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April 04, 2013

GAO: National Security Information Sharing Entities Duplicate Efforts

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement in response to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on information sharing and field-based federal entities – centers and task forces – that share terrorism and other information. The report, entitled "Information Sharing: Agencies Could Better Coordinate to Reduce Overlap in Field-Based Activities" (GAO-13-471) found that there are many instances of analytical and investigative overlap in the work these entities produce – which could lead to inefficiencies and redundancies.

GAO also found that federal agencies, including the Department of the Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy, do not hold these field-based entities accountable for possible coordination and they lack a mechanism to share information and coordinate results to reduce redundancies. GAO also recommends that these agencies assess opportunities to enhance coordination and hold the entities accountable for it.

Congressman Thompson released the following statement on the report

"This report outlines some very serious, but very solvable, problems in our government's efforts to combat terrorism and share information. Resources are wasted when government entities duplicate each other's efforts, but more importantly, I am worried that state and local law enforcement will come to see the information as redundant, become overloaded and therefore may be unable to recognize legitimate threats. DHS and federal partners must follow through on GAO's recommendations to enhance coordination and ensure these federal entities are sharing information efficiently."

Link to Report

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