Full text of White House proposal for Homeland Security Department

THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY The President's most important job is to protect and defend the American people. Since September 11, all levels of government have cooperated like never before to strengthen aviation and border security, stockpile more medicines to defend against bioterrorism, improve information sharing among our intelligence agencies, and deploy more resources and personnel to protect our critical infrastructure. The changing nature of the threats facing America requires a new government structure to protect against invisible enemies that can strike with a wide variety of weapons. Today no one single government agency has homeland security as its primary mission. In fact, responsibilities for homeland security are dispersed among more than 100 different government organizations. America needs a single, unified homeland security structure that will improve protection against today's threats and be flexible enough to help meet the unknown threats of the future. The President proposes to create a new Department of Homeland Security, the most significant transformation of the U.S. government in over a half-century by largely transforming and realigning the current confusing patchwork of government activities into a single department whose primary mission is to protect our homeland. The creation of a Department of Homeland Security is one more key step in the President's national strategy for homeland security. Immediately after last fall's attack, the President took decisive steps to protect America - from hardening cockpits and stockpiling vaccines to tightening our borders. The President used his maximum legal authority to establish the White House Office of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Council to ensure that our federal response and protection efforts were coordinated and effective. The President also directed Homeland Security Advisor Tom Ridge to study the federal government as a whole to determine if the current structure allows us to meet the threats of today while anticipating the unknown threats of tomorrow. After careful study of the current structure - coupled with the experience gained since September 11 and new information we have learned about our enemies while fighting a war - the President concluded that our nation needs a more unified homeland security structure. In designing the new Department, the Administration considered a number of homeland security organizational proposals that have emerged from outside studies, commissions, and Members of Congress. The Department of Homeland Security would make Americans safer because our nation would have:
  • One department whose primary mission is to protect the American homeland;
  • One department to secure our borders, transportation sector, ports, and critical infrastructure;
  • One department to synthesize and analyze homeland security intelligence from multiple sources;
  • One department to coordinate communications with state and local governments, private industry, and the American people about threats and preparedness;
  • One department to coordinate our efforts to protect the American people against bioterrorism and other weapons of mass destruction;
  • One department to help train and equip for first responders;
  • One department to manage federal emergency response activities; and
  • More security officers in the field working to stop terrorists and fewer resources in Washington managing duplicative and redundant activities that drain critical homeland security resources.
THE ORGANIZATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY The Department of Homeland Security would have a clear and efficient organizational structure with four divisions:
  • Border and Transportation Security
  • Emergency Preparedness and Response
  • Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Countermeasures
  • Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection
BORDER AND TRANSPORTATION SECURITY

The Department would unify authority over major federal security operations related to our borders, territorial waters, and transportation systems. It would assume responsibility for operational assets of the Coast Guard, Customs Service, Immigration and Naturalization Service and Border Patrol, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the Department of Agriculture, and the recently created Transportation Security Administration - allowing a single government entity to manage entry into the United States. It would ensure that all aspects of border control, including the issuing of visas, are informed by a central information-sharing clearinghouse and compatible databases. EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE

The Department would oversee federal government assistance in the domestic disaster preparedness training of first responders and would coordinate the government's disaster response efforts. FEMA would become a central component of the Department of Homeland Security, and the new Department would administer the grant programs for firefighters, police, and emergency personnel currently managed by FEMA, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Health and Human Services. The Department would also manage such critical response assets as the Nuclear Emergency Search Team (Department of Energy) and the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile (Health and Human Services). Finally, the Department would integrate the federal interagency emergency response plans into a single, comprehensive, government-wide plan, and ensure that all response personnel have the equipment and capability to communicate with each other as necessary. CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL, RADIOLOGICAL AND NUCLEAR COUNTERMEASURES

The Department of Homeland Security would lead the federal government's efforts in preparing for and responding to the full range of terrorist threats involving weapons of mass destruction. To do this, the Department would set national policy and establish guidelines for state and local governments. It would direct exercises and drills for federal, state, and local chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) attack response teams and plans. The result of this effort would be to consolidate and synchronize the disparate efforts of multiple federal agencies currently scattered across several departments. This would create a single office whose primary mission is the critical task of protecting the United States from catastrophic terrorism. Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Terrorism. The Department would be the lead agency preparing for and responding to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear terrorism, including agro-terrorism. The Department would unify three of America's premier centers of excellence in this field, including the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Department of Energy). The Department would also manage national efforts to develop diagnostics, vaccines, antibodies, antidotes, and other countermeasures. Science and Technology. In the war against terrorism, America's vast science and technology base provides us with a key advantage. The Department would press this advantage with a national research and development enterprise for homeland security comparable in emphasis and scope to that which has supported the national security community for more than fifty years. The new Department would consolidate and prioritize the disparate homeland security related research and development programs currently scattered throughout the Executive Branch. It would also assist state and local public safety agencies by evaluating equipment and setting standards.

