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.