H.R. 642 amends the Homeland Security Act to enhance the partnership between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Network of Fusion Centers. Specifically, the bill requires the DHS Secretary to coordinate with the heads of other federal departments and agencies to provide operational and intelligence advice to fusion centers and support their efforts to operate efficiently and effectively. The bill requires the Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis (I&A;) to ensure fusion centers have access to homeland security information sharing systems and that DHS personnel are deployed to support fusion centers in a manner consistent with the Department’s mission and statutory limits. The bill further requires I&A; to negotiate memoranda of understanding between the Department and state and local governments, in coordination with fusion centers, regarding the exchange of information between DHS and such centers.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jan 31, 2017.
(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)
Fusion Center Enhancement Act of 2017
(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to revise provisions concerning the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) State, Local, and Regional Fusion Center Initiative. The bill renames it as the Department of Homeland Security Fusion Center Partnership Initiative and changes references to "participating state, local, or regional fusion centers" to references to the "National Network of Fusion Centers," which is defined as a decentralized arrangement of fusion centers intended to enhance individual state and urban area fusion centers' ability to leverage the capabilities and expertise of all fusion centers for the purpose of enhancing analysis and homeland security information sharing nationally. (A fusion center serves as a focal point within the state and local environment for the receipt, analysis, gathering, and sharing of threat-related information between the federal government and state, local, tribal, territorial, and private sector partners.)
The duties of the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Initiative are revised to include:
The Under Secretary shall negotiate memoranda of understanding between DHS and a state or local government regarding the exchange of information between DHS and Network fusion centers. Such memoranda shall include:
the categories of information to be provided by the parties to such memoranda, the contemplated uses of the exchanged information, the procedures for developing joint products, the information sharing dispute resolution processes, and any protections necessary to ensure the exchange of information accords with applicable law and policies. The Under Secretary shall: (1) coordinate with appropriate federal officials to ensure the deployment to Network fusion centers of representatives of other federal agencies with relevant expertise; and (2) report to specified congressional committees annually through 2024 on the efforts of DHS components to enhance support provided to Network fusion centers.