Recent events have highlighted as never before the strategic importance of information in protecting American lives and carrying out the fundamental purposes of government. The deadly terrorist attacks of September 11 have instilled in all of us a profound sense of urgency and a renewed commitment to ensuring that information relevant to our national security is gathered, properly protected, and shared.
Information technology is not a "silver bullet," but it is a critical asset that must be strategically utilized in support of the new counter terrorism mission of the Department of Justice. It is central to our ability to gather and share intelligence, prevent persons who are national security threats from entering the United States, conduct surveillance, apprehend and prosecute suspects, or any one of a number of our other key functions.
The challenges before us are daunting but not insurmountable. This Information Technology Strategic Plan represents a starting point for what will be a long-term, sustained, and collaborative effort to significantly improve information technology in the Department of Justice. A great deal of work needs to be done. However, with the continued help and support of the skilled and dedicated men and women who manage and implement our information technology programs, I am confident that we will succeed.