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This GAO statement focuses on government efforts to: (1) establish the Information Sharing Environment (ISE), a government-wide approach that facilitates the sharing of terrorism-related information; (2) support fusion centers, where states collaborate with federal agencies to improve sharing; (3) provide other support to state and local agencies to enhance sharing; and (4) strengthen use of the terrorist watchlist.
GAO's comments are based on products issued from September 2010 through July 2011 and selected updates in September 2011. For the updates, GAO reviewed reports on the status of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) efforts to support fusion centers, and interviewed DHS officials regarding these efforts.
This statement also includes preliminary observations based on GAO's ongoing watchlist work. For this work, GAO is analyzing the guidance used by agencies to nominate individuals to the watchlist and agency procedures for screening individuals against the list, and is interviewing relevant officials from law enforcement and intelligence agencies, among other things.