Feds reach out to states

Steve Cooper

Henrik G. de Gyor

White House officials want state officials, including chief information officers, to propose for federal funding information technology projects that would ease vertical integration in key homeland security areas.

The projects would advance integration in areas related to criminal justice, first response, public safety, public health and private-sector corporate security, said Steve Cooper, chief information officer of the Office of Homeland Security.

Speaking Oct. 28 at the annual meeting of state CIOs in St. Louis, Cooper said the projects must meet criteria such as taking three to six months to complete, costing $1 million or less and providing immediate benefit. The Office of Homeland Security would seek funding for any proposed projects that fit the guidelines.

"This isn't a competitive type of situation where we're trying to eliminate proposals," Cooper said. "Every proposal we receive, we will work with to make sure it meets with all of the criteria we are using to move it forward."

The projects likely would receive funding in fiscal 2004, he said. The purpose of the projects would be to provide seed money for larger projects the states could continue or expand on with their own funds.

The Office of Homeland Security already has received several proposals, Cooper said. For example, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement offered a plan to integrate federal intelligence assets with state and local law enforcement in the southeast region.

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