Senate passes Homeland overhaul

After months of haggling, the Senate passed legislation Nov. 19 creating the Department of Homeland Security, putting teeth in the plan to toughen the nation's defenses against terrorism and authorizing a massive reorganization of the federal government.

The Senate voted 90-9 to fold 22 agencies and 170,000 employees into the new department. The House had approved the legislation last week, and the measure now goes to the White House for President Bush's signature.

"This landmark legislation, the most extensive reorganization of the federal government since the 1940s, will help our nation meet the emerging threats of terrorism in the 21st century," Bush said.

While the new department could take years to build, it will rely, in large part, on information technology to create interoperability, information-sharing and coordination among the agencies that will become part of the new department.

One provision of the bill will help small and minority-owned businesses get a piece of contracts from the department.

"By conducting market research to develop alternative sources for critical technologies to combat terrorism, the federal government will foster healthy competition among qualified sources while successfully executing the president's small business agenda," said Angela Styles, administrator OMB's Office of Federal Procurement Policy.

Featured

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

  • Comment
    Pilot Class. The author and Barbie Flowers are first row third and second from right, respectively.

    How VA is disrupting tech delivery

    A former Digital Service specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs explains efforts to transition government from a legacy "project" approach to a more user-centered "product" method.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.