Federal Government Homeland Security Information Systems

Federal Government Homeland Security Information Systems

Christopher G. Reddick (University of Texas at San Antonio, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-834-5.ch004
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This chapter focuses on Homeland Security Information Systems (HSIS) in the federal government. One definition of HSIS, in the federal government, is the application of information technology to homeland security with the aim of detecting fragmented clues, assembling them as a puzzle, then using the information to stop a terrorist attack (Nunn, 2005). Nunn’s definition focuses on the use of information for data mining for deducing possible terrorist attacks and responses to these incidents. This chapter recognizes the importance of data analysis, but uses a broader definition of federal HSIS being the use of information systems to prepare for and respond to a terrorist attack or significant national emergency. This definition of HSIS covers the importance of data mining to discover how information fits together as pieces of the puzzle, but it also incorporates other elements of information technology (IT) that are used to respond and prepare for a national incident. This chapter will first examine the Department of Homeland Security which has a tremendous influence over homeland security policy and information systems in the United States. There is an examination in this chapter of the environmental context of HSIS in the federal government, demonstrating some of the important pieces of legislation that have an influence in this area. This chapter discusses the roles and responsibilities of federal government Chief Information Officers (CIOs) to discern the scope of their responsibilities. A section of this chapter examines some principles of effective IT management in federal agencies. The final part of this chapter provides the results of a survey of CIOs in federal government departments/agencies to determine the influence of HSIS on their organizations.

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