President Bush’s fiscal year 2009 budget request for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) represents $50.5 billion in funding, which is an increase of 6.8 percent over the 2008 fiscal year level – excluding funds provided in emergency supplemental funding. The request targets five areas, detailed in the following release of information from the DHS.
Continue to Protect Our Nation from Dangerous People
The Department of Homeland Security’s main priority is to prevent terrorist attacks against the nation and to protect our nation from dangerous people. DHS will continue to prevent the entry of terrorists while facilitating the legitimate flow of people by strengthening border security efforts and continuing to gain effective control of America’s borders. Requested funding for the following initiatives will support this significant goal:
An increase of $442.4 million is requested in the President’s Budget to hire, train and equip 2,200 new Border Patrol Agents. The additional agents represent the fiscal 2009 increment of the president’s goal of adding 6,000 new Border Patrol Agents by the end of the first quarter of fiscal year 2009.
Total funding of $140 million to support U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) to implement the rollout of WHTI to land and sea ports of entry after June 1, 2009. WHTI is mandated by law and requires that all travelers present acceptable documents for entry into the United States. Standardized, secure and reliable documentation will enable the Department of Homeland Security to quickly, reliably and accurately identify travelers at air, land and sea ports-of-entry.
Total funding of $100 million is requested for E-Verify. This U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services program allows employers to use an automated system to verify name, date of birth and Social Security Number, along with immigration information for non-citizens, against federal databases to confirm the employment eligibility of both citizen and non-citizen new hires
. The program will deploy additional staff to include information status verifiers, and compliance and monitoring staff.
An increase of $30 million will support the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) vetting programs to stabilize and enhance the agency’s multiple systems such as crew vetting, Secure Identification Display Area checks, and the Alien Flight Student program. This enhancement will enable TSA to efficiently and effectively conduct vetting operations on populations that access the most vulnerable areas of the transportation system.
An increase of $32 million will accelerate implementation of the Secure Flight program by replacing the current airline-managed passenger vetting program with a government-operated program. In addition to using improved technology, the Secure Flight program will alleviate the variability in performance of the current system and reduce the risk of compromised watch list data.
An increase of $46 million will help provide 1,000 additional beds, staffing, and associated removal costs required to meet current demand and demand generated by increased enforcement activities.
Total funding of $57 million for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) automation and modernization of information technology systems to acquire secure and interoperable tactical communications equipment, a biometric detainee location tracking module, and to develop and integrate an enhanced Investigative Case Management system. These improvements promote officer safety, emergency response coordination, and case management efficiencies.
An increase of $10 million is requested for improved border security law enforcement training through the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC).
An increase of $4.2 million to support National Protection and Programs Directorate’s US-VISIT identity management and screening services program. This program provides biometric identity services to law enforcement, intelligence and civilian stakeholders with timely, accurate, and actionable information. Additional funding will complete the biometric interoperability between the US-VISIT IDENT system and the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification system.
Total funding of $7.3 million to support continued development of Command 21, and additional watchstanders at U.S. Coast Guard command centers to meet increasing operational demands and support additional vessel monitoring, information collection, and interagency coordination. These initiatives will provide information sharing and situational awareness tools required to close the gap between current port and coastal surveillance capabilities and the need for greater maritime domain awareness in an all-hazards, all-threats operating environment.
Continue to Protect Our Nation from Dangerous Goods
As a part of its risk-based approach, the Department is expanding its programs to identify, track, and intercept nuclear and radiological components and systems at ports of entry and in transportation systems within U.S. borders. The Department is also intensifying efforts to strengthen capabilities that reduce the risk of a biological attack in the United States. The following initiatives support the Department’s mission to protect the nation from dangerous goods:
Total funding of $334.2 million to support Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) research, development and operations programs, which provides resources for the development and evolution of the global nuclear detection architecture. Included in this research is the development of an Advanced Spectroscopic Portal that is suitable for examining cargo containers, trucks and privately-owned vehicles. Funding will also provide for the development of Human Portable Radiation Detection Systems to be used as primary detection tools by Customs officers, Border Patrol agents, and Coast Guard personnel.
An increase of $34.5 million is requested for the Office of Health Affairs’ Next Generation BioWatch. Funding will procure BioWatch automated detection sensors and initiate deployment activities of the automated sensor system to all existing BioWatch jurisdictions. Automated detection will enhance the capabilities of the BioWatch environmental monitoring system designed for early warning of bioterrorism incidents.
Protect Critical Infrastructure
The Department aims to protect critical infrastructure and key resources, essential government operations, public health and welfare, and the nation’s economic and national security interests. Efforts to bolster the resiliency and protection of our nation’s critical infrastructure and key resources helps to mitigate potential vulnerabilities and to ensure terrorist plans are not successful. The following are funding requests essential to guarding the nation’s infrastructure:
Total funding of $19 million for the U.S. Secret Service’s protective terrorist countermeasures will provide state-of-the-art equipment for use in the event of an explosive, chemical, biological, or radiological attack. It is critical for the Secret Service to have the means to address new threats that may evolve or are identified.
