Secretary Napolitano Seeks Inventory of U.S. Protection Efforts

"One of my top priorities is to unify this department and to create a common culture."

by / January 22, 2009

New Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano did what one might expect on her first day on the job: She issued a request for information. In the first of six action directives focused on missions central to DHS, she called on the players involved in homeland security throughout the nation to provide status reports on critical infrastructure protection, risk analysis, state and local intelligence sharing, transportation security as well as the integration of federal, state, local and tribal homeland security interests.

The directives Napolitano issued today instruct specific offices and agencies to gather information, review strategies and programs and report back to her in a timely manner. "One of my top priorities is to unify this department and to create a common culture," she said in a statement. "I look forward to receiving the information and to working with the offices and agencies involved to make DHS a more effective and a more efficient department."

The questions to be answered cover a range of issues. Oral reports are due January 28th.

Critical Infrastructure Protection
What is the current status of the critical infrastructure list, relations with the 18 sector security councils and the other departments that have critical infrastructure protection roles? What are the plans to enhance protection? How do we enhance private-sector participation?

Risk Analysis
What is the status of risk analysis metrics and what is the plan and time frame for setting up a full-blown system to govern the establishment of critical infrastructure programs, the priorities among national planning scenarios, and the distribution of grants to state, local, and tribal entities? More broadly, how can DHS enhance risk management as the basis of decision making?

State and Local Intelligence Sharing
The state and local intelligence sharing directive orders a complete inventory of all operational, programmatic, technology and policy activities currently underway. Part of that inventory is an evaluation of which activities hold the most promise for achieving the smooth flow of information on a real-time basis. Napolitano directed that this inventory include the voices of all stakeholders, especially state, local and tribal entities. The evaluation should also consider the private-sector perspective and its relationship to state, local and tribal entities. Additionally, the inventory is to focus on ensuring that the department's information sharing efforts are closely linked to government-wide efforts to establish the Information Sharing Environment as called for in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.

Transportation Security
TSA is directed to provide a review to the Secretary of the current strategies, plans and programs for security of the air, surface, and maritime transportation sector, to include a side by side comparison of the threat environment, resources and personnel devoted to each transportation sector. TSA shall coordinate, as necessary, with all pertinent components and offices in DHS, as well as with all relevant outside bodies and advisory councils.

State, Local and Tribal Integration
In order to more fully integrate American state, local, and tribal governments in the development of policies and programs to protect our nation and help it recover from natural and manmade disasters, the DHS Office of Intergovernmental Affairs has been directed to do the following and report back by February 10th.

  • Immediately contact every relevant governmental association, e.g. the National Governors Association, National Association of Counties, League of Cities and Towns, U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, National Emergency Management Association, and the National Congress of American Indians, announcing that DHS intends to revitalize its relationship with state, local, and tribal governments effective immediately with the intent of creating a working partnership.
  • Immediately plan for an accelerated process of soliciting and collecting input from our state, local and tribal partners on how to improve the programs and processes of DHS. This input should include, but not be limited to, critical infrastructure, grant making, interoperability, intelligence collection and dissemination and emergency services.