we've had and what our recognition in Congress is going to be to move on with the project," David Paulison, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said.
"What we're doing is going back through the existing data that we have with all of the investment justifications, the state reports that have been put in over the last five years and going through that information to determine what capabilities have been derived through this financial federal assistance, [and] measuring that up against the target capabilities list," Ross Ashley, assistant administrator for grant programs for FEMA. "Now, some of this will be going back to before we had a target capabilities list," he continued. "So, the measurements will be an approximation when we go back previous to '06. But, more importantly, this is going to put together a rigorous analytical capability that will be used year over year to analyze the impacts that the grants are having."
FEMA is using both preparedness officers out in the field as well as preparedness officers in Washington that interact with grant recipients on a daily basis.
As for the process used to award these grants, it continues to be a peer-review process. "I am hopeful that this process of disciplined risk-based funding, which puts the most money where the most risk is and does it in a way that's transparent and has continuity I'm hoping this is a really good harbinger for the future and that we will be able to continue to move forward with what I think is actually probably at this point one of the best designed and most risk-oriented and efficient grant programs across the entire federal government," Chertoff said.
Focus on IEDs
Chertoff said the agency was continuing to focus on critical national preparedness capabilities. A particular focus, he noted, was the deterrence, prevention and protection against the use improvised explosive devices, which is any "bomb that was not manufactured as part of a military program or some institutionalized way of making bombs, but one that terrorists put together to blow people up."