The government think tank will provide independent analysis on issues related to securing the homeland, many of which involve technology.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

April 23, 2004

3 Min Read

The Department of Homeland Security has selected Analytic Services Inc., known as Anser, to manage the Homeland Security Institute, the department's first federally funded research and development center. The government think tank will provide independent analysis on a variety of matters related to securing the homeland, much of it involving technology.

Homeland Security plans to spend nearly $130 million over the next 4 1/2 years on Institute research and operations, the department said Friday.

The department said it chose Anser from a field of seven companies that were evaluated by a team of government and private-sector scientific and technical experts for their management and technical approach, past performance and experience, subcontracting, cost, and financial capability.

An offshoot of the think tank Rand Corp., Anser was created in 1958 to provide independent analysis on national defense issues to the Air Force. Anser now provides analytic and technical support to federal agencies in a number of areas--including homeland security; technology evaluation, testing, and planning; aerospace science and technology program planning and management; modernization planning; and IS planning and acquisition.

Charles McQueary, Homeland Security's undersecretary for science and technology, says the institute will operate at the highest levels of classification and play a key role in providing critical analysis and decision support, and assessing, analyzing, and mitigating homeland security threats, vulnerabilities, and risks. The full spectrum of analyses--including operational assessments, systems evaluations, technology assessments, and resources and support analyses--will reflect an integrated systems approach aimed at helping Homeland Security set priorities and guide investments.

The Institute's activities will include:

* Systems evaluations to provide analyses that will support homeland security program planning and execution. These analyses will cover all stages of development and deployment: initiation and conduct of research; development of technology; testing, evaluating, building and/or acquiring, deploying and using systems. Included are systems analyses, risk analyses, vulnerability analyses and the creation of strategic technology development plans to reduce vulnerabilities in the nation's critical infrastructure and key resources.

* Operational assessments to relate to systems development, operational performance, and homeland security strategy while providing a basis for revising operational concepts and mission needs. Included are evaluation of the effectiveness of measures deployed to enhance security of institutions and infrastructure; design and use of metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of Homeland Security department programs; and, design and support for exercises and simulations.

Technology assessments to provide scientific, technical, and analytical support for the identification, evaluation, and use of advanced technologies for homeland security systems. Assistance will be provided to Homeland Security department as well as other agencies and departments by evaluating the effectiveness of technologies under development and assess their appropriateness for deployment.

* Resource and support efforts to develop methods, techniques, and tools, and conduct analyses that will lead to improved means for addressing resource issues including investment decisions and cost implications of pending decisions. Included will be the economic and policy analyses to assess the distributed costs and benefits of alternative approaches to enhancing security.

* Act analyses to provide technical evaluations that can be used to support department's determinations about candidate technologies. The Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act provides manufactures who develop homeland security technologies with limited liability risks.

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