Bureaucracy hurts homeland security, Bush aide says

The bureaucratic structure in the executive and legislative branches is one of the main limitations on the Bush administration’s homeland security initiatives, the deputy assistant to the president for homeland security, said today.

“The Department of Homeland Security still has 88 oversight committees in Congress,” Joel Bagnal said at the 2nd annual National Congress for Secure Communities.

He called for a consolidation of the congressional review process for homeland security initiatives similar to that which the House and Senate Congressional Armed Services committees have regarding military oversight.

Bagnal said the executive branch’s homeland security apparatus also needs to be reformed to comprise operational teams that focus on specific homeland and national security missions to prevent redundancy.

The executive branch does a “pretty effective job of coordination now with respect to homeland security issues, but we do a horrible job of integration and synchronization,” he added.

Delegates from more than 40 states gathered in Washington Dec. 17 and 18 for the conference to come up with new ideas for the National Blueprint for Secure Communities.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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