Congress – Open Letter – A Scalable Homeland Security Solution

Improving Homeland Security takes a simple Pie Chart

Great example of my vision – Thanks to Microsoft’s CoPilot Designer to creating this great image

Thank you for your service for our community and nation.

Terminology / Scope

Note: I am using USA-centric government terms (e.g., Congress vs. Parliament vs. Assembly, House of ___, Chambers, Council), but hear my professional heart, these work in other forms of government around this amazing earth.

One Guy’s Perspective

I have never been in a Congressional (or equivalent) office or on a Congressional floor. I got close, and I have watched C-SPAN on several occasions. Outside my wife, son, and I talking about politics inside our home, I hold my political perspectives close. I like watching the headlines and soundbites with a strong awareness of the consistent audience manipulation activities. I have read and encourage each of you to read: How to Kill 11 Million People by Andy Andrews. But two C-SPAN ah-ha moments caused me to include a chapter in my book on Converged Security Metrics.

  1. Watching three Congressional leaders incredibly skilled at researching, articulating, and then asking questions; two of the three had a significant technical background.
  2. Listening to multiple administrations’ Press Secretary broadcasts and was amazed at the low quality of challenging questions from the Press Pool. Never mind the low-quality answers.

You see, I had the privilege of taking journalism in high school with the fantastic teacher, Kelly McWilliams. She and Paul Harvey’s video on the topic taught me high integrity journalism. I did not say I was good at it, but I had a fantastic foundation to judge other people calling themselves
“journalists.” How often have I screamed in my head or blurted out, “YOU’RE NOT ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTION!”

A Solution to a Measurable Problem

I believe our government and its constituents would like to see a regulation or legislative bill introduced (ok, and passed) that would require the Administration’s (and Congress and SOTU) individual departments to provide regular metrics based reports to both Congress and the public on their maturity of their converged security and fraud programs.  Each session (say, quarterly) these are updated (and auditable by IG/GAO) to show either progress or “two steps back”.  We’re not talking about stats, actually metrics (think percentage) based on NIST and/or other industry resources.

Full disclosure, I wrote a book on this topic and wrote a chapter for Congress, but if you never use/reference/see my book, I’m okay with that.

Just envision C-SPAN video of various congressional meetings, that large poster boards of say, simple Red/Green Pie Charts showing where a department/agency is or isn’t when it comes to various challenges in their converged security and fraud programs.   This would have a major impact on moving federal government forward in a transparent approach when in comes to all areas of security, safety, fraud, waste, and abuse. 

It would save money on FOIA requests, save money on meaningless statistic collection and but also show where congressional appropriations should be focused on (The Red to fix and The Green to sustain).  This would flow over into accountability for existing funding (require metrics in all future bills) and even “downward” into the government’s supply chain.

Hey’s let’s call it the Joint Interagency Maturing Security Act (humor intended). You never know … any legislative (local, state, federal, international) member wants to chat; you know where to find. me. Let’s make it simple and post some place easy to remember like SecurityMetrics[dot]gov or securitymetrics[dot]co[dot]uk, for example. Get those big poster boards out that we see on C-SPAN behind the legislator desk and let us start moving the needle of government security improvements and thus homeland security.

Next Step

Glad to meet with you all and “whiteboard” the ideas.  

Just a little citizen, wanting to make a major impact,

Respectfully, Jim McConnell, Trophy Club, Denton County, Texas – A Voting Citizen

Normal Disclaimers