State CIOs say interoperability needs improvement
| 06.14.2006 | 07:16:01 | Views: 2599 | ID:
June 14 '06: During a recent gathering of state chief information officers, many of the country's leading information leaders said the country was not prepared any better for a national or natural emergency, even after last year's hurricane season, Washington Technology reported Monday. Attendees at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers "said they believe the federal government is no better prepared today than it was pre-Katrina. Only 21 percent agreed that the federal government is better prepared." Though there were exceptions - Washington DC and Utah were salient examples - many state CIO's believed that lack of federal funding to help state-based interoperability programs and coordination among the federal, state, local and tribal with the private sector were to blame.
The sentiment of state CIO's was that "Technology officials and their industry partners will need to fight harder to get governors' endorsements and legislatures' approvals for projects," WashTech wrote.Where there have been advances in interoperability and coordination. WashTech reported the goal for state officials and first responders was to create an "interoperable communications that let first-responder agencies in the same region communicate and share data through common systems and equipment." Cooperation from the federal government to help advance those goals came in the form of a survey given by the Department of Homeland Security from the Office for Interoperability and Compatibility which was designed "to assess communications interoperability capacity among law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services agencies across the country," Fire Chief reported. In Utah and Washington DC, the two areas of the country where leaders have said advances have been made in interoperability and coordination, the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002 added the "incentive" needed by local officials to boost their level of cooperation with each other because of the scope of the security situation then. In DC, local officials said that the nature of the town - that the federal government is located there - helped to push funding and that interoperable radio networks have been installed to allow regional first responders in the National Capital Area communicate with each other.
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