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BACKGROUND

The lntegrated Consortium of laboratory Networks (ICLN) was established by a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed in June 2005. Senior officials of Federal agencies with primary responsibility for current and emerging networks, as well as those with a strong supporting role, joined together to endorse the laboratory organizational framework. Signatory departments and agencies to this agreement include US Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Interior, Department of Justice, Department of State, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The goal of the effort is to create the basis for a system of laboratory networks capable of integrated and coordinated response to and consequence management of acts of terrorism and other major incidents requiring laboratory response capabilities. Establishing a laboratory network system to strengthen early detection and consequence management is consistent with Homeland Security Presidential Directives 9, 10,21 and 22.

The ICLN MOA charters two major interagency groups. The Joint Leadership Council (JLC) comprises senior leadership members from each of the signatory Agencies and is charged with assuring the appropriate strategy is in place to support an effective all-hazard laboratory response capability. The Network Coordinating Group (NCG) is composed of representatives from signatory departments and the operational leaders of the individual laboratory networks. The NCG is charged with promoting enhanced commonality and integration of network functions. While not directing the resources of any signatory Agency or the operations of individual laboratories in the participating networks, the MOA framework provides a most effective forum for integrating network operations and strategies. Under the MOA, DHS is charged with chairing the JLC and NCG.

ORGANIZATION

VISION

A coordinated and operational system of laboratory networks that provide timely, high quality, and interpretable results for early detection and effective consequence management of acts of terrorism and other events requiring an integrated laboratory response.

SCOPE

The ICLN provides a venue for the efficient coordination of analytical laboratory services for chemical, biological, and radiological events through inter-network strategic and operational planning, identification of accountabilities, communication and information sharing, resource optimization, and resource and response coordination.

OBJECTIVE-ORIENTED ACTIVITIES

ICLN representatives strive to establish methods for risk-based prioritization and to identify and address key gaps in coverage. The ICLN also aims to improve capability for "surge" requirements and efficiencies in laboratory method development and validation. Members of the ICLN drive toward the development of standards in quality assurance, proficiency testing, training, and information management and flow among networks. An overarching goal is to establish enduring governance policies that facilitate a coordinated and operational system of laboratory response networks.