INFORMATION ANALYSIS AND INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION

Intelligence and Threat Analysis. The Department would fuse and analyze intelligence and other information pertaining to threats to the homeland from multiple sources - including the CIA, NSA, FBI, INS, DEA, DOE, Customs, DOT and data gleaned from other organizations. The Department would merge under one roof the capability to identify and assess current and future threats to the homeland, map those threats against our current vulnerabilities, issue timely warnings, and immediately take or effect appropriate preventive and protective action. An important partner with the Department's intelligence and threat analysis division will be the newly formed FBI Office of Intelligence. The new FBI and CIA reforms will provide critical analysis and information to the new Department. Protecting America's Critical Infrastructure. The Department would be responsible for comprehensively evaluating the vulnerabilities of America's critical infrastructure, including food and water systems, agriculture, health systems and emergency services, information and telecommunications, banking and finance, energy (electrical, nuclear, gas and oil, dams), transportation (air, road, rail, ports, waterways), the chemical and defense industries, postal and shipping entities, and national monuments and icons. Working closely with state and local officials, other federal agencies, and the private sector, the Department would help ensure that proper steps are taken to protect high-risk targets. OTHER KEY COMPONENTS

State/Local Government & Private Sector Coordination. The Department would consolidate and streamline relations with the federal government for America's state and local governments. The new Department would contain an intergovernmental affairs office to coordinate federal homeland security programs with state and local officials. This new Department would give state and local officials one primary contact instead of many when it comes to matters related to training, equipment, planning, and other critical needs such as emergency response. Secret Service. The Department would incorporate the Secret Service, which would report directly to the Secretary. The Secret Service would remain intact and its primary mission will remain the protection of the President and other government leaders. The Secret Service would also continue to provide security for designated national events, as it did for the recent Olympics and the Super Bowl. The White House Office of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Council. The White House Office of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Council will continue to play a key role, advising the President and coordinating a vastly simplified interagency process. Non-Homeland Security Functions. The new Department would have a number of functions that are not directly related to securing the homeland against terrorism. For instance, through FEMA, it would be responsible for mitigating the effects of natural disasters. Through the Coast Guard, it would be responsible for search and rescue and other maritime functions. Several other border functions, such as drug interdiction operations and naturalization, and would also be performed by the new Department. INTERIM STEPS

The President - using the maximum legal authority available to him - created the Office of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Council in the weeks following the attack on America as an immediate step to secure the homeland. Since then, the government has strengthened aviation and border security, stockpiled more medicines to defend against bio-terrorism, improved information sharing among our intelligence agencies, and deployed more resources and personnel to protect our critical infrastructure. The White House Office of Homeland Security will continue to coordinate the federal government's homeland security efforts and to advise the President on a comprehensive Homeland Security strategy. The current components of our homeland security structure will continue to function as normal and there will be no gaps in protection as planning for the new Department moves forward. Preliminary planning for the new Department has already begun. The formal transition would begin once Congress acts on the President's proposal and the President signs it into law. The President calls on Congress to establish the new Department by the close of their current session - with full integration of the constituent parts occurring over a phased-in period. SPECIFIC EXAMPLES OF HOW THE NEW DEPARTMENT WILL MAKE AMERICA SAFER

EXAMPLE: REMOVING BARRIERS TO EFFICIENT BORDER SECURITY

Currently, when a ship enters a U.S. port, Customs, INS, the Coast Guard, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and others have overlapping jurisdictions over pieces of the arriving ship. Customs has jurisdiction over the goods aboard the ship. INS has jurisdiction over the people on the ship. The Coast Guard has jurisdiction over the ship while it is at sea. Even the Department of Agriculture has jurisdiction over certain cargoes. Although the Coast Guard does have the authority to act as an agent for these other organizations and assert jurisdiction over the entire vessel, in practice the system has not worked as well as it could to prevent the illegal entry of potential terrorists and instruments of terror. Consider this scenario: if the Coast Guard stops a ship at sea for inspection and finds there are illegal immigrants on the ship, the Coast Guard relies on the INS to enforce U.S. immigration law and prevent their entry. If the Coast Guard finds potentially dangerous cargo, it relies on Customs to seize the dangerous cargo. Unfortunately, these organizations may not always share information with each other as rapidly as necessary. So, instead of arresting potential terrorists and seizing dangerous cargo at sea, our current structure can allow these terrorists to enter our ports and potentially sneak into our society. The system might also allow the dangerous cargo to actually enter our ports and threaten American lives. Under the President's proposal, the ship, the potentially dangerous people, and the dangerous cargo would be seized at sea by one Department that has no question about either its mission or its authority to prevent them from reaching our shores. EXAMPLE: PROTECTING OUR NATION'S CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE

