Cashing in on grant money

The recommendations from the Task Force on State and Local Homeland Security Funding address a wide range of problems at all levels of government in getting funding quickly to the responders who need it.

The recommendations include:

Exempt fiscal 2005 homeland security grants from the Cash Improvement Act of 1990, allowing state and local governments to put grant money in their accounts within 120 days before spending it, as opposed to the three to five days currently allowed.

Encourage state and local officials to alter legislative and procurement procedures to more quickly accept and spend homeland security funds.

Develop multistate cooperative purchasing agreements and expand the use of state and federal contracts to speed up purchasing and procurement.

Establish national standards for grant management, including standardized terminology and a real-time tracking system.

Expand the use of existing grant funds for expenses in short-term threat response, such as overtime pay.

Enhance training and technical assistance to state and local officials involved specifically in the management and administration of homeland security-related grants.

Establish a comprehensive risk-assessment methodology to better standardize the identification of high-risk, high-consequence critical infrastructure and major events.

Source: Homeland Security Department

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