The DHS Joint Requirements Council: Priority Ideas to Acquire the Right Solutions

The DHS Joint Requirements Council: Priority Ideas to Acquire the Right Solutions

The DHS Joint Requirements Council: Priority Ideas to Acquire the Right Solutions

We offer several ideas for continued JRC initiatives:

  • Clearer communication to identify and prioritize enterprise needs that could best benefit from an enterprise focus is important. Creating the Information Based Screening and Vetting (IBSV) Sub-Team for the Biometrics System overhaul enhances knowledge management and information sharing to limit organizational inefficiencies. This team uses greater communication to reduce costs, acquire new technology more efficiently, and promote innovation
  • Quantitative analysis can pinpoint gaps at the enterprise level of the agency. Emphasizing quantifiable results from investment reviews can lead to better informed strategic investments for DHS. The Biometrics System project intends to identify and analyze the correct data to significantly decrease the potential for duplicate services

The JRC should continue to learn about and respond to each agency’s individual role with an eye towards the best enterprise solutions. The IBSV Sub-Team, through clear organizational definitions, addresses overlapping joint mission needs and Departmental oversight requirements without hindering DHS operations.

Identifying innovative ideas and making data-driven resource decisions through the JRC can increase organizational efficiencies. The DHS Biometric Strategic Framework demonstrates the importance of the JRC, its continued protection of homeland security, and its ability to formulate cost effective solutions that support the critical mission needs of DHS.

Biometrics are a key tool to help law enforcement and counterterrorism agencies identify threats in many mission areas – crossing borders, at airports, at ports of entry – related to critical infrastructure protection. Knowing someone's identity reduces threats for many homeland security agencies.

It is exciting to see the Joint Requirements Council (JRC) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) transform the DHS Biometrics System (IDENT) to identify pressing and evolving national security threats across the homeland security enterprise. With a Strategic Biometrics Framework, the system uses fingerprints, facial images, and iris scans to determine if certain individuals pose serious national security risks. This framework integrates new biometric capabilities across the Department, improving operational effectiveness and security – and it enables Unity of Effort.

In 2014, DHS re-introduced the JRC, an agency-wide group that identifies mission needs and helps acquire solutions with the ‘enterprise’ in mind – saving money and solving multiple missions concurrently. This Council, which includes senior leaders from each DHS agency, drives organizational change through projects, like the DHS Biometrics System overhaul, by evaluating organization-wide acquisitions and making Department-wide recommendations.

The JRC’s focus on the DHS Biometrics System underscores the importance of having an effective oversight process and a focused decision-making group to identify cross-Departmental needs.

Contributors

Michael Hoffman |

Michael is a Junior Associate at Arc Aspicio. He has previous experience working at the State Department and with non-profit organizations focused on the Middle East. Michael has an M.A. in Security Studies from Georgetown University, with a focus on International Security. He also holds a B.A. in Government from Georgetown University. 

Mr. Roboto: Your Newest Coworker

Mr. Roboto: Your Newest Coworker

Could your next cubemate be a robot? Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX founder, is building our future coworkers and forming a world filled with Artificial Intelligence (AI) that could “beat us in just about everything,” including our jobs. As Musk attempts to create a real-life iRobot, many advantages and a possible partnership arise with this future. How can the Government and Homeland Security prepare and welcome new technological advancements?

Data + Strategy: Using Data to Inform Agency Strategy

Data + Strategy: Using Data to Inform Agency Strategy

Understanding the types of data available, gaining access to the right data, and making sense of data are daunting tasks for most organizations as they develop a strategy to meet mission demands and enterprise-wide goals. Data is especially challenging for the Government, yet provides the opportunity for insight for leaders as they strategically move their agencies forward.

Workplace Morale is Going to the Dogs… Literally!

Workplace Morale is Going to the Dogs… Literally!

There are few greater feelings than a dog’s unconditional love. And some are finding that a dog’s love can help combat stress at work. Secretary Zinke of the Interior Department announced his intent for "Doggy Days" where he encouraged employees to bring their canine companions to work on designated days. More than 80 dogs arrived for first event and the overjoyed employees immediately scheduled the next.

Accelerating FITARA Compliance: Five Steps That Leaders Can Take Today

Accelerating FITARA Compliance: Five Steps That Leaders Can Take Today

Implementing change is not always easy, but it is always necessary. Federal agencies have been working to transform how they acquire and manage Federal information technology (IT). The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) in December 2014 has increased visibility into this transformation.Although FITARA enhances the authority and accountability of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in reviewing and approving major IT investment projects, CIOs continue to look for new ways to implement best practices at their agencies.

Combating the Rise of Transnational Criminal Organizations

Combating the Rise of Transnational Criminal Organizations

Crime, corruption, and violence – particularly involving drug, human, and weapons trafficking – continue to increase at an alarming rate in the U.S. Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) are a critical part of this trend and pose a serious and growing threat to homeland security – at our borders and beyond.U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is at the tip of the spear to combat TCOs. With the context that the first goal in their Vision and Strategy 2020 Strategic Plan is Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime, CBP is focusing on disrupting TCOs responsible for the cross-border trafficking of illegal drugs, humans, and guns.

Design Thinking: Putting the Citizen at the Heart of Lasting Change

Design Thinking: Putting the Citizen at the Heart of Lasting Change

For the past few decades, there has been a growing increase in the digital channels available to network with the Federal government. These channels have made it easier for the public to interact and elicit responses from elected officials.These growing interactions have increased expectations for Government to be more transparent and collaborative. From the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to the Department of State (DOS), Design Thinking transformations have begun to develop and modernize programs to be more human-centered. Agencies and programs beholden to serve the public good should logically adopt a problem-solving mindset that places the individual at the heart of any lasting changes.

Using Behavioral Science to Improve Mission Outcomes

Using Behavioral Science to Improve Mission Outcomes

Although behavioral science has been studied and applied within academia for decades, recently the concept has emerged everywhere – from Silicon Valley tech giants such as Google and Uber, to various Government agencies including the Department of Education, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Agriculture.But defining and applying such a broad and sometimes-nebulous discipline can prove difficult. What exactly is behavioral science? How can the Government use the concepts and lessons learned effectively?

Crowdsourcing to Improve Security

Crowdsourcing to Improve Security

Many of us are familiar with the idea of crowdsourcing. Corporations and the Government both use crowdsourcing to generate data, raise awareness campaigns, and produce ideas. So, what if we used crowdsourcing to enhance our security and bridge communication gaps between the Government and American citizens at the same time?

Homeland Security Managers = Innovative Leaders

Homeland Security Managers = Innovative Leaders

The search for and implementation of innovative methods to protect the homeland should play an important role in homeland security managers’ approach to how they guide their organizations. Citizens expect government leaders to propose and implement organizational, acquisition, and personnel management practices that enhance our nation’s ability to prepare for and mitigate potential threats. They expect these to make them safer and the nation more secure.