Bush creates new office to fight domestic terrorism

President Bush announced plans Tuesday to counter weapons of mass destruction through a new Office of National Preparedness at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Bush ordered FEMA Director Joe Allbaugh to create the new office, which will coordinate all federal programs dealing with terrorist threats and incidents involving weapons of mass destruction. Vice President Dick Cheney will oversee the effort. "Prudence dictates that the United States be fully prepared to deal effectively with the consequences of such a weapon being used here on our soil," the President said. In February, FEMA teamed up with five federal agencies to develop the Interagency Domestic Terrorism Concept of Operations Plan, which outlines how the federal government intends to respond to terrorism, particularly acts that involve chemical or biological weapons. It also provides guidance for federal, state and local agencies on preparing for and dealing with potential threats and incidents. The FBI and the Departments of Defense, Energy and Health and Human Services, along with the Environmental Protection Agency are also involved in the plan. The development of the new office will have no direct impact on the Concept of Operations Plan, according to Marc Wolfson, a spokesman on domestic terrorism for FEMA. "The vice president has been asked to lead this effort and they are going to be looking at everything," Wolfson said. "I'm sure they will be looking at that plan." On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State and the Judiciary began a series of hearings to examine the efforts of more than 40 different federal agencies with responsibility for combating domestic terrorism. In a written statement released prior to the hearings, Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., the committee's chairman, expressed concern about the nation's level of preparedness for such attacks. "Our lack of preparedness stems in part from the inability, and sometimes unwillingness, of the federal agencies to coordinate their efforts," Gregg said. The General Accounting Office released a report in March that found that government agencies are better prepared to respond to terrorist attacks because of FEMA's guidance.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.