Nearly five million Americans live within a five mile radius of the most hazardous chemical facilities in the nation. Right now there is no single agency in the government whose core mission is to protect against and respond to an attack on one of these major facilities. Consider the current homeland security apparatus facing a non-citizen that intends to enter our nation and attack one of our chemical facilities. At our border, INS, Customs, Border Patrol, the Coast Guard, and others share jurisdiction over preventing this person's entry. These government organizations may or may not share information, which makes it possible that this potential terrorist might slip through the cracks. Currently, at least twelve different government entities oversee the protection of our critical infrastructure. These many government entities may or may not share all information, and state and local governments must work with twelve separate contacts just to help protect their local infrastructure. Under the President's proposal, the same Department that analyzes intelligence data on the potential terrorist who wants to attack the chemical plant would also be the same Department that can simultaneously alert our border security operatives, alert all of our hazardous materials facilities to ensure that they are prepared to meet this specific new threat from this specific terrorist, and alert all of the affected communities. EXAMPLE: COMMUNICATING TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

Currently, if a chemical or biological attack were to occur, Americans could receive warnings and health care information from a long list of government organizations, including HHS, FEMA, EPA, GSA, FBI, DOJ, OSHA, OPM, USPS, DOD, USAMRIID, and the Surgeon General - not to mention a cacophony of state and local agencies. There is currently no single organization with operational responsibility that could communicate with the American people in a clear, concise, and consistent voice. Consider another recent example. Information was provided to local law enforcement entities by multiple U.S. government organizations about potential threats to the Brooklyn Bridge, apartment complexes, shopping malls, the Statue of Liberty, subways and public transit systems, our oil and gas infrastructure, and our financial system. Under the President's proposal, a single government Department would communicate with the American people about a chemical or biological attack. The new Department would also be the organization that coordinates provision of specific threat information to local law enforcement and sets the national threat level. The new Department would ensure that local law enforcement entities - and the public - receive clear and concise information from their national government. Citizens would also have one Department telling them what actions - if any - they must take for their safety and security. EXAMPLE: INTELLIGENCE SHARING AND COMPREHENSIVE THREAT ANALYSIS

Multiple intelligence agencies analyze their individual data, but no single government entity exists to conduct a comprehensive analysis of all incoming intelligence information and other key data regarding terrorism in the United States. There is no central clearinghouse to collect and analyze the data and look for potential trends. Under the President's proposal, the new Department would contain a unit whose sole mission is to assemble, fuse, and analyze relevant intelligence data from government sources, including CIA, NSA, FBI, INS, DEA, DOE, Customs, and DOT, and data gleaned from other organizations and public sources. With this big-picture view, the Department would be more likely to spot trends and would be able to direct resources at a moment's notice to help thwart a terrorist attack. EXAMPLE: DISTRIBUTION OF KEY PHARMACEUTICALS

Potassium Iodide (KI) is a drug that helps prevent thyroid cancer in the event of exposure to radiation. The drug must be taken within hours of exposure for maximum effectiveness. Currently, if you live within a ten-mile radius of a nuclear power facility, the distribution of Potassium Iodide is regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The NRC is responsible for getting people this crucial drug, even though the NRC's actual mission is to license nuclear facilities, not provide emergency supplies to the greater population. Outside the ten-mile radius of the nuclear facility, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is responsible for regulating the distribution of Potassium Iodide. The Department of Health and Human Services controls the national pharmaceutical stockpiles that are to be sent rapidly into emergencies. And other government agencies would control evacuation of the emergency zone. To make matters even more confusing, if you happen to live within a ten-mile radius of a nuclear weapons facility, the Department of Energy controls the distribution of the Potassium Iodide. In the event of radiation exposure, states must currently work with three separate government organizations to distribute critical pharmaceuticals, organizations whose jurisdictions are divided by an invisible ten-mile border. Consider this possible scenario: the NRC and the state decide to distribute Potassium Iodide to everyone within the ten-mile radius. FEMA, however, disagrees with the state and decides against distributing the drug outside the ten-mile radius. In the middle of the NRC, FEMA and state decision process, the state and local governments decide to begin an evacuation. In the ensuing chaos, many exposed individuals might not receive the critical drugs they need. Under the President's proposal, one Department would be responsible for distributing Potassium Iodide to citizens exposed - no matter where they live. There would no longer be an artificial ten-mile barrier to treatment. This same single Department would also be responsible for coordination with state and local officials on immediate evacuation from the emergency zone. BRIEF HISTORY OF GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION

