Transforming Interagency Information Sharing workshop Held in Washington on June 17th

Maritime agencies collaborated on policies to streamline government.

When it comes to streamlining government, policy lags behind technology - far behind. In this week’s series of workshops, several of the agencies that manage America's maritime affairs collaborated on recommending interagency policies that enable government agencies to share more information to reach the full potential of digital connectivity.

The first Transforming Interagency Information Sharing workshop kicked off June 17 at U.S. Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C. The Keynote Speaker for Wednesday’s workshop was Mr. Robert Riegle, J.D. He is the Director State and Local Program Office, DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis within the Office of Intelligence & Analysis in The U.S. Department of Homeland Security. As a Senior Intelligence Officer in DHS Mr. Riegle spearheaded the development of relationships concerning many State and Local Government Fusion Centers and was a co-lead for the DHS-wide effort to formalize policy concerning Fusion Center Relationships. Mr. Riegle is the DHS representative to the Department of Justice's Global Justice Initiative, the Co-chair of the National Fusion Center Coordination Group and an advisory member of the Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council. Prior to working at DHS Mr. Riegle worked at Booz Allen Hamilton in the Strategic Communications Area and at the Defense Intelligence Agency as a National Intelligence Support Team (NIST) Intelligence Specialist.

A wide range of agencies collect maritime data to address issues from environmental protection, supply chain security, and the threat of sea-borne terrorism, to the safety of mariners and boaters, predicting and responding to natural disasters, and safeguarding the critical infrastructure that enables a global economy. However, no single agency can compile all the data it requires to monitor the maritime environment, and agencies often find it easier to send redundant queries to outside sources than to pass information among themselves. By transforming policy to improve information sharing, these agencies can put the full range of data collected by the government at the fingertips of every agency that needs it while ensuring compliance with the statutes and regulations that protect privacy and civil liberties.

In our July/August print edition in 2008, MarEx highlighted the growing effort within the U.S. Government with an in-depth, feature article which focused on the then-nascent Office of Global Maritime Situational Awareness (OGMSA).

The Transforming Interagency Information Sharing workshops are organized by the Office of Global Maritime Situational Awareness, a multi-agency office responsible for developing shared access to interagency and international information to improve awareness of maritime factors that could impact the safety, security, economy and environment of the United States.

More information about the workshop can be found at www.gmsa.gov/transform or at www.gmsa.gov/gmiss.