Most homeland security agencies to move by March

The White House released its initial plan for organizing the Homeland Security Department on Monday, including a time frame for moving agencies to the new department.

Pending Senate confirmation, Homeland Security Secretary-designate Tom Ridge will take office on Jan. 24, and nearly all of the agencies slated to move to the department will transfer on March 1. All agency transfers will be completed by Sept. 30, 2003 according to the plan, which was required under the Homeland Security Act that President Bush signed Monday.

The plan does not state whether any employees will move offices when their agencies are transferred. The White House is looking for office space in the Washington area, and District of Columbia politicians, including Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., have argued the new department's headquarters should be in the District. Northern Virginia offers additional sites for the potential headquarters, according to Rep. James Moran, D-Va. "Because we built more than in Maryland and the District, we have more office space and you can get very good prices," he said in a recent interview with Government Executive.

The first milestone for the department will be Jan. 24, when several new offices will be created, including the Office of the Secretary, the Bureau of Border Security and the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency, the new department's research and development arm.

On March 1, the department will assume authority over nearly every agency transferred to the department, including the Transportation Security Administration, Coast Guard, Customs Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Secret Service and most of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which will be split up in the new department. INS functions dealing with the care of unaccompanied alien children will transfer from the Justice Department to the Health and Human Services Department.

The Agriculture Department's Plum Island Animal Disease Center is slated to move to the Homeland Security Department by June 1.

The department will tap $140 million in the continuing budget resolution (H.J. Res. 124) to pay for the initial reorganization, according to the plan. A transition office at the Office of Management and Budget is managing the reorganization, with heavy input from officials in the Office of Homeland Security.

The Bush administration has committed to integrating accounting and computer systems in the new department. Officials have pledged to unveil a common e-mail system and merge more than 55 terrorist watch lists on Jan. 24, when the department starts operating.

Shane Harris contributed to this report.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

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

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


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