spacer image
Skip Nav Skip to Search
Contact  |  Subscribe to the Buzz by RSS
spacer image
RSS Feeds get adobe reader
HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY MICHAEL CHERTOFF ANNOUNCES SIX-POINT AGENDA FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

07-13-2005

Secretary Michael Chertoff today announced a six-point agenda for the Department of Homeland Security designed to ensure that the Department¿s policies, operations, and structures are aligned in the best way to address the potential threats ¿ both present and future ¿ that face our nation.

¿Our Department must drive improvement with a sense of urgency. Our enemy constantly changes and adapts, so we as a Department must be nimble and decisive,¿ said Secretary Michael Chertoff.

Today¿s announcement reflects conclusions drawn as a result of the Second Stage Review, a careful study of the Department¿s programs, policies, operations and structure. The Review examined nearly every element of the Department of Homeland Security in order to recommend ways that DHS could better manage risk in terms of threat, vulnerability and consequence; prioritize policies and operational missions according to this risk-based approach; and establish a series of preventive and protective steps that would increase security at multiple levels.

¿DHS must base its work on priorities driven by risk,¿ said Secretary Chertoff. ¿Our goal is to maximize our security, but not security at any price. Our security regime must promote Americans¿ freedom, prosperity, mobility, and individual privacy.¿

The Secretary¿s six-point agenda will guide DHS in the near term and result in changes that will:

  • Increase overall preparedness, particularly for catastrophic events;
  • Create better transportation security systems to move people and cargo more securely and efficiently;
  • Strengthen border security and interior enforcement and reform immigration processes;
  • Enhance information sharing with our partners;
  • Improve DHS financial management, human resource development, procurement and information technology; and
  • Realign the DHS organization to maximize mission performance.

 

Secretary Chertoff announced that details of new policy initiatives in these six areas will be announced in the coming weeks and months, including:

  • A new approach to securing our borders through additional personnel, new technologies, infrastructure investments, and interior enforcement - coupled with efforts to reduce the demand for illegal border migration by channeling migrants seeking work into regulated legal channels;
  • Restructuring the current immigration process to enhance security and improve customer service;
  • Reaching out to state homeland security officials to improve information exchange protocols, refine the Homeland Security Advisory System, support state and regional data fusion centers, and address other topics of mutual concern; and
  • Investing in the Department¿s most important asset ¿ its people ¿ with top-notch professional career training and development efforts.

 

Secretary Chertoff also announced two common sense changes to improve the way the Department does business.

  • Require 10-Fingerscan Standard for Foreign Visitors. DHS will strengthen the US-VISIT program to require a one-time 10-fingerscan capture upon enrollment, with continued use of two-print verification during later entries, to ensure the highest levels of accuracy in identifying people entering and exiting our country.
  • Eliminate 30-minute Rule for DCA Flights. As a result of numerous security measures established to protect passengers and air travel, DHS will eliminate the 30-minute rule preventing passengers from standing up within thirty minutes of takeoff or landing for flights to or from Ronald Reagan National Airport.

 

Organizational Initiatives: Structural Adjustments to DHS

The Secretary also announced details of his proposal for realigning the Department of Homeland Security to increase its ability to prepare, prevent, and respond to terrorist attacks and other emergencies. These changes will better integrate the Department, giving DHS employees better tools to help them accomplish their mission. These management tools will:

