Science and Tech Chief at Department of Homeland Security to Solicit Ideas for DHS Goals

Reginald Brothers, the chief of science and technology at the US Department of Homeland Security has announced the launch of an online system that will be used to collect input from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in an effort to better plan for the future of the DHS.

Ideas, suggestions, and recommendations for the future of the DHS, including possible investments and other actions that could be taken to improve the Department’s efficiency, are being taken from agencies as well as from the owners and operators of certain infrastructural entities, universities, and selected industries in the private sector.

Possible 20 to 30 Year Implementation

According to Brothers, the goals that would be established from collecting the ideas and suggestions could take the next two to three decades to implement but would give the Department enhanced focus and clearer direction as they move toward achieving those goals.

The data is expected to be influential in determining what investments are in the best interest of the DHS in carrying out its day-to-day operations. The suggestions and proposals will be selected based upon their potential for refinement in conjunction with the priorities and policies that come from the White House.

Respondents Needn’t Be Experts

Homeland Security officials, including Brothers, have described the tactic, which is being categorized as crowdsourcing, as a first for the Department. However, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) did use a similar tactic by implementing web-based platforms in an effort to make itself more available and transparent to the public.

Brothers said that those who offer up suggestions and ideas are not required to be experts in any particular field despite the fact that invitations will go out to those only in certain sectors.

The Department, he says, is looking for feedback from individuals and institutions that are “creative and concerned about DHS’ mission space and innovation.”

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