Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

April 25, 2008

DHS Transition Plans Emerge

Filed under: Organizational Issues — by Jonah Czerwinski on April 25, 2008

In follow up to the April 22 post detailing an aspect of the DHS Transition Plan, the House Homeland Security Committee posted a presentation from Under Secretary for Management Elaine Duke on their website that explains the stages of the transition and succession plan the Department is executing.


As part of this transition plan, DHS is addressing the interagency dimension to establish communications paths among new officials, transfer relevant knowledge to new officials, engage in curricula that can enhance relationships among agencies with homeland security missions. The presentation cites the Executive Order on National Security Professionals and an apparent role that is now given to department or agency Deputy Chiefs of Staff for Transition.


But through all the briefing books and guidance documents, there was a recommendation of the Administration Transition Task Force that doesn’t appear to be a part of the current plan. (There are a few, actually, but this is one of the more important.) To mitigate the on-boarding process of incoming appointees and staff at DHS, the ATTF recommends providing a process “by which federal, state, local, tribal and the private sector authorities may submit to DHS officials their list of priorities and compilation of decisions made and decisions needed.”

This could help reduce the speed bumps that are largely outside of DHS’ control, but will be waiting in the new person’s in-box on day one. Some of these priorities will be parochial, but many will not be. This process enables the interagency and the broader homeland security community to contribute to the transition in a meaningful way that can shine a light on problems under the surface that the outgoing team may not be addressing.

For more on the transition efforts, see this page at the House Homeland Security Committee’s website.

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1 Comment »

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