Central Oklahoma Urban Area Security Initiative (COUASI)
Article I – Preamble
The name of the organization shall be the Central Oklahoma Urban Area Security Initiative, hereafter referred to as “COUASI”.
The Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) is a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (U.S. DHS) grant program designed to provide financial assistance to address the unique multi-discipline planning, organization, equipment, training and exercise needs of high-threat, high density Urban Areas. The UASI program also assists Urban Areas build and sustain capabilities to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from threats or acts of terrorism. It should be noted that the UASI program must support terrorism preparedness, however many capabilities that support terrorism simultaneously support preparedness for other hazards.
The mission of the COUASI is to increase the capabilities of the cities and counties within the seven (7) county Urban Area to build and sustain capabilities to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from threats or acts of terrorism or other emergencies. The COUASI strives to achieve each of the eight (8) National Priorities particularly Expanded Regional Collaboration by developing integrated regional programs that incorporate multiple disciplines and jurisdictions for the enhancement of the Urban Area as a whole.
Article II – Purpose
The objective of the COUASI is to collaborate across disciplines and jurisdictions to develop a regional approach to preparedness including, but not limited to:
• Define strategic goals and objectives
• Identify funding methodology (in coordination with the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security (OKOHS))
• Determine equipment gaps, training and exercise needs
• Work with OKOHS to fulfill all U.S. DHS programmatic requirements.
The COUASI is defined as Oklahoma Homeland Security Regions 6 and 8 which includes the following counties: Oklahoma, Cleveland, McClain, Pottawatomie, Canadian, Lincoln and Logan. There is a population of approximately 1.1 million in the COUASI and more than 5,200 square miles.
The COUASI is required by U.S. DHS grant guidance to have a multi-disciplinary, multi-jurisdictional Working Group responsible for coordinating development and implementation of all program initiatives. OKOHS defined the COUASI Working Group as Homeland Security Regional Advisory Councils 6 and 8.
Regions 6 and 8 have existing multi-disciplinary, multi-jurisdictional Regional Councils as required by the Oklahoma Homeland Security Act of 2004 (74 OS §10.6). Per state statute, each of the councils has 13 members appointed by the Oklahoma Homeland Security Director upon recommendation of the respective statewide organization or association. Members include: Paid Fire Chief, Volunteer Fire Chief, Sheriff, Police Chief, Mayor or City Manager, County Commissioner, Veterinarian, Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Provider, Emergency Management, Volunteer Service Organization, Council of Government, Hospital Physician or CEO and Public Health. Members must reside or have employment duties within Region 6 or 8.
COUASI Voting Members serve a concurrent three (3) year term with their Regional Council appointment. The Oklahoma Homeland Security Director may reappoint members at the end of their term. Alternates for each discipline are requested by the Oklahoma Homeland Security Director from the recommending statewide association or organization.
1. Voting Members
There are 26 voting members on the COUASI Working Group representing the 13 aforementioned disciplines from both the Region 6 and 8 Councils. Alternates can only vote in the absence of their primary voting member.
2. Non-Voting Members
Non-Voting Members of the COUASI are invited by OKOHS at the recommendation of the Working Group. Non-Voting Members must be from a discipline not already represented on the Working Group. The COUASI has chosen to permanently add the following three (3) Non-Voting Members to the Working Group:
a. Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS)
b. Citizen Corps
c. Higher Education
3. Working Group Vacancies
The Oklahoma Homeland Security Director will fill voting member vacancies on the COUASI Working Group according to the Oklahoma Homeland Security Act of 2004.
Article III – Responsibility
A. Purpose and Function
The COUASI Working Group will have the following functions and tasks:
1. Assessing and documenting the needs of the COUASI related to homeland security
2. Coordinating and cooperating with OKOHS to achieve the strategic objectives prescribed in the Oklahoma Homeland Security Act of 2004
3. Other functions and tasks as determined by the U.S. DHS and coordinated through OKOHS, including but not limited to:
a. Develop and update, when necessary, the Urban Area Homeland Security Strategy
b. Develop additional COUASI programmatic goals based upon guidelines from OKOHS and U.S. DHS
c. Conduct and update, when necessary, Urban Area Risk and/or Vulnerability Assessments
d. Address planning, equipment, training and exercise needs and operational activities for the COUASI
e. Endorse the coordination and integration of COUASI plans, training, equipment acquisition, exercises and operational activities to jurisdictions and agencies located within the Urban Area
f. Develop COUASI Investment Justifications in accordance with U.S. DHS grant guidance
g. Prioritize the projects and/or programs to be funded with UASI grant funding
h. Ensure compliance with the National Incident Management Systems (NIMS) according to standards established by OKOHS.
