Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

October 23, 2006

DHS identifies priorities for 2007

Filed under: DHS News — by Christian Beckner on October 23, 2006

DHS Assistant Secretary for the Private Sector Office Alfonso Martinez-Fonts spoke at a presentation today at an event hosted by Congressional Quarterly, and in his remarks discussed some of the outcomes from a DHS senior-level offsite held two weeks ago. He noted that the offsite meeting led to the identification of six top-level priorities for DHS in 2007:

  1. Keeping bad people out of the United States;
  2. Keeping the “really bad stuff” out of the United States (esp. rad-nuke materials);
  3. Strengthening the screening of workers and travelers;
  4. Securing critical infrastructure;
  5. Building a nimble, effective emergency response system and a culture of preparedness;
  6. Strengthening the core management of DHS.

This list seems to be an updated version of the “Six-Point Agenda” for DHS that emerged after the Second-Stage Review process in mid-2005. That list included “information-sharing with our partners,” which is missing in the updated list. Immigration and interior enforcement issues are likewise no longer emphasized. Added to this new list is critical infrastructure protection, and the bullet items for border and transportation security are reorganized in a way that suggests much more of a strategic focus focused on cross-cutting functions (screening, credentialing, etc.) rather than distinct missions (border security, cargo security, etc.)

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Comment by William R. Cumming

October 23, 2006 @ 7:48 pm

It would be interesting to learn what DHS believes it should be doing but lacks funding for that program, function, or activity. Question-What do the oversight committees think of this list? I would argue that duplication and redundancy within DHS or between DHS and other agencies may be worth some analytical time and effort! Also, some organizations considered for inclusion in DHS that did not move might be worthy of reevaluation such as DEA and ATF portions of DOJ. Exactly what is in DHS as far as appropriation functional codes might also be of interest. Some of the day jobs in DHS other than terrorism are huge in both FTE and funding. Some are not. I thought FY07 would be the critical year for DHS funding but now it looks like FY08 will be that year. The fact that DHS has its own appropriation and is not under the Continuing Resolution has to be of the most assistance in allowing DHS to avoid internal meltdown. This fact may not continue under Democratic leadership should either House of Congress flip. Still don’t think that will happen but DEMS need to have ideas as to their priorities ready to go ready or not.

Pingback by Homeland Security Watch » Sec. Chertoff reviews 2006

December 14, 2006 @ 12:19 pm

[…] He then discussed the Department’s goals and priorities for the next two years, following nearly the same top-level framework outlined two months ago in remarks by DHS Asst. Secretary Al Martinez-Fonts and identifying the following five priorities: […]

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