Science and Technology News

Thursday, September 17, 2009

IJIS Institute Educates Congress on Information Sharing

Sponsors briefing on the Hill to call attention to critical homeland security issue

The IJIS Institute, a nonprofit organization established by a shared private-public vision to improve mission-critical information sharing in justice, public safety, and homeland security, hosted a Congressional Briefing on Information Sharing and the Security of our Nation in cooperation with Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro. The briefing, held on Patriot Day, September 11, 2009, was attended by legislative directors and congressional staff, committee and sub-committee staff, high-ranking officials from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (U.S. Department of Justice), and representatives from major national public safety organizations.

Information is the lifeblood of effective public safety and homeland security. Sharing crucial information pertaining to justice, public safety, and anti-terrorism continues to be a national imperative. Terrorism, natural disasters, and other catastrophic events have exposed the shortcomings of government computer systems and their inability to share information across domains, between agencies, and amongst neighboring jurisdictions. The briefing educated participants on what the government and its private sector partners are doing to help the information sharing effort for the common good.

The briefing, moderated by the chairman of the IJIS Institute’s Intergovernmental Relations Committee, Steve Mednick, featured IJIS Institute President, Mike Lyons, speaking about “Connecting the Dots” in information sharing, as well as Maury Mitchell, director of the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center, who provided a presentation on “Information Sharing from the State and Local Perspective.” The session ended with a discussion on “National Initiatives for Information Sharing” presented by IJIS Institute’s executive director, Paul Wormeli. Several participants engaged the panel with questions about information sharing benefits, costs, and solutions.

Reflecting on the briefing, Wormeli noted that, “There is a fear in the information technology industry that information sharing – even as critical as it is to public safety and homeland security – will be overshadowed and undervalued in the coming years. I am pleased to have been able to put this crucial topic back on the Capitol Hill radar and I look forward to continued engagement in national-level dialogues on this vital topic.”

About the IJIS Institute—The IJIS Institute serves as the voice of industry by uniting the private and public sectors to improve mission critical information sharing for those who protect and serve our communities. The IJIS Institute provides training, technical assistance, national scope issue management and program management services to help government fully realize the power of information sharing. Founded in 2001 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation with national headquarters on The George Washington University Virginia Campus in Ashburn, Virginia, the IJIS Institute has grown to more than 250 member and affiliate companies across the United States. For more information visit www.ijis.org.

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