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Testimony of Under Secretary and Chief Intelligence Officer Caryn Wagner and Principal Deputy Under Secretary Bart Johnson, before the House Committee on Homeland Security, on the Office of Intelligence and Analysis' Vision and Goals

Release Date: 
May 12, 2010

Cannon House Office Building
(Remarks as Prepared)

Introduction

Chairman Harman, Ranking Member McCaul, and distinguished Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the vision and goals for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A).

This is my first testimony before the Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment since my confirmation on February 11, 2010. I am honored to serve as the Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis and Chief Intelligence Officer for DHS. I look forward to working closely with this Subcommittee and the Congress to lead and strengthen the critical intelligence mission of the Department.

The Office of Intelligence and Analysis Strategic Vision

I&A's overarching vision is to be the trusted leader in meeting our nation’s homeland security intelligence needs. This vision drives our core focus of strengthening the Department's and our partners’ ability to protect the homeland by accessing, integrating, analyzing, and sharing timely and relevant intelligence and information, while protecting the privacy and civil rights and civil liberties of all Americans.

I&A’s programs and activities align with the core DHS missions designated in our recently completed Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR). Intelligence and information sharing are identified as key activities for the Department in the QHSR. To that end, I&A plays a critical role to DHS’ success in all of its core mission areas: preventing terrorism and enhancing security; securing and managing our borders; enforcing and administering our immigration laws; safeguarding and securing cyberspace; ensuring resilience to disasters; and strengthening and maturing the Department.

I have spent considerable time reviewing the roles, missions, functions and alignment of I&A since my confirmation in February. Much of my review has focused on what I&A must do to enhance its support to core customers at the Department and to its non-federal partners at the state, local, tribal and territorial levels. I have also evaluated how I&A can improve upon the services that it already provides to the Intelligence Community (IC) and its interaction with Congress. I am focusing now on four main areas:

  • Creating a true homeland security information-sharing enterprise through greater focus on the state, local, and major urban area fusion centers;
  • Unifying and sustaining a DHS intelligence enterprise as the Chief Intelligence Officer of the Department;
  • Producing first-rate analytic products tailored to the needs of core customers, including to those not often served by traditional members of the IC; and
  • Establishing the program management processes necessary to improve the morale, efficiency, and professionalism of I&A as an organization.

In the last few months, we have made substantial progress in defining priorities, improving management processes, and determining the best structure for I&A to meet the goals that I have set forth. I would be remiss if I did not express my appreciation for the outstanding work and leadership of Principal Deputy Under Secretary Bart Johnson during his tenure as Acting Under Secretary; much of what I propose today builds on his foundational efforts. The following specific steps, already underway, will translate I&A’s goals into an organizational and program-execution reality.

Executing the Strategic Vision

Two basic themes drive I&A’s need for realignment: (1) the need for I&A to maximize support to core customers and; (2) the need for I&A to take better advantage of its collective resources.

I have also identified areas in which we can improve I&A’s organizational structure. I&A’s proposed realignment consolidates similar activities, invests more resources in areas of required core competencies, and frees up existing resources for new endeavors.

I&A’s proposed realignment establishes four core offices, three of which are supervised by a Deputy Under Secretary: Analysis; Enterprise and Mission Support; and Plans, Policy and Performance Management; and the fourth by a Director of the Department’s new Joint Fusion Center Program Management Office (JFC-PMO). The I&A Principal Deputy Under Secretary will have direct responsibility for overseeing the overall fusion center effort. We plan to forward a reprogramming action to consolidate the resources of the legacy State and Local Program Office (SLPO) into the JFC-PMO. We are also determining the relationship the JFC-PMO will have with the emergent National Fusion Center Program Management Office (NFC-PMO) directed by the White House.

I will now describe in further detail some of the key initiatives underway that support the four focus areas previously described: (1) supporting state and local fusion centers; (2) strengthening the DHS intelligence enterprise; (3) providing first rate analytic information to core customers; and (4) improving I&A management and processes. These focus areas are the guiding principles under which I&A’s goals have been established.

1. Supporting State and Local Fusion Centers

A primary role of I&A is to share intelligence and information with our partners at the state, local, tribal, territorial, and private sector levels. The state, local, tribal and territorial first responders and first preventers are the leading edge of the homeland security enterprise. The linchpin of our interaction with our non-federal partners is through stronger partnerships with state and local fusion centers. Fusion centers are a vital tool for strengthening homeland security, and it is I&A’s job to work closely with state, local, tribal, and territorial partners on some of the nation’s most pressing homeland security issues. Further strengthening this capability is a top priority.

