On Friday, the first ever Senate DHS authorization bill was introduced. Much of this is music to our ears.
The Senate bill elevates the assistant secretary for policy to the position of Under Secretary for Policy, to ensure policy coordination across the Department, it strengthens the authorities of the Office of International Affairs at DHS, and it authorizes the National Cyber Security Center, along with a private sector board to advise the Secretary on cyber security policy.
The assistant secretary of international affairs will be responsible for developing an international strategic plan. Unfortunately, the Quadrennial Homeland Security received little attention. It could have benefitted from added benchmarks in its development and certainly from greater connection to the Secretary.
A significant portion of the bill is devoted to the unexciting, but terribly important, aspects of maturing DHS as an executive agency. For example, see Titles III and IV for language on procurement and investment policies and on strategic human capital, respectively.
Title X introduces a new act entirely. The National Bombing Prevention Act creates a new Office for Bombing Prevention within the Infrastructure Protection division.