The Information Sharing Environment program office within the DNI released their final implementation plan to Congress yesterday, as part of efforts to fulfill a mandate of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 to improve information-sharing among the intelligence community and with key external stakeholders. This press release and this Washington Post story summarize the Plan. The Post story focuses on the most newsworthy item in the Plan: the creation of a new Interagency Threat Assessment Coordination Group (ITACG), led by DHS and housed at the NCTC, which will be responsible for leading efforts to better coordinate the synthesis and distribution of intelligence and warning information for state and local customers. This chart on page 71 of the report shows the notional framework for the ITACG’s role (click to enlarge):
If this initiative succeeds, it will be a welcome development, given the frustrations that many state and local officials have felt in recent years when it comes to their information-sharing interactions with the federal government, struggling to deal with the reality of too little information coming down too many different pipes. If the intelligence community can integrate and streamline its communications with state and local officials, that effort (in combination with related efforts strengthen fusion centers and build personal ties at the local level) will go a long way to remedying the problems that have existed over the past few years in the area of state and local info-sharing. But there is still a long way to go to turn this framework into reality.
For those who follow intelligence and info-sharing issues, there are a number of other important ideas in the final ISE implementation plan, such as a plan for standardization of sensitive-but-unclassified (SBU) markings across the intelligence community.