Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

January 26, 2009

Update HSPDs 5 and 8

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Jonah Czerwinski on January 26, 2009

As Secretary Napolitano undertakes a wide-ranging review of DHS operations, plans, and capabilities, no doubt she is either leading or informing a similar review of the two dozen Homeland Security Presidential Directives issued by President Bush since 9/11. All HSPDs are likely on the chopping block, but for different reasons. Some are inconsistent with President Obama’s philosophy and strategy. Some are simply outdated. We’ll take a look at a few of them here and in subsequent posts.

HSPD 5, entitled Management of Domestic Incidents, was issued in late February 2003 and outlines the National Incident Management System (NIMS), the National Response Plan (NRP), and, among other things, the fifteen planning scenarios. NIMS seems to be an unfinished integration effort. 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.”

Chances are the FBI is in store for some firmer guidance as to its role in cooperation with DHS, which was lacking at the highest levels.

HSPD 8 is related to this Directive and is probably headed for a re-write. HSPD 8, on National Preparedness, requires a national domestic all-hazards preparedness goal, establishes mechanisms for improved delivery of Federal preparedness assistance to state and local governments, and outlines actions to strengthen preparedness capabilities at all levels of government.

Combining the rewrite of HSPD 5 with 8 makes some sense. To that end, the planning scenarios and capabilities-based planning guidance could be replaced with a more agile process. A form of scenario-based planning, similar to that which is used by the intelligence community and the State Department’s Project Horizon, would be an appropriate addition. The planning scenarios started out as an academic exercise, almost as a placeholder to facilitate discussion and planning. But they are notably static and became surprisingly influential for planning in dynamic situations.

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3 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 26, 2009 @ 9:37 am

HSPD-5 was actually modified explictly and implicity by HSPD-8 but both should be combined. Not all the HSPD’s should be revoked but I would argue some should be turned into Executive Orders totally or partially. Several key Executive Orders impacting DHS need urgent revision so that internal delegations can be accomplished. For example, three Executive Orders that have or could have immediate implications for DHS are Executive Order 12472, Executive Order 12656, and Executive Order 12657. All rely in part on a repealed authority, specifically the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950, Public Law 81-920 which was repealed by Public Law 103-337 in November 1994, with a small portion incorporated into the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Public Law 100-707, that modified in part, supplemented in part and repealed in part the Disaster Relief Act of 1974, Public Law 93-288. Also if the Stafford Act is going to become the principal domestic crisis response statute, which it is NOT now, then immediate attention should be made to its revision. Two items occur should that happen. First, law enforcement funding in Law Enforcement Emergencies, 28 CFR Part 65, should be separately funded, and FEMA should have specific authority to fund National Guard operations when serving in a humanitarian role or employed under EMAC (Emergency Management Assistance Compact.) Hey, the Secretary is smart so she knows the priority is statutes, then Executive Orders (all typically unfunded) and then HSPDs (definitely typically unfunded mandates.) Her real priority has to be the budget for DHS at this point for submission in late February for FY 2010. By the way a number of the HSPDs were amended by later authorities, sometimes HSPDs and sometimes other legal authority.

Pingback by HSPD Update Part II | Homeland Security Watch

January 27, 2009 @ 12:03 am

[...] the spirit of one of yesterday’s posts concerning the HSPDs from the Bush Administration, this update highlights HSPD 14, 17, and [...]

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 28, 2009 @ 2:25 pm

Note the Annex to HSPD-8 issued in late December 2008!

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