History teaches us that critical security challenges require clear lines of responsibility and the unified effort of the U.S. government. History also teaches us that new challenges require new organizational structures. For example, prior to 1945, America's armed forces were inefficiently structured with separate War and Navy Departments and disconnected intelligence units. There were no formal mechanisms for cooperation. After World War II, the onset of the Cold War required consolidation and reorganization of America's national security apparatus to accomplish the new missions at hand. America needed a national security establishment designed to prevent another attack like Pearl Harbor, to mobilize national resources for an enduring conflict, and to do so in a way that protected America's values and ideals. In December 1945, only months after America's decisive victory in World War II, President Harry Truman asked Congress to combine the War and Navy Departments into a single Department of Defense. President Truman declared, "it is now time to take stock to discard obsolete organizational forms and to provide for the future the soundest, most effective and most economical kind of structure for our armed forces of which this most powerful Nation is capable. I urge this as the best means of keeping the peace." President Truman's goals were achieved with the National Security Act of 1947 and subsequent amendments in 1949 and 1958. The legislation consolidated the separate military Departments into the Department of Defense with a civilian secretary solely in charge, established a Central Intelligence Agency to coordinate all foreign intelligence collection and analysis, and created the National Security Council in the White House to coordinate all foreign and defense policy efforts. This reorganization of America's national security establishment was crucial to overcoming the enormous threat we faced in the Cold War and holds important lessons for our approach to the terrorist threat we face today. THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Terrorists today can strike at any place, at any time, and with virtually any weapon. This is a permanent condition and these new threats require our country to design a new homeland security structure. The United States faced an enormous threat during the Cold War. We created a national security strategy to deter and defeat the organized military forces of the Soviet bloc. We emerged victorious from this dangerous period in our history because we organized our national security institutions and prepared ourselves to meet the threat arrayed against us. The United States is under attack from a new kind of enemy - one that hopes to employ terror against innocent civilians to undermine their confidence in our institutions and our way of life. Once again we must organize and prepare ourselves to meet a new and dangerous threat. Careful study of the current structure - coupled with the experience gained since September 11 and new information we have learned about our enemies while fighting a war - has led the President to conclude that our nation needs a more robust and unified homeland security structure. Mission of the New Department

The mission of the Department of Homeland Security would be to:

  • Prevent terrorist attacks within the United States;
  • Reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism; and
  • Minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do occur.
The Department of Homeland Security would mobilize and focus the resources of the federal government, state and local governments, the private sector, and the American people to accomplish its mission. Organization

The creation of the Department of Homeland Security would empower a single Cabinet official whose primary mission is to protect the American homeland from terrorism. The Department of Homeland Security would have a clear, efficient organizational structure with four divisions.

  • Border and Transportation Security
  • Emergency Preparedness and Response
  • Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Countermeasures
  • Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection
Even after creation of the new Department, homeland security will still involve the efforts of other Cabinet departments. The Department of Justice and the FBI, for example, will remain the lead law enforcement agencies for preventing terrorist attacks. The Department of Defense will continue to play a crucial support role in the case of a catastrophic terrorist incident. The Department of Transportation will continue to be responsible for highway and rail safety, and air traffic control. The CIA will continue to gather and analyze overseas intelligence. Homeland security will continue to require interagency coordination, and the President will still need a close adviser on homeland security related issues. Accordingly, the President intends a strong continuing role for the White House Office of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Council. ORGANIZATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Border and Transportation Security

Securing our nation's air, land, and sea borders is a difficult yet critical task. The United States has 5,525 miles of border with Canada and 1,989 miles with Mexico. Our maritime border includes 95,000 miles of shoreline, and a 3.4 million square mile exclusive economic zone. Each year, more than 500 million people cross the borders into the United States, some 330 million of whom are non-citizens. The Department of Homeland Security would be responsible for securing our nation's borders and transportation systems, which straddle 350 official ports of entry and connect our homeland to the rest of the world. The tasks of managing our borders and securing our transportation systems are directly related - indeed, at our international airports and seaports they are inseparable. The Department would manage who and what enters our homeland, and work to prevent the entry of terrorists and the instruments of terrorism while simultaneously ensuring the speedy flow of legitimate traffic. It would be the single federal Department in charge of all ports of entry, including security and inspection operations, and would manage and coordinate port of entry activities of other federal departments and agencies. The Department would lead efforts to create a border of the future that provides greater security through better intelligence, coordinated national efforts, and unprecedented international cooperation against terrorists, the instruments of terrorism, and other international threats. At the same time, it would help ensure that this border of the future better serves the needs of legitimate travelers and industry through improved efficiency. The Department would lead work toward a state-of-the-art visa system, one in which visitors are identifiable by biometric information that is gathered during the visa application process. It would ensure that information is shared between databases of border management, law enforcement, and intelligence community agencies so that individuals who pose a threat to America are denied entry to the United States. It would also lead efforts to deploy an automated entry-exit system that would verify compliance with entry conditions, student status such as work limitations and duration of stay, for all categories of visas. To carry out its border security mission the Department would incorporate the United States Customs Service (currently part of the Department of Treasury), the Immigration and Naturalization Service and Border Patrol (Department of Justice), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (Department of Agriculture), and the Transportation Security Administration (Department of Transportation). The Department would also incorporate the Federal Protective Service (General Services Administration) to perform the additional function of protecting government buildings, a task closely related to the Department's infrastructure protection responsibilities. The Department would secure our nation's transportation systems, which move people from our borders to anywhere in the country within hours. The recently created Transportation Security Administration, which would become part of the new Department, has statutory responsibility for security of all modes of transportation and directly employs airport security and law enforcement personnel. Tools it uses include intelligence, regulation, enforcement, inspection, and screening and education of carriers, passengers and shippers. Its present focus on aviation security will not slow the government's pace in addressing the security needs of other transportation modes. The incorporation of TSA into the new Department will allow the Department of Transportation to remain focused on its core mandate of ensuring that the nation has a robust and efficient transportation infrastructure that keeps pace with modern technology and the nation's demographic and economic growth. United States Coast Guard. In order to secure our nation's territorial waters, including our ports and waterways, the Department would assume authority over the United States Coast Guard, which would maintain its existing independent identity as a military organization under the leadership of the Commandant of the Coast Guard. Upon declaration of war or when the President so directs, the Coast Guard would operate as an element of the Department of Defense, consistent with existing law. The U.S. Coast Guard is charged with regulatory, law enforcement, humanitarian, and emergency response duties. It is responsible for the safety and security of America's inland waterways, ports, and harbors; more than 95,000 miles of U.S. coastlines; U.S. territorial seas; 3.4 million square miles of ocean defining our Exclusive Economic Zones; as well as other maritime regions of importance to the United States. The Coast Guard has command responsibilities for countering potential threats to America's coasts, ports, and inland waterways through numerous port security, harbor defense, and coastal warfare operations and exercises. In the name of port security specifically, the Coast Guard has broad authority in the nation's ports as "Captain of the Port." Recently the Coast Guard has worked to establish near shore and port domain awareness, and to provide an offshore force gathering intelligence and interdicting suspicious vessels prior to reaching U.S. shores. Immigration and Visa Services. The new Department of Homeland Security would include the INS and would, consistent with the President's long-standing position, separate immigration services from immigration law enforcement. The Department would build an immigration services organization that would administer our immigration law in an efficient, fair, and humane manner. The new Department would assume the legal authority to issue visas to foreign nationals and admit them into the country. The State Department, working through the United States embassies and consulates abroad, would continue to administer the visa application and issuance process. The Department would make certain that America continues to welcome visitors and those who seek opportunity within our shores while excluding terrorists and their supporters. Emergency Preparedness and Response

