Regional Information Sharing Systems

Gao ID: 126523 March 26, 1985

GAO reviewed three of the seven Regional Information Sharing Systems to determine if the Department of Justice recommendations for financial management improvements had been made and the extent and value of various services the projects provide to other agencies. To cope with the problem of transcending local jurisdictional boundaries while dealing with the operations of criminal organizations, local law enforcement agencies collectively upgraded their investigative and information gathering efforts and coordinated the collection and dissemination of intelligence information. Each project is administered by a board of directors from member state representatives and provides its state and local member agencies in all 50 states with centralized information on suspect organizations. GAO found that the projects implemented the management improvements and complied with guidelines issued by Justice. Two restrictions imposed by Justice prohibit project staff from carrying firearms and place strict internal controls over funds used to purchase information or evidence. In addition to information sharing, the projects provide other technical and financial services to member agencies and, in return, receive information from them. These valuable services support interagency communication and work to enhance the ability to investigate criminal organizations across jurisdictions.

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