i. Develop and update, when necessary, COUASI specific planning documents
B. Duties and Responsibilities
The COUASI Working Group will be responsible for the following:
1. Programmatic Requirements including:
a. Review and approve budgets prior to submittal to OKOHS
b. Review and approve COUASI Homeland Security Strategy
c. Review and approve COUASI Investment Justifications prior to submittal to OKOHS
d. Assure the UASI grant program, reporting, monitoring and evaluation requirements are being met
e. Ratify amendments to this charter, when necessary
2. Program Management
Voting Members shall conduct and manage the activities of the COUASI and make recommendations in matters pertaining to the administration, programmatic and operational direction of the Urban Area Security Initiative grant program in accordance with the COUASI Homeland Security Strategy, the Target Capabilities List, the National Priorities, the planning scenarios, the appropriate fiscal year grant guidance and in conjunction with OKOHS and any sub-grantee(s).
3. Strategic Planning
The COUASI Voting Members, or subcommittees thereof, shall be responsible for developing the COUASI Homeland Security Strategy; developing planning documents when and as needed; reviewing and incorporating performance measures and metrics from the Target Capabilities List into the COUASI Strategy and plans, as appropriate; and review and incorporate other U.S. DHS programmatic documents, when and as needed.
4. Funding Obligation and Procurement
The COUASI Working Group shall be responsible for determining what specific projects receive grant funding and how much is obligated to each. Upon receipt of the grant award, the Working Group shall convene to determine final obligation based on the Investment Justifications, risk assessments, strategy goals and objectives and capability gaps. Once funds have been obligated, the COUASI Voting Members, or subcommittees thereof, shall be responsible for specifying equipment, training, exercise or planning expenses to be purchased with UASI funding based on COUASI priorities.
Once approved by the Budget Subcommittee, the sub-grantee(s) is responsible for submitting the BDW to OKOHS. OKOHS will provide the sub-grantee(s) with an “approval letter” listing the items from the BDW that have been approved to purchase. Only approved items shall be purchased by the sub-grantee(s).
Upon receipt of OKOHS’s written approval, the sub-grantee(s) will purchase the approved items in full compliance with local government policies and procedures and State of Oklahoma procurement law.
All purchases will comply with the federal homeland security and OKOHS grant guidelines including, but not limited, to the requirements set forth in the respective grant award documents.
Recipients of equipment must be a government entity and must be compliant with current National Incident Management System (NIMS) requirements. All equipment will be titled in the name of the end-recipient.
5. Jurisdictional Liaison
The COUASI Voting Members will maintain proper communications with various agencies and jurisdictions within the Urban Area to promote regionalization and the exchange of ideas from all disciplines and jurisdictions within the seven (7) county Urban Area.
6. Fiduciary and Programmatic Cooperation
As the State Administering Agency for UASI grant funding, OKOHS is responsible for the fiduciary and programmatic compliance requirements of the UASI grant program. The sub-grantee(s) has concurrent fiduciary requirements for the UASI program, as well. The COUASI Working Group and any subcommittees thereof will work in conjunction with OKOHS and the sub-grantee(s) to avoid duplication of effort and ensure all U.S. DHS program requirements are being met.
Article IV – Subcommittees
A. Standing Subcommittees
The COUASI Working Group shall have six (6) standing subcommittees. A Voting or Non Voting Member (including alternates) of the COUASI Working Group must Chair any subcommittee, however subcommittee members, other than the position of Chair, need not be members of the COUASI Working Group. Subcommittee Chairs are appointed by the Executive Committee and shall serve at the will of the Executive Committee. Subcommittee Chairs can be reaffirmed annually by the Executive Committee at the first regularly scheduled calendar meeting of the year.
1. Executive Committee
The COUASI Working Group shall have an Executive Committee that includes a Chair, Vice Chair, Immediate Past Chair and Point of Contact. The Chair and Vice Chair shall be elected by a majority of the Voting Members of the COUASI for a term of 12 months. The Chair and Vice Chair shall represent different regions to ensure there is a representative from Region 6 and Region 8 on the Executive Committee.