An increase of $13 million for National Protection and Programs Directorate’s (NPPD) chemical security compliance project. The Department has issued regulations establishing risk-based security standards for chemical facilities. Additional funding is requested to increase the staff of this regulatory program and to provide tools and systems to collect and analyze vulnerability information, review plans, support and manage inspections activity, issue decisions, address appeals, and support compliance enforcement.
An increase of $55 million for deploying the Transportation Security Administration’s Travel Document Checking program to airports nationwide. This additional layer of defense for aviation security will help ensure only passengers with authentic boarding passes have access to the sterile area of airports and aboard aircraft.
Total funding of $1.3 billion for Department-wide efforts to counter IED threats. This request includes more than $1.1 billion in funding for TSA explosives detection technology at airports, $50 million for Science and Technology development, $30 million for training of Transportation Security Officers, and $9 million for our Office for Bombing Prevention. The Department has also made billions of dollars in grants available to states and communities for IED prevention and protection, and we continue to work with other federal agencies to address this threat.
A total of $293.5 million for the National Cyber Security Division to further deploy our EINSTEIN system on Federal networks to protect against cyber threats and intrusions. This includes additional funding for enhancing the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team’s ability to analyze and reduce cyber threats and vulnerabilities, to disseminate warning information, and to coordinate incident response.
Build a Nimble and Effective Emergency Response System and Culture of Preparedness
Improving the nation’s ability to respond to disasters, man-made or natural, is a top priority for the Department. The Department is improving its capabilities and preparing those who respond to acts of terror and other emergencies by incorporating lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina, other disasters, and the 9-11 Commission Recommendations. The President’s Budget requests funding
for the following initiatives that support strengthening the department’s ability to build an effective emergency response system and culture of preparedness:
An increase of $64.5 million in funding to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Vision- Shape the Workforce program. Phase II of FEMA’s transformation will strengthen FEMA’s ability to marshal an effective national response, deliver service of value to the public, reduce vulnerability to life and property, and instill public confidence.
Total funding of $2.2 billion will support FEMA’s state and local assistance programs, which prepares state and local governments to prevent or respond to threats or incidents of terrorism and other catastrophic events. This funding will support existing Homeland Security grants, Port and Rail Security grants
and Emergency Management Performance grants, and also proposes a new discretionary grant program targeted towards high priority security initiatives including REALID implementation.
Total funding of $209 million will support FEMA’s disaster workforce, which will transition 4-year Cadre On-Call Response Employees from temporary to permanent full-time personnel. This transition will achieve the level of readiness and response capability required in response to major disasters and emergencies declared by the president. An additional $200 million is provided in a new Disaster Readiness and Support Activities account to assist FEMA in working with state and local partners in preparing for future disasters and institutionalizing logistical and other capabilities in support of state disaster readiness leadership.
A funding increase of $43 million to support S&T laboratory facilities to include initial operations of the National Bio-defense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC). NBACC will provide the nation with essential bio-containment laboratory space for biological threat characterization and bio-forensic research. The programs conducted at NBACC will provide knowledge of infectious properties of biological agents, effectiveness of countermeasures, decontamination procedures, and forensics analyses to support policy makers and responders’ development of policies, programs, and technologies.
Strengthen and Unify DHS Operations and Management
A cohesive and operationally-efficient organization is essential to the rapid implementation of homeland security priorities, policies, and objectives. As such, the department has aligned its resources into areas that will most effectively accomplish its mission. Successful mission performance is driven by human capital development, executing efficient procurement operations, and possessing state-of-the-art information technology resources. A variety of critical investments will ensure that DHS is managed and operated in an efficient and unified manner:
A total of $1.65 million for the first Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR) will fund the research, organization, analysis, and development the QHSR. This document will recommend long-term strategy and priorities of the nation for homeland security and comprehensively examine programs, assets, budget, policies, and authorities required to provide the United States with strong, sound and effective future homeland security capabilities.
An increase of $15.5 million for the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will continue implementation of the Transformation and Systems Consolidation (TASC) project. One of the main objectives of DHS at its formation was to consolidate the support systems of the component agencies to realize cost savings and operational efficiencies. The CFO aims to reduce the number of DHS financial systems, and ensure the manual processes for internal controls are integrated with these financial systems.
An increase of $3.1 million for the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer’s (CPO) DHS-wide acquisition workforce intern program will enhance the way the department recruits, trains, certifies, and retains an appropriate workforce of acquisition professionals. In fiscal year 2009, the intern complement will be raised to 100 people.
An increase of $6.4 million for the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to expand staff oversight of DHS preparedness programs, through audits of preparedness grant programs, S&T programs, and Department-wide programs that establish baseline preparedness efforts; and to strengthen OIG oversight of DHS border security and enforcement programs through a proactive program of audits and on-going oversight of the policies, and initiatives and funds to secure the nation’s borders.
A total of $23.8 million will continue consolidation of the Department’s 17 legacy data centers into two enterprise-wide data centers. This consolidation will result in improved cyber security, information sharing and configuration management.