Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

December 9, 2006

Interoperability Baseline Survey released

Filed under: State and Local HLS,Technology for HLS — by Christian Beckner on December 9, 2006

The SAFECOM Program at DHS issued a survey yesterday that assesses progress on national interoperability. This is an important study, one that attempts to define common terms and benchmarks for interoperability on a national basis. This would help to clarify the public discussion over interoperability and shift it away from what has too often been a confused and easily manipulable debate.

There aren’t any strong conclusions from the study, which is to be expected, given that this study will only become really valuable over time as a benchmark against which future progress is measured. It finds that larger public agencies are more likely to use interoperability, and that cross-jurisdictional interoperability is more advanced than interoperability between state and local agencies. And the reports notes that “approximately two-thirds of agencies reporting use interoperability to some degree,” but it applies no subjective value judgment to that statistic.

DHS issued a press release and fact sheet in conjunction with the report in which Sec. Chertoff states that “The survey reinforces the fact that interoperability is achievable.”

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