FEMA is accepting comments on the draft National Incident Management System (NIMS). NIMS is a nationwide template for federal, state/local governments, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations to coordinate in prevention, response, and mitigation efforts. The draft NIMS document is available online at www.regulations.gov, in Docket ID FEMA–2008–0008.
On February 28, 2003, the President issued Homeland Security Presidential Directive–5 (HSPD–5), Management of Domestic Incidents, which directed the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop and administer a National Incident Management System (NIMS).
NIMS is described as a “core set of doctrines, concepts, principles, terminology, and organizational processes that enables effective, efficient, and collaborative incident management.” NIMS also supports the development of technologies that facilitate emergency management and incident response.
The changes in this revised NIMS document are described as “not substantively dramatic, and do not alter the basic NIMS doctrine published in the 2004 version.”
Comments must be received by June 2, 2008 via Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov or through FEMA–POLICY@dhs.gov. Be sure to include the Docket ID FEMA–2008–0008.
Previous questions about the first draft NIMS document asked about the specifics of assigned roles and responsibilities for key participants from the federal, state, and local governments, nongovernmental entities, and the private sector.
According to GAO, the TOPOFF 3 exercise in April 2005 illustrated some uneven uptake of the NIMS framework at the federal level. The FBI, wrote GAO, never fully integrated into and accepted the unified command called for under NIMS…”, “did not appropriately staff the incident command post with its representatives,” and “kept management of the investigation separate from the incident management overseen by the unified command.”