The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) conducts the annual Fusion Center Assessment to provide a comprehensive picture of the performance of the National Network of Fusion Centers (National Network), measure the effectiveness of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant funding, and guide partners to invest in mission areas with the greatest potential benefit to the entire homeland. The Assessment primarily evaluates fusion centers’ adherence to selected performance measures. It also strives to ensure functional consistency across the National Network, regardless of fusion center size, scope, geography, or mission.
As a result of the steady progress since 2011, the 2015 fusion center assessment concluded that the National Network had reached maturity. This conclusion led to the closeout of measures focused on the National Network’s achievement of critical operational capabilities (COCs) and enabling capabilities (ECs). Beginning in 2016, the Assessment, focused on evaluating the National Network based on performance measures developed by a DHS-led working group of fusion center directors.
The 2017 Final Report recommendations focus on actions for both DHS and the fusion centers to enhance the performance of the National Network. The following overarching recommendations are derived by DHS from a more detailed list in the “Key Findings & Recommendations” section of this report.
- DHS should ensure that DHS-provided services and assistance (e.g., grant funding, training, exercises, and technical assistance) align with fusion center needs and priorities. The extent, timing, and availability of these resources should be communicated with fusion centers to minimize duplication of effort with other federal partners.
- Fusion centers should ensure their partnerships, staffing, and products align to their priorities, in order to support an increase set of missions. At the same time, fusion centers should consider how any changes in key mission areas result in change in resource alignment.
- DHS and fusion centers should work together to assess the restrictions that state and local laws and policies impose on many fusion centers in sharing analytic products on HSIN-Intel in order to understand both the opportunities and challenges related to information sharing processes and platforms.
- DHS should continue to find ways to enhance the data collection for the Assessment. This process should include reviewing the performance measures to determine the need to add new measures, adjust existing measures, or collect additional data to conduct further analysis.