Bacon Reintroduces Bipartisan Bill Bolstering Partnership Between DHS and Fusion Centers
WASHINGTON, D.C.- Congressman Don Bacon (NE-02) today introduced H.R. 504, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Field Engagement Accountability Act, which requires the DHS Secretary to develop a department-wide plan for engagement with fusion centers. Original cosponsors of this bipartisan bill include: Ranking Member Michael McCaul (TX-10), Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), and Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20).
“Our nation cannot afford gaps in information between local and federal agencies. We cannot allow information to not reach those that need it as a crisis develops. For this reason, I am reintroducing the DHS Field Engagement Accountability Act. Fusion centers facilitate information sharing and coordination between our country’s first responders and the federal government. My legislation ensures DHS increases its support to all fusion centers to fully leverage the capabilities in the Department’s missions. Last Congress, this critical legislation was passed in the House, but not considered by the full Senate. I will continue working to get this legislation over the finish line.”
H.R 504 will further bolster these relationships, using a strategy that includes specific goals and objectives for sharing information and engaging with fusion centers, and ensure metrics are in place to measure progress. This bill also calls for metrics to hold field personnel from the Office of Intelligence and Analysis accountable for their performance at fusion centers. Finally, H.R. 504 requires additional training and improvements for the classified and unclassified information sharing systems the Department makes available to fusion centers.