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On the Government’s Growing Obsession With Hollywood-Style Command Centers
Posted on Aug 16, 2010
But the GAO learned that federal agencies responsible for transmitting essential data to the biosurveillance center aren’t doing so with enthusiasm, leaving it to rely in part on publicly available information, which includes news stories. The center’s “partners” also weren’t detailing personnel there with enough expertise to make it effective in rapidly detecting biological threats.
The National Biosurveillance Integration Center isn’t alone in its troubles.
Federal drug enforcement officials created the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) all the way back in the 1970s to collect, analyze and share information about narcotics traffickers and border violence. More than 20 agencies have representatives there. Yet requests for information from its own federal partners, some of them critical, have declined substantially in recent years, the Justice Department’s watchdog inspector general concluded in a June report.
Its ability to coordinate with state and federal bureaucracies “is inconsistent,” the report said. And the center did not keep an up-to-date list of all the other intelligence and fusion centers it should have ties with, nor did EPIC know if it had users in each of those facilities. The following quote, however, seems to say the most about the rise of such centers:
If only the federal government would create a command center for processing Freedom of Information Act requests. At least then there would be a single institution to hold accountable.
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