No news yet on efforts by the DHS to establish a National Fusion Center Program Office for the purpose of Congressional oversight, despite a March 19 report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) saying:
"The establishment and operation of these offices will be of interest to Congress."
According to the Information Sharing Environment (ISE), a purveyor of the President's Information Sharing Council through which all 72 fusion centers in the nation are integrated, the Obama Administration moved the auspices of the ISE under Executive Office Control:
In response to the 9/11 Commission's Recommendations, the Congress passed and the President signed the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.. the law required the President to designate a Program Manager for the ISE and establish an Information Sharing Council to advise the President and the Program Manager on the development of ISE policies, procedures, guidelines, and standards, and to ensure proper coordination among Federal departments and agencies participating in the ISE.
Under the Obama Administration, the Information Sharing Council has been integrated into the White House policy process through the Information Sharing and Access Interagency Policy Committee (IPC), so that the important work of the ISC will move forward under the auspices of the Executive Office of the President.
One way to lure the program back under Congressional oversight: "sustainment funding":
Currently, funds from the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) and Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) are used to support state and local fusion centers. These grant programs are managed within DHS by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Grant Programs Directorate (GPD).
Apparantly, the $250 million allocated to fusion centers via Stimulus I won't last long.
You can receive a chunk of that stimulus money, while the fusion centers are still officially off the Congressoinal Books and in the Executive Office pocket, by applying for a Category 8 "Fusion Center support" competitive National Information Sharing Initiative grant through the DOJ's Bureau of Justice.
Call yourself a "local public and private entity, for-profit/commercial [sorry, no interns] org, nonprofit org, faith-based and community organization, institution of higher education, federally-recognized Indian tribal government, or a unit of local government that support national initiatives to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system," with the desire to "improve the functioning of the criminal justice system," through an "all crimes" approach and you're in.
Your focus should be on developing a program:
to enable fusion centers to improve support to smaller cities, towns, tribes, and rural counties in identifying public safety issues and providing information and analytical assistance to help the local law enforcement agencies more effectively prevent crime both within their community and across juridictional boundaries.
[You] will support the development of a nationwide strategy for implementation and support for intelligence-led policing methods to enable collaboration between fusion centers and local, state, and tribal partners. Preference will be given to applicants that target and address the needs of smaller departments and those with limited resources.
[Your] program will focus on identification of fusion center and local law enforcement partnerships that will implement collaborative technology solutions, evaluate results, and then promote business practices and technology solutions that can be replicated by other fusion centers across the country.
In other words, if you're a fan of Law and Order and watch 24, well-connected, are a people-person who can talk with small-town folk and you've a pre-crime idea that can go national, you, too, can receive up to $750,000!
Turning in your neighbor never looked so good .. in this economy.