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Homeland Security

Annual Fusion Center Assessment and Gap Mitigation Activities

DHS, in coordination with its interagency partners, Fusion Center Directors, and other fusion center stakeholders, manages the Fusion Center Performance Program (FCPP), which is designed to evaluate the capability and performance of the National Network of Fusion Centers (National Network).  A major component of the FCPP is the annual Fusion Center Assessment (Assessment).  

The primary goal of the Assessment is to collect objective data to:

  1. Communicate the value and impact of fusion centers in contributing to national information sharing and homeland security outcomes;
  2. Identify, assess, and monitor capability and performance development within fusion centers; and
  3. Define opportunities to improve the quality and effectiveness of federal government support to fusion centers.

The Assessment measures National Network implementation of the four Critical Operational Capabilities (COCs), which together are the foundation of the fusion process, and the four Enabling Capabilities (ECs), which are key enablers of the fusion process.  The Assessment also collects performance data that reflect the key outputs and outcomes that the National Network achieves through the implementation of the fusion process.  Taken together, the capability attributes and performance measures evaluated through the Assessment process and through other elements of the FCPP provide a comprehensive picture of the National Network in action and help guide federal, state, local, tribal and territorial partners in investing in those areas with the greatest potential benefit to the entire homeland security community.

The Four COCs

COC 1: Receive

The ability to receive classified and unclassified information from federal partners

COC 2: Analyze

The ability to assess the local implications of threat information through the use of a formal risk assessment process

COC 3: Disseminate

The ability to further disseminate threat information to other state, local, tribal, and territorial entities within their jurisdictions

COC 4: Gather

The ability to gather locally generated information, aggregate it, analyze it, and share it with federal partners as appropriate

The Four ECs

EC 1: Privacy, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties (P/CRCL) Protections

The ability and commitment to protect the P/CRCL of all individuals

EC 2: Sustainment Strategy

The ability to establish and execute a sustainment strategy to ensure the long-term growth and maturity of the National Network

EC 3: Communications and Outreach

The ability to develop and execute a communications and outreach plan

EC 4: Security

The ability to protect the security of the physical fusion center facility, information, systems, and personnel

Following the completion of the annual Assessment process, DHS publishes the findings in an annual report that describes the aggregate capability and performance of the National Network, as well as data-driven recommendations to further strengthen and mature the National Network.

Annual Fusion Center Assessments

Value of the Assessment

The Assessment is a critical component of a broader Fusion Center Performance Program that is designed to measure the capability and performance of the National Network of Fusion Centers over time.

Assessment data allows the federal government and other partners to better target resources to help fusion centers mitigate capability gaps, maintain those capabilities already in place, and improve performance over time.

Assessment data also informs state and local requests for, and allocation of, resources to address capability and performance gaps. Specifically, Assessment data forms the basis of fusion center-related Investment Justifications for the Homeland Security Grant Program.

Gap Mitigation

Federal, state, and local fusion center stakeholders share a common goal of supporting a nationwide capacity for receiving, analyzing, disseminating and gathering threat information. The purpose of gap mitigation is to assist fusion centers in fully achieving and maintaining their capacity to execute the COCs and the ECs.

The federal government focuses its support for fusion centers through the delivery and deployment of gap mitigation resources. These gap mitigation resources provide fusion centers with the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to enable the effective execution of the fusion process.

Informed by the results of the annual Assessment, both in terms of fusion centers' capabilities and of the effectiveness of federal support, the federal government identifies resources to effectively support fusion centers with mitigating identified capability gaps, sustaining existing capabilities, and improving performance.

By leveraging the resources identified, the National Network may enhance its capabilities in a manner that not only increases the efficacy and efficiency of individual fusion centers but also supports the development of an integrated National Network that shares information and expertise to mitigate risks to the Homeland.

Last Published Date: April 19, 2016

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