The Chair shall supervise and control all of the business and affairs of the COUASI Working Group. The Chair shall see that all orders and resolution of the COUASI Working Group are carried into effect, ensure compliance with all OKOHS and U.S. DHS programmatic requirements and, in general, shall perform all duties of Chair including managing Working Group meetings and its subcommittee meetings, when necessary. The Chair shall perform other duties as may be prescribed by U.S. DHS and grant requirements.
b. Vice Chair
The Vice Chair will serve as the Chair Elect. The Vice Chair shall serve in the absence of the Chair. The Vice Chair shall perform the duties of the Chair, and when so acting, shall have the authority of and be subject to all restrictions of the Chair. The Vice Chair shall perform other duties as may be assigned to him/her by the Chair, U.S. DHS and/or grant requirements. The Vice Chair shall assume duties of the Chair at the first calendar year meeting of the COUASI.
c. Immediate Past-Chair
The Immediate Past-Chair shall serve as an advisor to the Chair and shall perform other duties assigned to him/her by the Chair or OKOHS.
d. Point of Contact
OKOHS will designate a specific Point of Contact (POC) from the U.S. DHS designated Urban Area to work with when implementing UASI grant and other programmatic requirements. This POC will serve as a member of the Executive Committee.
The Secretary will serve as an ex officio advisory member of the Executive Committee. The position of Secretary shall be filled by the sub-grantee and will record all COUASI Working Group and Budget Subcommittee meeting proceedings, prepare the agenda for COUASI Working Group and Budget Subcommittee meetings in conjunction with the respective Chairs and OKOHS, compile minutes from COUASI Working Group and Budget Subcommittee meetings to be distributed to COUASI Working Group members, and call all meetings of the Working Group and subcommittees thereof. In the event there is more than one sub-grantee, the sub-grantees will determine who shall fill the position of Secretary from among their respective agencies.
i. Election and Term
The Executive Committee shall be elected annually at the last regular meeting of the calendar year. Each Officer shall hold his/her office until his/her successor assumes their duties on January 1st or until his/her resignation from the position.
OKOHS can remove a member of the Executive Committee for cause upon recommendation of the COUASI Working Group.
Any vacancy on the Executive Committee because of resignation, removal, or otherwise, shall be filled by a Voting Member of the COUASI Working Group selected by a majority vote of the COUASI Working Group for the unexpired portion of the term.
2. Strategic Planning
The Strategic Planning Subcommittee is tasked with reviewing and updating, when necessary, the COUASI Homeland Security Strategy on an annual basis. Changes to the COUASI Strategy shall be presented to the Working Group for approval. Additionally, the Strategic Planning subcommittee is charged with reviewing the Target Capabilities List, the Planning Scenarios, the National Preparedness Guidelines, Homeland Security Presidential Directives and any additional U.S. DHS documents for purposes of guiding future planning and strategic objectives for the COUASI. The Strategic Planning subcommittee is required to meet quarterly or more frequently as needed or at the direction of the Executive Committee.
The Budget subcommittee is tasked with working with Project Managers to ensure each line item request is within the scope of the appropriate fiscal year Investment Justification; assist Project Managers in preparation of BDWs; through the sub-grantee(s), work with OKOHS to ensure all requests are allowable and appropriate according to the COUASI Homeland Security Strategy and other governing documents; re-obligate funding in the event a project comes under budget and ensure all funding is spent by the deadline as determined by OKOHS in award documents. The Budget subcommittee is required to meet monthly.
4. Interoperable Communications
The Interoperable Communications subcommittee is tasked with improving interoperable and operable communications in the COUASI either through mutual aid solutions or adding users to one of two shared 800 MHz communications systems in the COUASI. Additional tasks include: assessing the communications needs of metropolitan and rural agencies and jurisdictions; identifying and recommending technology standards that enhance interoperable communications in the COUASI; review the Tactical Interoperable Communications Plan (TICP) annually and update, as needed; collaborate with the Training and Exercise subcommittee to provide interoperable communications training, when necessary and incorporate interoperable communications in COUASI exercises; and provide input into the Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan (SCIP) which is updated annually by OKOHS. The Interoperable Communications subcommittee is required to meet quarterly, or more frequently as needed or at the direction of the Executive Committee.
5. Resource Management
The Resource Management subcommittee is tasked with tracking equipment purchased with UASI grant funding; typing the inventory according to NIMS; compiling resources and inventory in an operational list including a point of contact and contact information; developing operational readiness procuress for all equipment purchased and inventoried; distributing the resource list to participating agencies and jurisdictions across the Urban Area; updating the list, as needed; and verifying equipment and resources are delivered to the appropriate agency and integrated into daily operations. The Resource Management subcommittee is required to meet quarterly, or more frequently as needed or at the direction of the Executive Committee.
