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Homeland Security: Key Elements to Unify Efforts Are Underway but Uncertainty Remains

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2002
37 pages
This document presents information on the extent to which homeland security efforts are unified.
There is not yet a unified approach to homeland security efforts of public and private entities. Both public and private sector organizations either embarked on their own initiatives or are awaiting further guidance. Progress has been made in developing a framework to support a more unified effort. Central leadership has been established by creating the Office of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Council by Executive Order 13228. The new office is to coordinate the homeland security efforts of Federal, State, and local governments and private sector entities. The national strategy for homeland security is being prepared by the Office of Homeland Security and is to identify long-term, national priorities, objectives, performance measures, and organizational responsibilities. Intergovernmental and public-private sector relationships are also emerging. The President has established the Homeland Security Advisory Council with members selected from the private sector, academia, professional service associations, State, and local governments, and other areas. Because the term “homeland security” has not been officially defined, certain organizational, management, and budgetary decisions cannot be made consistently across agencies. The potential exists for an uncoordinated approach that may lead to duplication of efforts or gaps in coverage, misallocation of resources, and inadequate monitoring of expenditures. It is recommended that the term “homeland security” be defined and that the definition be included in the national strategy. 8 footnotes, 6 appendixes