement in response to a Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) report on social media at DHS entitled "DHS Uses Social Media To Enhance Information Sharing and Mission Operations, But Additional Oversight and Guidance Are Needed" (OIG-13-115):

"In recent years, social media have become useful and efficient tools for the government to communicate both to its workers and the American people. Given DHS' size and makeup, social media are particularly helpful for DHS to improve its relationship with its employees and communicate with the public during both natural and man-made disasters. However, if DHS is going to utilize social media as outreach tools, then it needs to create centralized best practices for their use. I urge the Department to implement the OIG's recommendations as soon as possible."

The OIG found that social media outlets are useful tools that DHS uses to enhance information sharing and situational awareness, both to its employees and to the general public. However, DHS needs more oversight on how social media are utilized. The OIG found that DHS does not have a Department wide best practices guideline for using social media nor an inventory on all the accounts used. The OIG made five recommendations to formalize social media use policy at DHS.

Link to Report

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978