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GAO: National 911 Program Should Step Up Efforts to Assist States

A GAO report has found that while half of states are transitioning towards the Next Generation 911 program, more could be done to help remaining states address the challenges involved in implementing the program.

The nation’s legacy 911 program relies on aging infrastructure and does not accommodate modern communication technologies. The Next Generation 911 program, which all states should be working toward adopting, will offer improved capabilities such as the ability to process images, audio files, and video. Federal agencies including NHTSA, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Federal Communications Commission, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are all involved in supporting the implementation of Next Generation 911 through coordinating activities and administering grants.

Some of the challenges that states identified in limiting their adoption of the program include funding, evolving technology and operations, and governance.

The study found that while federal agencies are taking steps toward supporting states in adopting NG911, the program lacks specific performance goals and measures to assess its progress.

The national 911 program also plans to establish an interagency initiative tasked with creating a national NG911 road map. GAO found that the plan for this road map does not set out roles and responsibilities for federal entities, and does not clarify how the road maps’ objectives will be achieved.

GAO recommends that the specific goals and performance measures, roles and responsibilities of federal agencies and a full implementation plan should all be established.

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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