As federal, state, and local governments assess new technology, they should begin by carefully determining what information and data is needed now and in the future in the war against terrorism, a representative of KPMG Consulting, one of the world's largest consulting and business systems integration firms, today told members of Congress.
"Agencies should be asking themselves: 'What information is available now? Can we connect what already exists? What don't we have? And how do we make all of this work together?'" said S. Daniel Johnson, Executive Vice President of Public Services at KPMG Consulting, testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Technology and Procurement Policy. "Otherwise, we will continue to be surprised by newly exposed problems and rush to solve them without regard to the bigger picture."
Since September 11, KPMG Consulting has been working with many federal agencies, including the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the Transportation Security Agency (TSA), as well as state and local governments, on homeland security-related initiatives.
Johnson stressed that homeland security should be treated as a challenge that shatters all of the assumptions of the past and affects all levels of government. The issue is to respond with a dramatically heightened sense of urgency as well as with unprecedented levels of interagency cooperation and information sharing, he explained.
Johnson voiced KPMG Consulting's strong support for H.R. 4629, which would establish a program to encourage and support unique and innovative anti- terrorism solutions. "The portfolio management disciplines needed to carry out the bill's intent will establish a solid and consistent framework in order to initially justify the value of the technologies being selected and improve the probability that these technologies will successfully enable the mission and goals of homeland security."
In the wake of last year's terrorist attacks, the federal government has put emphasis on overcoming stove-piped processes and a lack of coordinated information sharing between disparate government agencies and various levels of government.
"By taking a holistic approach to homeland security, government can leverage existing information and new technology solutions to help win the war on terrorism," Johnson said.