Thursday, March 3, 2011

The DHS Information Sharing Agreements Process and Tools

Excerpt from U.S. Coast Guard Proceedings of the Marine Safety & Security Council magazine by Ms. Irene Hoffman-Moffatt, Senior Policy Analyst, U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Domain Awareness and Information Sharing.

The “One DHS” policy acknowledges that although the Department of Homeland Security is comprised of multiple components, it is nevertheless a single unified entity. This policy replaces the former “need to know” criterion for information and intelligence sharing with the new “responsibility to share” model, in which no DHS component should consider another DHS component to be a separate agency for information sharing purposes.

Information Sharing Access Agreements
Information sharing and access agreements (ISAAs) are vehicles used to exchange, receive, and share information from external (non-DHS) parties.

All ISAAs are subject to mandatory compliance review by the originating DHS component and the Information Sharing Coordination Council, comprised of action officers from various DHS components.

ISAA Repository
The ISAA Interim Repository is a database of more than 700 information sharing and access agreements between DHS and its external partners. It is a useful resource for exploring the breadth of existing DHS external partnerships, identifying existing agreements that satisfy current data needs, or to use as templates for future agreements. It’s currently maintained by the Office of Intelligence and Analysis Information Sharing and Collaboration Branch.

Soon, components will be able to perform searches independently using the Data Architecture Repository within the DHS Enterprise Architecture Information Repository. This web-based application will house the ISAAs along with other data assets, providing a searchable tool for the entire department.

ISAA Methodology Guidebook
The most current resource regarding information sharing and access agreements and the One DHS policy is the ISAA Methodology Guidebook. It presents appropriate policies, responsibilities, procedures, and other information needed to develop, coordinate, approve, execute, catalog, and negotiate disputes involving ISAAs.

To obtain a copy, contact the DHS Office of Information and Analysis Information Sharing and Collaboration Branch at, or call (202) 282-9400.

For more information:
The Maritime Domain Awareness Information Exchange:

The National Maritime Domain Awareness Coordination Office:

Full article is available at

Subscribe online at