We are continuing to expand the level of cooperation and information sharing with our state, local, tribal and territorial partners via a robust network of intelligence and law enforcement agencies participating in state and local fusion centers. Secretary Napolitano approved the plan to implement the Joint Fusion Center Program Management Office (JFC-PMO) on March 15, 2010. The JFC-PMO will bring to bear all the Department’s resources – not just I&A’s – to support information sharing among state, local, tribal, territorial, and federal law enforcement partners, as well as to coordinate relevant support from all DHS elements, not just from I&A. The Department is now considering how the JFC-PMO will align with the White House’s direction that DHS be the lead agency in establishing the National Fusion Center Program Management Office (NFC-PMO). I&A developed an implementation plan for the NFC-PMO with the assistance of state and local representatives and more than15 federal agencies. The implementation plan was widely coordinated throughout the federal government and will soon be sent to Secretary Napolitano for her review.

To leverage the capabilities of our non-federal partners, I&A has deployed 55 intelligence officers to fusion centers nationwide and plans to deploy a total of 70 officers by the end of FY 2010, with the ultimate goal to deploy personnel to all 72 designated fusion centers and assign 10 regional coordinators to the field. I&A has installed the Homeland Secure Data Network (HSDN), which allows the federal government to share Secret-level intelligence and information with state, local and tribal partners, at 33 fusion centers. Additional centers are undergoing facilities certification to be accredited to house HSDN. This burgeoning network greatly expands two-way information sharing flows between federal and non-federal homeland security partners. We are also partnering with the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and the DHS Privacy Office to provide training to federal, state and local fusion center personnel, to ensure privacy, civil rights and civil liberties are appropriately addressed in fusion center activities and products.

2. Strengthening the DHS Intelligence Enterprise

I&A is continuing to take concrete steps to promote a unified, collaborative DHS intelligence enterprise. Our goal is to make intelligence activities at DHS more integrated, efficient and effective, and to allow DHS, both headquarters and components, to give and receive better intelligence support. A critical tool in this effort is the Homeland Security Intelligence Council (HSIC), which I chair in my role as Chief Intelligence Officer. The HSIC is comprised of component intelligence leaders and other key officials representing a broad range of DHS activities that require intelligence support. The HSIC is focused on governance-level, DHS intelligence enterprise-wide objectives, such as overseeing the completion of the first coordinated, enterprise-wide analytic production plan, playing a leading role in reviewing DHS-wide protocols for disseminating Homeland Security Intelligence Reports and preparing an FY 2012 consolidated intelligence budget recommendation to the Secretary.

Another successful example of the power of the DHS intelligence enterprise is the DHS Threat Task Force (DTTF). The DTTF was established in the summer of 2009 to support the Zazi and Headley investigations. The DTTF is composed of I&A analysts and representatives from the DHS operational components and ensures that all the Department’s information and expertise is brought to bear on an issue or investigation. Last summer, the DTTF provided information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on hundreds of additional individuals who were determined to be potentially relevant to specific, high-profile cases. DHS reactivated the DTTF on Christmas Day, after the attempted bombing of Northwest Airlines Flight 253. We institutionalized this task force to focus and unify the efforts of the whole Department on mitigating terrorist threats to the homeland. These efforts have directly contributed to the effective use of watch lists and have supported Department programs for passenger travel analysis and airport screening procedures.

I&A recently completed a comprehensive set of Standing Information Needs (SINs) that uniformly document ongoing intelligence and information needs of the entire Department. These SINs improve DHS’ ability to participate in the IC’s collection management processes and the quality and quantity of information received in support of those needs, as well as the information I&A produces. In addition, since October 2009, our Collection and Requirements Division assisted more than 20 fusion centers in developing their own SINs, with the goal of improving the level of support they can receive from the Department and the rest of the IC. We are putting in place tools to ensure our analytic products adhere to information needs of both departmental and non-federal partners. These same SINs also provide the starting point for I&A’s planning and performance measurement activities.

3. Providing First Rate Analytic Information to Core Customers

I&A’s analytic programs now better align with the Secretary’s priorities and the Department’s SINs, and encompass those analytic topics that are most meaningful for homeland security. Our analysts – in partnership with National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and the FBI – address threats to the homeland from both international and domestic terrorist groups and actors and also analyze terrorist tactics, techniques, and procedures to inform the development of protective measures at home. As a result of recent trends, I&A is working closely with its IC partners to develop a framework for analysis of homegrown violent extremism that is consistent with protecting privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties.

I&A has primary responsibility within the IC to analyze, evaluate and disseminate analysis on threats to homeland critical infrastructure. Through our robust relationship with the private sector and partnership with DHS’ Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP), we routinely assess the impact of threats to industry and, with our IP partners, identify specific vulnerabilities and consequences that could result from terrorist attacks or other hazards. We are working with IP to improve the partnership and the utility of the products produced in this area.

Our border and immigration security analysts focus not only on terrorist threats to the U.S. on or at our land and maritime borders, but also address trends regarding travel, asylum and refugee issues and the rising violence on the Mexican side of the Southwest Border. I&A, in fact, uniquely supports the U.S. government’s efforts to identify, track, deter and prevent terrorists from traveling to the homeland. I&A’s role in preventing terrorist travel focuses on providing targeted intelligence analysis that leverages unique DHS databases and expertise, and on sharing information broadly within DHS and also with the U.S. government and foreign partners. I&A plays a key role in monitoring changes to and effects of global immigration and travel security policies, provides direct support to DHS asylum and refugee programs, informs Customs and Border Protection targeting rules and Transportation Security Administration screening measures, and produces unique assessments on alien smuggling and illicit travel patterns in support of the IC and other customers.

