DHS inspector general cautions against simply "transferring the problem."
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Lawmakers express concerns about efficiency, signal they are considering a funding cut.
Emergency management experience could come from a variety of jobs, including law enforcement and firefighting, preparedness chief says.
Several senior management positions are open, notably ones critical to disaster response and terrorism prevention.
Union officials say Pentagon should abandon contested labor relations plan and collaborate on new measures.
At hearing on transportation budget, lawmaker opposes proposal to turn over decision-making to a third party if there is an impasse in FAA labor negotiations.
In an interview, Michael Brown says disaster response agency gets “short shrift” next to the Homeland Security Department’s anti-terrorism activities.
Nikki Tinsley also pushes for change in salary rules that restrict IGs’ earnings potential.
Critics say requested decrease in funds would hinder pursuit of larger cases, agency’s ability to fulfill its civil rights mission.
Joint Education-Defense department effort also should be better coordinated with other federal programs, GAO concludes.