FEMA publishes reorganization details

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has reorganized since being put in the Homeland Security Department in 2003, but none of those changes have been substantive, the agency said in a new final rule.

FEMA released details of its recent reorganizations in the rule published in the Federal Register April 3. The agency also declared it was exempt from notifying the public and from allowing for public comment because the changes are not substantive. FEMA also stated that review by the Office of Management and Budget was not necessary.

“All of the changes in this rule are nonsubstantive. This rule consists only of corrections and editorial, organizational and conforming amendments. These changes will have no substantive effect on the public; therefore, it is unnecessary to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,” the notice states.

FEMA was created by executive order in 1979 as an independent executive branch agency. In 2003, it was absorbed into the Homeland Security Department, and placed in the DHS Directorate of Emergency and Response. Under legislation passed in 2006, it went through additional organizational changes. For example, in March 2007, FEMA was established as a stand-alone DHS directorate and the FEMA director's position was renamed administrator.

Also in 2007, FEMA took over management of the U.S. Fire Administration, the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness program, the Radiological Emergency Preparedness program, the Office of National Capital Region Coordination, and the functions of what was formerly DHS’ Office of Grants and Training.

FEMA has determined that its organizational structure and delegations of authority are not appropriate to be included in the Code of Federal Regulations and are not required to be published in the Federal Register.

“FEMA has determined that it is in the interest of both the agency and the public to remove descriptions of its organization and functions from the regulations,” the notice states.

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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