We cannot assume that we can prevent all acts of terror and therefore must also prepare to minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do occur. As September 11 showed, the consequences of terrorism can be far-reaching and diverse. The Department of Homeland Security would ensure the preparedness of our nation's emergency response professionals, provide the federal government's response, and aid America's recovery from terrorist attacks and natural disasters. To fulfill these missions, the Department of Homeland Security would build upon the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as one of its key components. It would continue FEMA's efforts to reduce the loss of life and property and to protect our nation's institutions from all types of hazards through a comprehensive, risk-based, all-hazards emergency management program of preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery. And it will continue to change the emergency management culture from one that reacts to terrorism and other disasters, to one that proactively helps communities and citizens avoid becoming victims. In terms of preparedness, the Department would assume authority over federal grant programs for local and state first responders such as firefighters, police, and emergency medical personnel. Various offices in the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency currently manage those programs. In addition, the Department would develop and manage a national training and evaluation system to design curriculums, set standards, evaluate, and reward performance in local, state, and federal training efforts. The Department would continue FEMA's practice of focusing on risk mitigation in advance of emergencies by promoting the concept of disaster-resistant communities. It would continue current federal support for local government efforts that promote structures and communities that have a reduced chance of being impacted by disasters. It would bring together private industry, the insurance sector, mortgage lenders, the real estate industry, homebuilding associations, citizens, and others to create model communities in high-risk areas. The Department would have responsibility for federal emergency response efforts. It would lead our national response to a biological attack, direct the Nuclear Emergency Search Teams, Radiological Emergency Response Team, Radiological Assistance Program, Domestic Emergency Support Team, National Pharmaceutical Stockpile, and the National Disaster Medical System, and manage the Metropolitan Medical Response System. The Department would also coordinate the involvement of other federal response assets such as the National Guard in the event of a major incident. The consequences of a terrorist attack are wide-ranging and can include: loss of life and health, destruction of families, fear and panic, loss of confidence in government, destruction of property, and disruption of commerce and financial markets. The Department would lead federal efforts to promote recovery from terrorist attacks and natural disasters. The Department would maintain FEMA's procedures for aiding recovery from natural and terrorist disasters. Incident Management. The Department would work with federal, state, and local public safety organizations to build a comprehensive national incident management system for response to terrorist incidents and natural disasters. This system would clarify and streamline federal incident management procedures, eliminating the artificial distinction between "crisis management" and "consequence management." The Department would consolidate existing federal government emergency response plans - namely the Federal Response Plan, the National Contingency Plan, the U.S. government Interagency Domestic Terrorism Concept of Operations Plan, and the Federal Radiological Emergency Response Plan - into one genuinely all-hazard plan. In time of emergency, the Department would manage and coordinate federal entities supporting local and state emergency response efforts. Interoperable Communications. In the aftermath of any major terrorist attack, emergency response efforts would likely involve hundreds of offices from across the government and the country. It is crucial for response personnel to have and use equipment and systems that allow them to communicate with one another. The current system has not yet supplied the emergency response community with the technology that it needs for this mission. The new Department of Homeland Security would make this a top priority. Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Countermeasures

