The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Office of Drug Information Management is responsible for overseeing the nation’s drug-related information systems, according to an executive order released Thursday.
The DEA’s Office for Drug Control Policy (ODCP) is the primary federal agency responsible for collecting and coordinating all federal drug-control policies, policies, and regulations, according the executive order.
The agency is charged with the management of federal drug information systems (and related information), as well as developing and implementing policies to promote public safety and drug control.
The Drug Enforcement Agency’s Office and Operations division oversees the management, oversight, and operation of all federal information systems.
The division includes all agencies that collect and manage data on drug-users, drug dealers, and users of illegal drugs, and their effects on the communities in which they live.
In a written statement, the DEA said the Office of the Drug Information Manager (ODIM) “provides support to the DEA to enhance the availability and effectiveness of all drug control policies, programs, and procedures.”
In a statement to ABC News, the Drug Enforcement administration added that ODIM has a unique role in coordinating federal drug control policy and other federal agencies’ information activities, and the department is “committed to the use of our information system to inform the public about the drug environment and to promote safety, public health, and public welfare.”
The Drug Policy Alliance and Drug Policy Action, a non-profit advocacy group, praised the move, saying the DEA’s move is “a critical step to modernize the DEA and modernize its drug control operations.”
“With this new department, we can now focus on building and strengthening the best information systems in the country,” said Paul Armentano, director of the drug policy advocacy group.
“It’s a good thing that the DEA is finally opening up its information management capabilities, because they’re really needed to keep us safe from drugs, drug cartels, and other criminal organizations,” Armentao added.
“As a country, we have to have strong and accurate information to keep our citizens safe.”
According to the executive summary of the order, ODIM “serve[s] as the primary repository of information related to the administration of the Federal Narcotic Drug Control Act, the Controlled Substances Act, and related statutes, and to the federal criminal law enforcement activities of the Department of Justice.”
The executive order also lays out a number of important steps the DEA can take to modernise its drug information management systems.
It outlines a number plans to address the problems identified by the DEA, including:”To expand access to and enhance the DEA Drug Information Program by expanding the agency’s use of federal information databases and resources, to increase and enhance its capacity to collect and share data, and, to create an Office of Data Management for Drug Information, to consolidate all federal data in one place.
To develop and implement a comprehensive plan for enhancing information technology and data security at the DEA.”
The DEA also called for the creation of a drug information portal, “that will allow the DEA community to easily and securely access drug information from other federal government departments and agencies.”
The order says that a drug-information portal “will be able to include DEA drug information and other relevant data, as well a searchable database of DEA data on law enforcement operations, data on seizures and arrests, data related to public health and safety, and data on the number of persons arrested for drug offenses in the United States, as the DEA currently does.”
The administration also recommended that the agency “develop and implement policies, regulations, and guidelines to implement a unified and interoperable system of data, reporting, and information collection for federal drug policies and programs.”
The new DEA drug-management system will be used “to develop and maintain an integrated drug information program, to support the agency in developing, implementing, and evaluating drug policy and information,” the executive orders reads.