The Fusion Center Performance Program (FCPP) evaluates fusion centers' capabilities, including information sharing and supporting the Homeland Security Enterprise. It also strives to ensure functional consistency across the National Network of Fusion Centers, regardless of fusion center size, scope, geography or mission. Since its inception in 2011, the FCPP has helped fusion centers develop foundational capabilities, such as having key plans, policies, and SOPs. As a result of the steady success since 2011, the 2015 Fusion Center Assessment serves as a closeout of the capabilities-based measures.
The 2015 National Network of Fusion Centers Final Report provides the results of the 2015 Assessment from August 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015. It summarizes the FCPP findings on the capabilities and performance of the National Network and recaps its progress since 2011, setting the stage for transition to a performance-focused assessment.
Highlights from 2011-2015 include:
- National Network average capability score is 98 out of 100. The assessment comprises attributes that are critical to successful execution of the fusion process, regardless of the size, scope, geography, or mission of a fusion center. The average score across the National Network increased, up to 98.0 from 96.3 in 2014 and 76.8 in 2011. The near-perfect achievement indicates functional consistency in fusion centers across the National Network.
- Achievement of Mature stage. The 2015 Assessment found that the National Network has successfully reached the “Mature” stage under the National Network Maturity Model, signifying the network of fusion centers has the full capability to leverage the collective resources among individual fusion centers and adjust to both the changing threat environment and evolving requirements.
- All fusion centers have foundational plans, policies, or standard operating procedures (SOPs). Foundational documentation is necessary to guide operations, enabling fusion centers to execute the fusion process consistently over time and under a variety of circumstances. For two consecutive years, all fusion centers have approved plans, policies, or SOPs for each of the four Critical Operational Capabilities and a privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties policy.
- Key customers’ satisfaction with fusion center products and services continues to improve. Homeland Security Advisors, heads of state police and investigative agencies, major city police chiefs and major county sheriffs, state emergency management directors, and Special Agents in Charge at Federal Bureau of Investigation field offices rely on fusion center products and services. Satisfaction increased across all of these key customers, with overall customer satisfaction increasing from 68.7% to 74.3%. The most significant gain was found in survey participants reporting that fusion center products and services influenced their decision-making related to threat response activities, increasing from 59.7% to 70.9%.
Going forward, DHS looks to transition to a new performance framework that demonstrates the impact and value of the National Network, highlighting successes and identifying potential areas of growth. DHS has engaged with a working group of fusion center directors to develop this new framework that balances data sensitivities with the need to demonstrate performance, including what data is collected and how it is collected. This new framework will apply a limited, restructured set of performance measures - captured at the National Network level - against which individual fusion centers will also be able to measure their progress, strengths and weaknesses, all focused on outcomes of fusion center activities and their impact on protecting the homeland. These enhanced performance measures will help individual fusion centers highlight successes and identify growth areas to bring the right resources - including training, personnel and policies - to make steady and visible progress. The way ahead will also include fewer measures applied to the National Network as a whole than the FCPP currently has, with the goal of reducing and streamlining the network-wide measures to make them easier for the fusion centers to apply.
Working from the solid foundation of mature capabilities, this focused performance measures approach going forward will enable the fusion centers to concentrate their energy and resources to maximize their role as a focal point within the state and local environment for the receipt, analysis, gathering and sharing of threat-related information.