  • Centralize and Improve Policy Development and Coordination. A new Directorate of Policy, ultimately led by an Under Secretary upon enactment of legislation, will serve as the primary Department-wide coordinator for policies, regulations, and other initiatives. This Directorate will ensure the consistency of policy and regulatory development across various parts of the Department as well as perform long-range strategic policy planning. It will assume the policy coordination functions previously performed by the Border and Transportation Security (BTS) Directorate. It will also create a single point of contact for internal and external stakeholders by consolidating or co-locating similar activities from across the department. This new Directorate will include:
    > Office of International Affairs;
    > Office of Private Sector Liaison;
    > Homeland Security Advisory Council;
    > Office of Immigration Statistics; and
    > Senior Asylum Officer
  • Strengthen Intelligence Functions and Information Sharing. A new Office of Intelligence and Analysis will ensure that information is gathered from all relevant field operations and other parts of the intelligence community; analyzed with a mission-oriented focus; informative to senior decision-makers; and disseminated to the appropriate federal, state, local, and private sector partners. Led by a Chief Intelligence Officer who reports directly to the Secretary, this office will be comprised of analysts within the former Information Analysis directorate and draw on expertise of other DHS components with intelligence collection and analysis operations.
  • Improve Coordination and Efficiency of Operations. A new Director of Operations Coordination will enable DHS to more effectively conduct joint operations across all organizational elements; coordinate incident management activities; and utilize all resources within the Department to translate intelligence and policy into immediate action. The Homeland Security Operations Center, which serves as the nation¿s nerve center for information sharing and domestic incident management on a 24/7/365 basis, will be a critical part of this new office.
  • Enhance Coordination and Deployment of Preparedness Assets. The Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate will be renamed the Directorate for Preparedness and consolidate preparedness assets from across the Department. The Directorate for Preparedness will facilitate grants and oversee nationwide preparedness efforts supporting first responder training, citizen awareness, public health, infrastructure and cyber security and ensure proper steps are taken to protect high-risk targets. The directorate will be managed by an Under Secretary and include:
    > A new Assistant Secretary for Cyber Security and Telecommunications, responsible for identifying and assessing the vulnerability of critical telecommunications infrastructure and assets; providing timely, actionable and valuable threat information; and leading the national response to cyber and telecommunications attacks;
    > A new Chief Medical Officer, responsible for carrying out the Department¿s responsibilities to coordinate the response to biological attacks ¿ and to serve as a principal liaison between DHS and the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, and other key parts of the biomedical and public health communities;
    > Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection;
    > Assets of the Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness responsible for grants, training and exercises;
    > U.S. Fire Administration; and
    > Office of National Capitol Region Coordination.

 

Other Department Realignments

  • Improve National Response and Recovery Efforts by Focusing FEMA on Its Core Functions. FEMA will report directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security. In order to strengthen and enhance our Nation¿s ability to respond to and recover from manmade or natural disasters, FEMA will now focus on its historic and vital mission of response and recovery.
  • Integrate Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) into Broader Aviation Security Efforts. The Federal Air Marshal Service will be moved from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) bureau to the Transportation Security Administration to increase operational coordination and strengthen efforts to meet this common goal of aviation security.
  • Merge Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs. This new Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs will merge certain functions among the Office of Legislative Affairs and the Office of State and Local Government Coordination in order to streamline intergovernmental relations efforts and better share homeland security information with members of Congress as well as state and local officials.
  • Assign Office of Security to Management Directorate. The Office of Security will be moved to return oversight of that office to the Under Secretary for Management in order to better manage information systems, contractual activities, security accreditation, training and resources.

 

The Homeland Security Act of 2002 (HSA) provides certain flexibility for the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish, consolidate, alter or discontinue organizational units within the Department. The mechanism for implementing these changes is a notification to Congress, required under section 872 of the HSA, allowing for the changes to take effect after 60 days.

Other proposed changes will require Congressional action. The Department will work with Congress to accomplish these shared goals.

Background: The Second Stage Review (2SR) Process

The Second Stage Review included 18 action teams composed of 10-12 members with appropriate expertise dealing with certain subject matter. More than 250 participants within the Department of Homeland Security, representing a comprehensive cross-section, contributed to the Second Stage Review process.

Final issue papers from the action teams were completed and given to the Secretary by May 31, 2005. The Secretary met with all 18 action teams to discuss their findings in detail, and their work served as an important basis for today¿s announcement ¿ as well as a number of new initiatives yet to be announced.

Action teams examined a wide range of issues, including:

  • Risk/Readiness
  • Information and Intelligence Sharing
  • Performance Metrics
  • Law Enforcement Activities
  • Listening to External Partners
  • Supply Chain Security
  • Internal Communications and DHS Culture
  • Research, Technology & Detection

###

Related Topics