CQ’s package of year-end stories (by subscription only) is interlaced with some juicy nuggets of information.
For example, is DHS planning to move FEMA into the Coast Guard?
There is no shortage of speculation about possible changes. Some have heard that FEMA will become part of the U.S. Coast Guard, others that FEMA will be responsible for only the economic aspects of disaster response â€” as opposed to actual rescue operations.
I’m skeptical on this one, mostly because the Coast Guard’s plate is already close to full; but we’ll see…
And another story notes that a new report will be released that criticizes explosives detection activities in the aviation system in January:
In late January, federal investigators will release a â€œscathingâ€ report exposing major gaps in the TSAâ€™s system for screening airline passengers and their bags for bombs, according to Rep. John L. Mica, R-Fla., chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee. The agency has not deployed enough bomb detection equipment, Mica said, and has not trained all of its screeners to identify bombs hidden in bags or on people.
Perhaps Kip Hawley’s changes to TSA’s screening rules last week were a preemptive response to this report?
And finally, another story notes that DHS received 5,000 (!) public comments on the National Infrastructure Protection Plan.
Early in 2005, an interim National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) unveiled by the government earned mixed reviews. A more robust draft NIPP emerged in November after lawmakers complained the plan had been delayed for too long.
The first round of public comment ended in early December, netting some 5,000 comments from government and private sector sources; a second round is expected.
I don’t envy the team that gets to read and process all of these…