The Department of Homeland Security last Thursday launched an independent enterprise-wide office that will collect, report, and analyze statistics to aid in policymaking and decision making.
The Office of Homeland Security Statistics (OHSS) will replace the narrowly tailored Office of Immigration Statistics and expand data reporting to all department components with plans to release more detailed data regularly. OHSS will also manage the DHS Migration Analysis Center that models border encounters and immigration.
The overriding purpose of the new office is helping “evidence-based” policies, programs, and decision making, Karen Orvis, the chief statistician of the U.S., said at a DHS event to announce the standup of the OHSS.
DHS also created a new website for OHSS, which says “we will cover all DHS statistical data, including cybersecurity, emergency management, infrastructure protection, maritime, screening, terrorism and targeted violence, and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear.”
OHSS is led by Marc Rosenblum, who previously was director of OIS.
Rob Silvers, undersecretary for strategy, policy, and plans at DHS, outlined two changes that OHSS brings related to the department’s “statistical responsibilities.”
First, he said, is that the DHS is “centralizing our statistical activities across” the department’s six areas that include counter terrorism and homeland security threats, border security, cyber and critical infrastructure security, economic security, preparedness and resilience, and workforce development.
The second change is the adoption of “federal best practices for data reporting and analysis” for the timely release of data, Silvers said at the DHS event.
Rosenblum said OHSS data will be used for public reporting to including on immigration, which will be published soon with monthly updates.
“This is a big step forward for an office that until recently published data annually, a few years late,” he said. “So, we’re really upping our game.”