DHS forms funding task force

Department of Homeland Security

Related Links

In response to some local government complaints that homeland security funding isn't flowing down to first responders, Homeland Security Department Secretary Tom Ridge announced the formation of a multigovernmental task force to examine the funding process and ensure it's working effectively.

Chaired by Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the 20-member task force is composed of governors, mayors, county and tribal leaders, and other government officials and will serve under the direction of the Homeland Security Advisory Council and its state and local emergency response advisory committees.

"It is critical that the men and women on the frontlines of the war against terror have the resources they need to do their jobs," Ridge said in a press release. "By identifying best practices and determining ways to implement them across the country, the task force will put homeland security dollars into the hands of first responders more rapidly." Federal officials have said the federal government has distributed more than $8 billion in homeland security grants to state and local governments since last year. But mayors have complained that a majority of those funds have not trickled down to the local level as promised, many saying they're hung up at the state level.

A report by DHS' inspector general expected next month documents that the federal government has done a good job in dispersing such funds, but that they're being held up at the state level. In some cases, the states need to ensure they're not duplicating efforts and that the process is effective, the report is expected to say.

Mayor Donald Plusquellic of Akron, Ohio, is vice chairman of the task force. Other notable members include Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, who is also the chairman of the National Governors Association; Virginia Gov. Mark Warner; Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner; Mayor Anthony Williams of Washington, D.C.; and Mayor James Garner of Hempstead, N.Y., who is the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Featured

  • Defense
    Soldiers from the Old Guard test the second iteration of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) capability set during an exercise at Fort Belvoir, VA in Fall 2019. Photo by Courtney Bacon

    IVAS and the future of defense acquisition

    The Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System has been in the works for years, but the potentially multibillion deal could mark a paradigm shift in how the Defense Department buys and leverages technology.

  • Cybersecurity
    Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lora Ratliff)

    Mayorkas announces cyber 'sprints' on ransomware, ICS, workforce

    The Homeland Security secretary announced a series of focused efforts to address issues around ransomware, critical infrastructure and the agency's workforce that will all be launched in the coming weeks.

Stay Connected