DHS to scrutinize grant spending

Office of Domestic Preparedness

Officials from the Homeland Security Department's Office of Domestic Preparedness are putting in place several policies to oversee and enforce how state and local agencies are spending their federal funding, according to an ODP official.

Homeland security grants awarded to states and cities go through the preparedness office, and officials plan to make sure that state and city officials actually spend the federal money on areas identified as primary needs in assessments and strategies submitted to DHS earlier this year, said Judy Hampton, director of the eastern division of ODP.

"We will be monitoring this very closely...to ensure that the proposals that they submit to us for funding do go back and link to the objectives in their strategies," she said at the DHS Industry Forum in Washington, D.C.

Office officials also want to increase evaluation of exercises and training for first responders. There must be a baseline standard for training and exercises to test that training, Hampton said. ODP officials recently distributed information on the new Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program to state and local agencies, she said.

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