Homeland Security officials defend 2008 budget plans

Officials from the Homeland Security Department Tuesday defended their fiscal 2008 budget and plans for cybersecurity and protecting critical infrastructure, even as Government Accountability Office officials said the department faces challenges in emergency preparedness.

At a House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, Chairman David Price, D-N.C., raised concerns about the department's budget for the new National Protection and Programs Division, which will incorporate infrastructure protection, cybersecurity, risk management and the office for US-VISIT, the system created to track foreign travelers entering and leaving the United States.

The budget request for Protection and Programs Division is $1.05 billion, $106 million more than for fiscal 2007. But $100 million of the increase is for the US-VISIT office.

Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee ranking member Harold Rogers, R-Ky., echoed Price's concerns, saying, "Vision without funding is a hallucination."

Part of the division's budget request is $25.2 million for a new office to oversee chemical site security. The office would establish different levels of security standards for sites deemed more at risk than others.

Panel members expressed fears that department standards would override any stricter state and local regulations. Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection Robert Stephan assured the committee it would not be a "one-size-fits-all" rule.

At the hearing, GAO officials also emphasized the ongoing need for private and public sector cooperation in responding to emergencies. "Hurricane Katrina showed that we had not made progress," said Eileen Larence, GAO's director of homeland security and justice issues.

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:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

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