Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

June 19, 2013

DHS’ Alan Cohn talks about the 2014 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Christopher Bellavita on June 19, 2013

I saw the following press release about the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review on the Center for Homeland Defense and Security website today.

A stronger risk-based approach and expanded stakeholder input will be included as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) undertakes the second Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR) this summer, a top department official said June 6.

“The second review will also have the benefit of a consolidated DHS office that will guide the process,” said DHS Office of Policy Assistant Secretary for Strategy, Planning, Analysis and Risk (SPAR) Alan Cohn. DHS consolidated the functions of the Office of Risk Management and Analysis with the Office of Strategic Plans to form SPAR in March 2012, creating an integrated strategic planning, risk modeling and analysis function for the Department.

The QHSR is legislatively mandated to be conducted every four years under the Homeland Security Act of 2002, as amended. The first review was completed in February 2010 and set forth a strategic framework for the nation’s homeland security. Five homeland security missions were identified during the first review and will remain the core of the strategic approach: 1) preventing terrorism and enhancing security; 2) securing and managing our borders; 3) enforcing and administering our immigration laws; 4) safeguarding and securing cyberspace; and 5) ensuring resilience to disasters.

The second QHSR will build on this foundation and focus on how DHS will build smarter, more dynamic, risk-based approaches to homeland security that engage the broadest possible range of partners. The key difference for the second review is that DHS and its partners will be able to engage continuously through the study and analysis phase of the review, according to Assistant Secretary Cohn. “We will look for areas where strategic shifts may be necessary to keep pace or get ahead of changes in strategic environment,” he said. DHS will complete the second QHSR review process by the end of 2013.

“The first QHSR spelled out the idea of homeland security, but also described the importance of thinking about homeland security as an enterprise responsibility,” Assistant Secretary Cohn said.

“Beyond being a federal responsibility, this is a national responsibility. There is an enterprise that goes far beyond the halls of DHS that is engaged in assuring the security of the homeland of the United States. For that reason, it’s vitally important for the Department to engage with that broader community of stakeholders in conducting a review of this type.”

DHS plans to connect with state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, the private sector, and non-government entity stakeholders through an online community to be established through the DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s First Responders Communities of Practice. DHS will use this and other venues to invite stakeholders to offer perspectives, comments and ideas.

Cohn urged academics and practitioners, including those associated with the Center for Homeland Defense and Security, to contribute.

“We encourage the broader homeland security community, including alumni of the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security program, to fully and extensively participate in the process of building that community of practitioners,” Cohn said.

The first QHSR was crafted based on input from 42 DHS offices/components, 26 federal departments, and 118 stakeholder groups. The Department received 43 white papers as well as more than 3,000 public comments received during three “National Dialogues.”

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3 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

June 20, 2013 @ 4:09 am

Hopefully several things different will happen this time around. First, look at what the statutory mandate required and what was or is to be provided and if not why not. Input documents might be considered deliberative process or not but perhaps a better review would result if they could be made public to the extent possible. And perhaps how exactly DHS utilized the last QHSR or not and the critical missing or defective piece IMO the BUR [botton up review] that was to analyze, explain, or whatever exactly how each line item program, function, or activity contributed to HS whether housed in DHS or elsewhere.

GOOD LUCK ALAN!

Comment by William R. Cumming

June 20, 2013 @ 7:47 am

Perhaps submissions on the last QHSR would be of interest if made publically available?

Comment by William R. Cumming

June 23, 2013 @ 8:05 am

It would be of interest if anyone in DHS/FEMA tracks all funded and unfunded MOUs and MOA’s with OFA’s [other federal agencies] and this might give a better sense of what reliance is place on OFA’s by DHS and FEMA.

If not tracked of course then reflection of total ignorance of DHS and FEMA as to what they really get from OFA’s in mutual aid and support.

The last comprehensive FEMA/DoD MOU is posted on the FAS/FEMA website!

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