FEMA will oversee all wireless efforts

FEMA will oversee all wireless efforts

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will coordinate all federal wireless communications projects in a bid to ensure interoperability and standards while avoiding stovepiped systems.

FEMA will take over Project SAFECOM, an Office of Management and Budget e-government initiative, according to FEMA CIO Ron Miller.

The purpose of Project SAFECOM is to bring wireless project managers together. But, concerned that wireless projects were sprouting all over the government, Mark Forman, OMB’s e-government point man, said a letter will go out to every federal agency doing wireless projects. To underscore OMB’s determination to rein in the wireless efforts, the letter will cite the Clinger-Cohen Act’s provision giving authority to OMB to reprogram agency money.

“OMB agreed to help consolidate so we could pull in” various wireless projects, such as the Commerce Department’s National Wireless Communications Infrastructure Program, Miller said. The decision to change SAFECOM’s governance was made at a late-April CIO Council meeting, and was suggested by deputy Treasury CIO Mayi Canales.

A joint Justice and Treasury department wireless infrastructure effort that was part of SAFECOM will stay there, Miller said, but now under FEMA’s guidance.

SAFECOM will have four deputy program managers—from Commerce, FEMA, Justice and Treasury—to oversee initiatives, Miller said. It also will have a steering committee composed of representatives from user groups such as the International Association of Chiefs of Police.


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