GAO Report Finds Overlap with Information-Sharing, Problems with Fusion Centers

Today, the Government Accountability Office released the report, “INFORMATION SHARING: Agencies Could Better Coordinate to Reduce Overlap in Field-Based Activities.”  GAO found criminal and anti-terrorism centers sometimes conducted overlapping activities, and the federal government does not hold the entities accountable for coordinating their efforts, and preventing duplication or overlap of information-sharing efforts.

For the study, GAO compared five types of field-based information sharing entities, including DHS-supported state and local fusion centers, FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) and Field Intelligence Groups (FIGs).  

Sen. Tom Coburn, Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said:

“Information-sharing is a vital component of national security, but that is not an excuse to waste taxpayer funds. GAO found a whopping 91 instances of overlap between different criminal and anti-terror information-sharing programs, including state and local fusion centers supported by the Department of Homeland Security.  Clearly, government agencies are not coordinating their efforts to secure our nation. I thank GAO for its continuing efforts to highlight waste and duplication in federal programs.”

The full text of the report can be found here.