The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Intelligence & Analysis (I&A), State & Local Program Office (SLPO), is leading efforts on behalf of the federal government and the National Network to develop and implement a performance management framework, referred to as the Fusion Center Performance Program (FCPP), to capture objective, standardized data to evaluate the value and impact of individual fusion centers and the National Network as a whole in supporting national information sharing and homeland security outcomes.
The FCPP framework consists of three interconnected elements:
- Measuring the capability and performance of the National Network through a structured, standardized annual assessment;
- Hosting and participating in prevention-based exercises that test fusion center capabilities against real-world scenarios; and
- Mitigating identified gaps in order to increase capabilities, improve performance, and sustain fusion center operations.
Each element of the FCPP is evaluated, adjusted, and repeated annually based on findings from the previous year, as well as refinements of fusion center requirements, new and emerging national priorities, and the evolving threat environment.
Development of Performance Measures
In 2010, fusion center directors and the federal government jointly identified four Critical Operational Capabilities (COCs), which together reflect the operational priorities of the National Network, and four Enabling Capabilities (ECs), which provide a foundation for the fusion process. In 2011, DHS I&A, in coordination with federal and SLTT partners, developed and conducted an annual assessment of fusion centers to evaluate their progress in achieving the COCs and ECs and to collect additional data to better understand the characteristics of individual fusion centers and the National Network as a whole. Concurrently, these same partners began developing an initial set of five performance measures designed to capture key outcomes of the fusion process. These initial performance measures were finalized in early 2012, focusing on a handful of the shared benefits of the National Network, as well as shared responsibilities associated with supporting and sustaining the National Network over time. Baseline National Network performance data was collected as part of the 2012 Fusion Center Assessment and reported in the 2012 Fusion Center Final Report (2012 Final Report).
Building on the initial five performance measures, DHS I&A, and its federal and SLTT partners have since worked to develop an enhanced suite of performance measures that conveys a broader range of National Network impacts and benefits. This group focused on defining measures that would capture key quantitative outputs and qualitative direct outcomes. The foundation for this expanded set of performance measures is the National Network Logic Model (Logic Model), which graphically displays the component elements of the National Network business process and visually conveys the cause-effect relationship between these elements. It provides an overall understanding of how program inputs translate into activities, outputs, and outcomes. This enhanced suite focuses on defining “ideal” performance measures that most accurately and completely capture the intent of the logic model and the expected outcomes that the National Network influences. It is important to note that these performance measures are not intended to capture every output or outcome achieved by fusion centers. These measures focus on common National Network outputs and outcomes as defined by the Logic Model. Additionally, implementation of these performance measures will occur over the course of multiple evaluation cycles. Timelines for implementation of these measures are dependent upon the ability of the National Network to track, collect, and report performance data. Those measures for which data collection is possible will be collected against. Fusion centers and federal partners will work together to determine how and when to implement data collection mechanisms for the remaining measures.
The Performance Measures Definitions Guide (PMDG) provides amplified information regarding the Logic Model foundation and also includes expanded definitions for each performance measure, grouped by their respective output and outcome categories. Each measure definition includes the specific measure language; an explanation of the context, intent, and meaning of the measure; and a description of the data collection approach for the measure. Unless otherwise noted, the reporting timeframe for all measures is one year (from August 1 to July 31). The PMDG will be reviewed at least annually to ensure consistency of language, intent, and data collection methodology but also to enable the addition or reduction of specific measures as warranted.