6. Training and Exercise
The Training and Exercise subcommittee is tasked with developing a multi-year training and exercise calendar as required by U.S. DHS grant guidance; conducting an annual Training and Exercise Workshop for the COUASI as required by U.S. DHS grant guidance; working in conjunction with the OKOHS Training and Exercise Coordinator to provide training for agencies, jurisdictions and citizens across the COUASI; maintain a master calendar of all COUASI training and exercises; institutionalize Incident Command System (ICS) and National Incident Management System (NIMS) training and ensuring NIMS compliance annually across the COUASI in accordance with standards established by OKOHS and U.S. DHS; and ensuring funding obligated to training and exercise is utilized according to Investment Justification milestones including timelines. The Training and Exercise Subcommittee is required to meet quarterly, or more frequently as needed or at the direction of the Executive Committee.
B. Ad Hoc Subcommittees
The Chair may appoint additional subcommittees at his/her discretion or the direction of the Working Group to study and report on any matter of concern. Each Ad Hoc Subcommittee shall be Chaired by a Voting Member or Non-Voting Member (including alternates) of the COUASI Working Group, however subcommittee members, other than the position of Chair, need not be members of the COUASI Working Group. Ad Hoc subcommittees shall meet as necessary to accomplish assigned tasks.
C. Term of Office
Each member of a subcommittee, including Chair, shall continue to serve at the discretion of the COUASI Working Group. Chairs may be removed by the Executive Committee at the direction of the Working Group due to lack of attendance or not conducting required meetings.
Vacancies in the membership of any subcommittee may be filled by appointments by the Working Group.
E. Limitation of Authority
No subcommittee shall have any authority beyond that expressly granted by the Executive Committee.
Article V – Procedures
A. Regular Meetings
The COUASI Working Group is required to meet quarterly, or more frequently at the direction of the Executive Committee or OKOHS. The meetings will take place on the last Tuesday of the first month of each quarter (January, April, July and October). The meetings will be held at such times and places as determined by the Chair in consultation with members of the Working Group.
B. Special Meetings
Special meetings of the COUASI Working Group may be called at the request of the Chair and/or OKOHS. Special meetings shall be at such time and place as the Chair and Working Group may determine.
C. Meeting Notice
Whenever practical, the time and place of Working Group meetings shall be communicated to members at least seven (7) days prior to the regular meeting. Notice shall include agenda materials and will be delivered to members via electronic mail. All meetings will comply with the Oklahoma Open Meetings Act.
A quorum, for purposes of conducting COUASI Working Group business, shall consist of a majority of Voting Members (or their alternates) present at a meeting. For purposes of determining a quorum, the participating entity alternate will be counted only when the primary voting member is absent.
All official governing acts of the COUASI Working Group shall be by vote when at a regular or special meeting. Only COUASI Working Group Voting Members shall vote on COUASI issues. Each COUASI Working Group Voting Member has one vote. Absent members are encouraged to coordinate with their alternate (if one has been appointed) to ensure their discipline and/or region is represented at all Working Group meetings. Alternates can vote in place of an absent Voting Member. Motions shall pass upon a majority vote of the members present. However, the Chair shall retain the prerogative at any time to poll absent members for controversial issues. In such instances of polling absent members, the Chair will call for a vote of members present at the meeting but will suspend the outcome of the vote until the polling of the absent members has been completed. Upon completion of the polling, the Chair will combine the vote totals and then declare the outcome to the Working Group membership. Polling of absent members must be concluded within two business days of the COUASI Working Group meeting.
F. Agenda for Meetings
Agendas shall be distributed by electronic mail and posted on the sub-grantee(s) and OKOHS Web sites for Working Group Members to review prior to the meeting. Members shall have the right to have items placed on meeting agendas. It shall be the responsibility of any member desiring to have an item placed on an agenda to present it to the Chair or OKOHS within a reasonable time to allow inclusion of the item on the agenda prior to distribution seven (7) days before the meeting.
G. Minutes and Records
Minutes shall be recorded and transcribed of all regular and special meetings of the COUASI Working Group and shall be approved by the Voting Members at their next regular meeting.
H. Robert’s Rules of Order
All matters not covered by this Charter shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order.
Article VI – Amendment of Charter
This Charter may be amended by a majority vote of the COUASI Working Group after a proposed amendment has received one reading at a regular COUASI Working Group meeting.
This Charter is hereby enacted by the COUASI Working Group in collaboration with OKOHS this 29th day of July, 2008.
Click here to download a copy of the COUASI Charter