Washington, DC – Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) today invited input from the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Michael Chertoff, regarding the role of the DHS Directorate of Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection (IAIP) in the collection, analysis, and dissemination of critical intelligence to protect the nation. Senator Collins is the Chairman and Senator Lieberman is the Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which oversees IAIP.
In a letter to DHS Secretary Chertoff, Senators Collins and Lieberman wrote, “We understand that you recently ordered a review of DHS’s operations and activities. We hope that the review will include a comprehensive assessment of IAIP’s roles, missions, and authorities concerning intelligence, to include IAIP’s relationship with the Intelligence Community and other Executive Branch entities, other DHS components, and State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector.”
The Senators pointed out that a recent report by the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD Commission) confirmed that DHS plays a vital role in the Intelligence Community as “the primary repository of information about what passes in and out of the country.” However, the WMD Commission found that DHS “faces challenges in all four roles it plays in the Intelligence Community – as collector, analyst, disseminator, and customer.” The WMD Commission recommended strengthening DHS’s relationships with the Intelligence Community.
“We would appreciate any recommendations that you may have for amendments to the Homeland Security Act of 2002 that would clarify IAIP’s roles and missions, provide IAIP with the requisite authorities, and secure DHS’s access to intelligence generally,” wrote Senators Collins and Lieberman.