Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

November 1, 2006

DHS names acting grants & training director

Filed under: DHS News,Organizational Issues — by Christian Beckner on November 1, 2006

As UPI noted yesterday, DHS has named an acting director of the Office of Grants and Training to replace Tracy Henke, who left the post last month:

Corey Gruber, currently the executive director of the national preparedness taskforce, began as acting director of the Office of Grants and Training Tuesday, department Spokesman Russ Knocke told United Press International.

Gruber’s bio is available here, and everything on it indicates that he’s qualified to man the post. So why not nominate him as the regular director? DHS has become increasingly reliant on the practice of appointing people to acting positions and keep them in that role for a long time, and that’s not a healthy practice. For example, there has been an acting Undersecretary of Management (DHS CIO Scott Charbo) for over five months now, and Chief Medical Officer Jeffrey Runge served as an acting Undersecretary of S&T for a total of five months.

By putting people in acting positions and keeping them there for a long time, the leadership of DHS is essentially guaranteeing that these parts of DHS will be forced to tread water for a few months, while waiting for the permanent guy or gal to come along. That would be acceptable if we were talking about a part of the federal government that wasn’t critical to national security, but it’s an unnecessary risk for an important agency like DHS.

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2 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

November 1, 2006 @ 7:03 pm

Well the bio seems accurate but it is important to note that wherever Corey Gruber has been an anti-FEMA milieu seems to have existed. First at DOD and then at DOJ and then in the Office of State and Local Preparedness and Coordination in DHS. Could there be a relationship? Don’t know but I now understand that real questions exist as to whether the Grant Programs will ever be incorporated into the NEW FEMA by March 31, 2007 under the new DHS Approps legislation. Time will tell. Also the position for which Mr. Gruber is Acting is not a career reserved position has so far been held by a political appointee, usually NON-Career SES. Perhaps a name will surface after the election. It should be noted however that the tradition in DHS is that Career SES positions are reserved at best for the Deputys of organization not the lead. Secretary Chertoff still no counterpart clearance authority over appointees. The last and only FEMA Director to ever have this authority was James Lee Witt. By the way in President Reagan’s first administration the edict was that no one in the Federal Civil Service past or present could be given a political job. Interesting that now that the civil service has been dominated by Republican administrations since Reagan, any Career SES that was appointed during a Democratic administration is a Rare Avis. So much for non-partisan expertise. By the way, second career types formerly in DOD have brought a devastating sick culture with them throughout DHS. Some have real talent, but as long as DHS is percieved as a second career agency retirement home for DOD and DOJ it will never truly draw the necessary bright lines between Homeland Security, use of the ARMED Forces, and Criminal Law Enforcement.

Comment by Official Steelers Jersey

August 16, 2011 @ 8:59 pm

By the way in President Reagan’s first administration the edict was that no one in the Federal Civil Service past or present could be given a political job. Interesting that now that the civil service has been dominated by Republican administrations since Reagan, any Career SES that was appointed during a Democratic administration is a Rare Avis. So much for non-partisan expertise.

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