DHS to centralize operations centers

The Homeland Security Department may consolidate several technology-rich operations centers spread across the Washington metropolitan area at the Nebraska Avenue Complex (NAC) headquarters campus it uses in upper Northwest Washington, secretary Michael Chertoff told the House Homeland Security Committee last week.

The department now occupies 38 separate locations the Washington area, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Chertoff said DHS' plans to merge its activities on a single campus "would not result in [complete] collocation within a couple of years."

Chertoff added that the department's operations centers, some of which are "to some extent, duplicative," had fallen under the gaze of department planners who suggested that they be consolidated at the NAC.

The result would be to "bring together and reduce the [unspecified] number of operations centers, so we can have a number of the components use a common operational center to deal with all of our emergency operations."

Such a consolidation would bring the department's senior leadership together in the same place during emergencies, which Chertoff said "would be a very positive development."

Wilson S. Dizard III is a staff writer for Washington Technology's sister publication, Government Computer News.

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