The knowledge, technology, and material needed to build weapons of mass destruction are spreading inexorably. If our enemies acquire these weapons and the means to deliver them, they will use them potentially with consequences far more devastating than those we suffered on September 11. The Department of Homeland Security would lead the federal government's efforts in preparing for and responding to the full range of terrorist threats involving weapons of mass destruction. To do this, the Department would set national policy and establish guidelines for state and local governments. It would direct exercises and drills for federal, state, and local chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) response teams and plans. The result of this effort would be to consolidate and synchronize the disparate efforts of multiple federal agencies currently scattered across several departments. This would create a single office whose primary mission is the critical task of protecting the United States from catastrophic terrorism. The Department would be responsible for several distinct capabilities and institutions that focus on specific elements of this mission. The Department would unify much of the federal government's efforts to develop and implement scientific and technological countermeasures to CBRN terrorist threats. The Department would also provide direction and establish priorities for national research and development, for related tests and evaluations, and for the development and procurement of new technology and equipment to counter the CBRN threat. The Department would incorporate and focus the intellectual energy and extensive capacity of several important scientific institutions, including Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (currently part of the Department of Energy) and the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (Department of Agriculture). The Department would unify our defenses against human, animal, and plant diseases that could be used as terrorist weapons. The Department would sponsor outside research, development, and testing to invent new vaccines, antidotes, diagnostics, and therapies against biological and chemical warfare agents; to recognize, identify, and confirm the occurrence of an attack; and to minimize the morbidity and mortality caused by any biological or chemical agent. The Department would unify our defenses against agricultural terrorism - the malicious use of plant or animal pathogens to cause disease in the agricultural sector. The Department would exclude agricultural pests and diseases at the border. It would strengthen national research programs and surveillance systems to shield agriculture from natural or deliberately induced pests or disease. Working with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services, it would also that ensure rigorous inspection and quality assurance programs protect the food supply from farm to fork. Science & Technology Agenda. In the war against terrorism, America's vast science and technology base provides us with a key advantage. The Department would press this advantage with a national research and development enterprise for homeland security comparable in emphasis and scope to that which has supported the national security community for more than fifty years. This is appropriate, given the scale of the mission and the catastrophic potential of the threat. Many of the needed systems would be potentially continental in scope, and thus the technologies must scale appropriately, in terms of complexity, operation, and sustainability. This research and development would be driven by a constant examination of the nation's vulnerabilities, constant testing of our security systems, and a constant evaluation of the threat and its weaknesses. The emphasis within this enterprise would be on catastrophic terrorism - threats to the security of our homeland that would result in large-scale loss of life and major economic impact. It would be aimed at both evolutionary improvements to current capabilities as well as the development of revolutionary new capabilities. The following are examples of the types of research and development projects that the Department would pursue with its scientific assets.

  • Preventing importation of nuclear weapons and material. The Department of Homeland Security would make defeating this threat a top priority of its research and development efforts. This nuclear denial program would develop and deploy new technologies and systems for safeguarding nuclear material stockpiles and for detecting the movement of those materials. In particular, it would focus on better detection of illicit nuclear material transport on the open seas, at U.S. ports of entry, and throughout the national transportation system.
  • Detecting bioterrorist attacks. The anthrax attacks of October 2001 proved that quick recognition of biological terrorism is crucial to saving lives. The Department of Homeland Security would lead efforts to develop, deploy, manage, and maintain a national system for detecting the use of biological agents within the United States. This system would consist of a national public health data surveillance system to monitor public and private databases for indications that a bioterrorist attack has occurred, as well as a sensor network to detect and report the release of bioterrorist pathogens in densely populated areas.
The technologies developed must not only make us safer, but also make our daily lives better. While protecting against the rare event, they should also enhance the commonplace. Thus, the technologies developed for homeland security should fit well within our physical and economic infrastructure, and our national habits. System performance must balance the risks associated with the threat against the impact of false alarms and impediments to our way of life.

Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection

The Department of Homeland Security would merge under one roof the capability to identify and assess current and future threats to the homeland, map those threats against our current vulnerabilities, inform the President, issue timely warnings, and immediately take or effect appropriate preventive and protective action.