I&A also possesses a cyber intelligence analytic program. This team provides a national intelligence analytical framework in support of key cybersecurity customers, such as the DHS National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), the DHS United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), and the Industrial Control Systems CERT. We are working with partners in the community to collaborate on strategic cyber analysis, and we continue to determine the amount of analytic support necessary to the Department’s cybersecurity mission.

I&A also maintains expertise in the fields of health intelligence and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) issues to serve its departmental, federal, state, local, tribal, territorial and private sector partners. DHS is a co-founder, with the Defense Intelligence Agency, of the National Center for Medical Intelligence at Fort Detrick, Maryland, which focuses on a broad range of foreign medical risks that could threaten the United States. We use our combined research and analytic talents to produce all-source threat analyses on human health, agriculture, and food security to support DHS components – a recent example being the health intelligence we provided to support first responders’ relief efforts in Haiti – as well as federal, state, local, tribal and territorial government agencies and the private sector. Our analysis goes beyond just the science of health threats to address relevant foreign policy and socio-economic issues that could adversely affect homeland security operations and critical infrastructure and key resources.

On CBRN issues, our experts collaborate with their IC partners on broad-ranging assessments and national-level exercises; provide the threat basis for risk assessments that drive DHS policy formulation and detection and response programs; and provide practical insights to state, local, tribal and private sector partners on CBRN indicators they might encounter in the course of their operational and law enforcement roles.

4.  Improving Management and Processes

To ensure that I&A is able to meet the broad range of its responsibilities, I am placing great emphasis on strengthening its planning, management and performance oversight functions. I&A is making considerable progress developing fair and transparent policies and decision-making processes, aligning resources to priority missions, and assessing the efficacy of investments. I&A has established leadership-level policy, personnel, and resource requirements boards to improve the management of I&A’s workforce, programs and budget. As part of my commitment to improving management, policy development, and business processes, I&A’s realignment proposal establishes a Deputy Under Secretary for Plans, Policy and Performance Management (PPPM), as discussed earlier in this testimony. This new element will enable more streamlined and integrated strategic planning, programming and performance measurement, and budgeting life cycle processes. PPPM will further the Department’s intelligence mission by providing DHS intelligence enterprise and departmental information sharing management guidance by overseeing the Executive Directors of both the Homeland Security Intelligence Council and the Information Sharing Governance Board. For example, PPPM will be the focal point for our partnership with the DHS Chief Information Officer to improve departmental information sharing governance and establish enterprise-wide best practices.

The new Deputy Under Secretary’s responsibilities will include developing and unifying applicable strategies, plans, and policies for the entire intelligence mission cycle, leading to integrated DHS intelligence and information-sharing enterprises focused on mission and customers. PPPM will also develop a detailed I&A strategic action plan that will include a mapping of all organizational activities and performance management metrics to measure program execution and effectiveness. This, in turn, will institute valid metrics to measure success and create a systemic cycle that facilitates organizational improvement. Finally, it will serve as I&A’s primary focal point for intelligence policy planning and representation of the intelligence mission to the rest of DHS, the larger IC, and the national security policy community.

I&A's proposed Office of Enterprise and Mission Support is intended to centralize intelligence mission support functions for I&A, as well as the larger DHS intelligence enterprise. It is designed to maximize the effectiveness of our information technology knowledge management, counterintelligence, training, collection requirements, and external operations programs.

Intelligence training is a critical capability that will enable fulfillment of I&A’s strategic goals, and the proposed Office of Enterprise and Mission Support will build on existing I&A training successes. This program, which will be staffed by additional intelligence trainers, is intended to support the establishment of a culture of disciplined intelligence work in I&A.

Immediate Way Forward

These steps are a beginning, and I&A will undergo further refinement over time. I&A must—and will—continue to mature its management and business standards; move towards more proactive, collaborative and prioritized process planning and; ensure that all of its activities align with DHS missions and goals.

Conclusion

Members of the Subcommittee, I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the strategic vision for I&A. I&A has made significant strides, and we continue to adapt ourselves to the continuing emerging needs of the Department. I&A has a vital and unique mission, and we will continue to improve our strategic posture to more effectively support core customers.

I&A’s efforts to gather, assess, analyze and share intelligence and information will continue to be guided by the dual imperatives of protecting the country from those who wish to do it harm, and protecting our privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties. With your support, the leadership of Secretary Napolitano, and the fine men and women of I&A, I believe we can accomplish our goals and fulfill these imperatives. I look forward to keeping the Subcommittee apprised of I&A's continued progress.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your questions.

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