Functional Desks as Collaborative Mechanisms in the Michigan Intelligence Operations Center
Bustria, John Michael
Shenouda, Emnad (Al)
McDaniel, Michael C.
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Traditional organizational structures cannot fully confront all facets of terrorism. Addressing this threat requires different mechanisms that are more flexible than those of 'stovepiped' government organizations. Acting alone may bring failure -- at least a failure to communicate; but shared efforts, such as 'functional desks' can demonstrate the requisite collaboration between organizations with a common objective and similar functions to address the issues of terrorism. At the Michigan Intelligence Operations Center, three functional desks are established or proposed: Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources, Environmental Risk, and Border Security. Security partners involved in each functional desk do not just share common missions and goals; they also share unique resources and expertise. Information is also obtained through cross-sector collaboration with the private sector as security partners. The functional desks demonstrate the value of a collaborative arrangement among various participating organizations with distinct functions, contributing unique capabilities and resources to fight terrorism through information sharing.
This article appeared in Homeland Security Affairs (April 2008), Supplement no.2
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