Threat Analysis and Warning. Actionable intelligence is essential for preventing acts of terrorism. The timely and thorough analysis and dissemination of information about terrorists and their activities will improve the government's ability to disrupt and prevent terrorist acts and to provide useful warning to the private sector and our population. Currently, the U.S. government has no institution primarily dedicated to analyzing systematically all information and intelligence on potential terrorist threats within the United States, such as the Central Intelligence Agency performs regarding terrorist threats abroad. The Department of Homeland Security, working together with enhanced capabilities in other agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation would make America safer by pulling together information and intelligence from a variety of sources. The prevention of terrorist acts requires a proactive approach that will enhance the capability of policymakers and law enforcement personnel to preempt terrorist plots and warn appropriate sectors. The Department would fuse and analyze legally accessible information from multiple available sources pertaining to terrorist threats to the homeland to provide early warning of potential attacks. This information includes foreign intelligence, law enforcement information, and publicly available information. The Department would be a full partner and consumer of all intelligence-generating agencies, such as the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the FBI. By obtaining and analyzing this information, the Department would have the ability to view the dangers facing the homeland comprehensively, ensure that the President is briefed on relevant information, and take necessary protective action. The Attorney General recently revised the guidelines governing how the FBI gathers information and conducts investigations. The new guidelines reflect the President's commitment to preventing terrorism by allowing the FBI to intervene and investigate promptly, while also protecting American's constitutional rights, when information suggests the possibility of terrorism. The revised guidelines empower FBI agents with new investigative authority at the early stage of preliminary inquiries, as well as the ability to search public sources for information on future terrorist threats. The FBI can now identify and track foreign terrorists by combining information obtained from lawful sources, such as foreign intelligence and commercial data services, with the information derived from FBI investigations. In addition, the revised guidelines removed a layer of "red tape" by allowing FBI field offices to approve and renew terrorism enterprise investigations rather than having to obtain approval from headquarters. The Department of Homeland Security would complement the FBI's enhanced emphasis on counterterrorism law enforcement by ensuring that information from the FBI is analyzed side-by-side with all other intelligence. The Department and the Bureau would ensure cooperation by instituting standard operating procedures to ensure the free and secure flow of information and exchanging personnel as appropriate. The Department's threat analysis and warning functions would support the President and, as he directs, other national decision-makers responsible for securing the homeland from terrorism. It would coordinate and, as appropriate, consolidate the federal government's lines of communication with state and local public safety agencies and with the private sector, creating a coherent and efficient system for conveying actionable intelligence and other threat information. The Department would administer the Homeland Security Advisory System and be responsible for public alerts. The Department of Homeland Security would translate analysis into action in the shortest possible time - a critical factor in preventing or mitigating terrorist attacks, particularly those involving weapons of mass destruction. Because of the central importance of this mission, the Department would build excellence in its threat analysis and warning function, not only in terms of personnel, but also in terms of technological capabilities. This proposal fully reflects the President's absolute commitment to safeguard our way of life, including the integrity of our democratic political system and the essential elements of our individual liberty. The Department of Homeland Security will not become a domestic intelligence agency. Critical Infrastructure Protection. The attacks of September 11 highlighted the fact that terrorists are capable of causing enormous damage to our country by attacking our critical infrastructure - those assets, systems, and functions vital to our national security, governance, public health and safety, economy, and national morale. The Department of Homeland Security would coordinate a national effort to secure America's critical infrastructure. Protecting America's critical infrastructure is the shared responsibility of federal, state, and local government, in active partnership with the private sector, which owns approximately 85 percent of our nation's critical infrastructure. The new Department of Homeland Security will concentrate this partnership in a single government agency responsible for coordinating a comprehensive national plan for protecting our infrastructure. The Department will give state, local, and private entities one primary contact instead of many for coordinating protection activities with the federal government, including vulnerability assessments, strategic planning efforts, and exercises. The Department would build and maintain a comprehensive assessment of our nation's infrastructure sectors: food, water, agriculture, health systems and emergency services, energy (electrical, nuclear, gas and oil, dams), transportation (air, road, rail, ports, waterways), information and telecommunications, banking and finance, energy, transportation, chemical, defense industry, postal and shipping, and national monuments and icons. The Department would develop and harness the best modeling, simulation, and analytic tools to prioritize effort, taking as its foundation the National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center (currently part of the Department of Energy). The Department would direct or coordinate action to protect significant vulnerabilities, particularly targets with catastrophic potential such as nuclear power plants, chemical facilities, pipelines, and ports, and would establish policy for standardized, tiered protective measures tailored to the target and rapidly adjusted to the threat. Our nation's information and telecommunications systems are directly connected to many other critical infrastructure sectors, including banking and finance, energy, and transportation. The consequences of an attack on our cyber infrastructure can cascade across many sectors, causing widespread disruption of essential services, damaging our economy, and imperiling public safety. The speed, virulence, and maliciousness of cyber attacks have increased dramatically in recent years. Accordingly, the Department of Homeland Security would place an especially high priority on protecting our cyber infrastructure from terrorist attack by unifying and focusing the key cyber security activities performed by the Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office (currently part of the Department of Commerce) and the National Infrastructure Protection Center (FBI). The Department would augment those capabilities with the response functions of the Federal Computer Incident Response Center (General Services Administration). Because our information and telecommunications sectors are increasingly interconnected, the Department would also assume the functions and assets of the National Communications System (Department of Defense), which coordinates emergency preparedness for the telecommunications sector.

