Council points to security challenges

The next presidential administration will face several major strategic challenges in homeland security that include improving border security, information sharing and disaster response, according to a new report from the Homeland Security Advisory Council.

The report describes the needs to facilitate disaster communications, sharpen government acquisition functions and better apply risk management. Although it states that the next administration should build up critical infrastructure security and resiliency, the report  does not specifically mention cybersecurity.

The council, headed by former FBI Director William Webster, approved the report last week. The panel said the document is intended to provide insight into the challenges, offer ideas on a course of action and serve as an initial briefing to the next secretary of homeland security.

The challenges are in no particular order, and are interrelated. “A core test for political leadership will be to make the hard choices on priorities and trade-offs between equally important programs and policies,” the report said.

Among the challenges it found:



  • Advancing homeland security beyond the Homeland Security Department.



  • Taking an inventory of current programs and deadlines and working with Congress on a better system of oversight.



  • Continuing improvements to intelligence and information sharing and building homeland security leadership through training and education.



  • Improving homeland security research and development, along with acquisition programs; improving disaster response capabilities and resiliency in critical infrastructure.



  • Finding a balance between secure borders and the need for foreign travel; improving risk management and sustaining homeland security efforts.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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