State, Local, and Private Sector Coordination

The nature of American society and the structure of American governance make it impossible to achieve the goal of a secure homeland through federal Executive Branch action alone. The Administration's approach to homeland security is based on the principles of shared responsibility and partnership with the Congress, state and local governments, the private sector, and the American people. The Department of Homeland Security would coordinate, simplify, and where appropriate consolidate government relations on its issues for America's state and local agencies. It would coordinate federal homeland security programs and information with state and local officials. The Department would give state and local officials one primary contact instead of many, and would give these officials one contact when it comes to matters related to training, equipment, planning, exercises and other critical homeland security needs. It would manage federal grant programs for enhancing the preparedness of firefighters, police, and emergency medical personnel. It would set standards for state and local preparedness activities and equipment to ensure that these funds are spent according to good statewide and regional plans. To fulfill these preparedness missions, the Department of Homeland Security would incorporate the Department of Justice's Office of Domestic Preparedness, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Domestic Preparedness Office, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Office of National Preparedness. United States Secret Service

The primary mission of the United States Secret Service is to protect the President, Vice President, and other national leaders. The Service also contributes its specialized protective expertise to planning for events of national significance (National Special Security Events). In addition, the Service combats counterfeiting, cyber-crime, identity fraud, and access device fraud, all closely tied to the terrorist threat. Under the President's proposal, the Secret Service would report directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security. While the Service would remain intact and not be merged with any other Department function, the Service's unique and highly specialized expertise would complement the core mission of the new Department. Non-Homeland Security Functions

The Department of Homeland Security would have a number of functions that are not directly related to securing the homeland against terrorism. By incorporating the emergency management mission of FEMA, it would be responsible for natural disasters. Through the Coast Guard, it would be responsible for search and rescue and other maritime functions. By incorporating the INS, it would be responsible for immigration and naturalization services. Through the Secret Service, it would be responsible for fighting counterfeiters. And by incorporating the Customs Service it would be responsible for stopping drug smuggling. The New Department Would Improve Efficiency Without Growing Government

The Department of Homeland Security must be an agile, fast-paced, and responsive organization that takes advantage of 21st-century technology and management techniques to meet a 21st-century threat. The creation of a Department of Homeland Security would not "grow" government. The new Department would be funded within the total monies requested by the President in his FY 2003 budget already before Congress for the existing components. The cost of the new elements (such as the threat analysis unit and the state, local, and private sector coordination functions), as well as department-wide management and administration units, can be funded from savings achieved by eliminating redundancies inherent in the current structure. Going forward, increased resources may be required to meet emerging challenges, but by minimizing duplication of effort and lack of coordination we can ensure that any growth is limited to what is absolutely required. By combining and integrating functions that are currently fragmented, the Department of Homeland Security would:

  • Enhance operational efficiencies in field units with overlapping missions. For example, the deployment of a cross-trained work force would provide more cost efficient inspection activities at the ports of entry than exist today with three separate units. Integration would allow for a more productive workforce at the agent level and elimination of parallel overhead structures in the field, as well as at headquarters.
  • Reduce redundant information technology spending. Development of a single enterprise architecture for the department would result in elimination of the sub-optimized, duplicative, and poorly coordinated systems that are prevalent in government today. There would be rational prioritization of projects necessary to fund homeland security missions based on an overall assessment of requirements rather than a tendency to fund all good ideas beneficial to a separate unit's individual needs even if similar systems are already in place elsewhere.
  • Effective management of research and development spending would be facilitated by central control of research and development funding based, again, on overall homeland security priorities.
  • Better asset utilization could be gained through consolidation and joint, comprehensive capital planning, procurement, and maintenance. This would pertain to boats, vehicles, and planes, as well as property management.
  • Consolidated, streamlined grant making would promote targeted, effective programs at the state and local level, stretching the federal dollar further than is possible in the environment of multiple funding sources with sometimes overlapping missions.
In order to respond to rapidly changing conditions, the Secretary would need to have great latitude in re-deploying resources, both human and financial. The Secretary should have broad reorganizational authority in order to enhance operational effectiveness, as needed. Moreover, the President will request for the Department significant flexibility in hiring processes, compensation systems and practices, and performance management to recruit, retain, and develop a motivated, high-performance and accountable workforce. When a job needs to be done the Department should be able to fill it promptly, at a fair compensation level, and with the right person. Likewise, employees should receive recognition for their achievements, but in cases where performance falls short, should be held accountable. Finally, the new Department should have flexible procurement policies to encourage innovation and rapid development and operation of critical technologies vital to securing the homeland.

Planning, Transition, and Implementation Process

The planning process for the new Department has already begun. During this period, the Office of Homeland Security will maintain vigilance and continue to coordinate the other federal agencies involved in homeland security. Until the Department of Homeland Security becomes fully operational, the proposed Department's designated components will continue to operate under existing chains of command. The formal transition process would begin once Congress acts on the President's proposal and the President signs it into law. Under the President's plan, the new Department would be established by January 1, 2003, with integration of some components occurring over a longer period of time. To avoid gaps in leadership coverage, the President's proposal contemplates that appointees who have already been confirmed by the Senate would be able to transfer to new positions without a second confirmation process.

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