Monday, April 12, 2010

FEMA/DOJ Terrorism Conplan

During the long history of feuding and fussing between DOJ, DOD and FEMA over line-drawing between law enforcement, emergency management, and use of the Armed Forces the struggle seemed at least partially resolved when based on a Congressional mandate and implementation of PD-62 in 1998 which superseded PD-39 issued post Murrah Building bombing in 1995, DOJ and FEMA together finally worked out a CONPLAN (Concept of Operations Plan) with respect to terrorism. Essentially unexamined and unstudied after 9/11 a significant multi year planning effort had developed over the roles and responsibilties of the CIVIL AGENCIES in the Executive Branch and in particular FEMA and DOJ. Security issues at the 1984 LA Olympics had created a controversy that almost ended FEMA's existence. The memorandum to the President and NSC Advisor in July 1985 had argued that FEMA was trying to be the civil security CZAR and interpose its efforts between the Cabinent agencies and the President. The text of that memorandum has been made available through the Reagan Library and has been cited in several articles and publications. Even I have discussed it in some detail elsewhere. What that memorandum did not encompass was the federal civil defense program which in the first REAGAN Administration had its own problems over so-called "Crisis Relocation" effort under the auspices of Pd-41 issued not by REAGAN but by James Earl Carter.

What is of interest is the the DOJ-FEMA concept of operations plan was mandated to be incorporated first into the NRP [National Response Plan] and later into the National Response Framework [NRF]!

Let's ignore for the moment that federal agency dueling and look at what the FED's have told the States and Locals on EM and terrorism. In the early 90's SLG-101 was issued, compromised fatally IMO by States involvement in its development and the watering down of that document and it weakening of CPG-101 the former federal civil preparedness guidance. Then of course in January 2001 the CONPLAN for Terrorism was issued jointly by DOJ and FEMA just as the Clinton Administration departed. Then after almost a year of interagency review and discussion in June 2001 an excellent document Attachment G to SLG-101 was issued to help guide the States and Locals. And then again post-9-11 another document which can be found at which is not the Conplan of January 2001 but another guidance document for the STATEs and Locals on terrorism preparedness and response. Strangely except for the NRF and the NFP almost no other guidance existed except upon issuance of CPG-101 Ausgust 2008 which by its own terms supersedes SLG-101 but also fails to mention Attachment G or the document referenced in the URL above.

Okay so why is all of this important. Well FEMA contracted to review the capability of the STATES not the locals and review the current state of planning, including terrorism. That review by the contract with the consent of FEMA used SLG-101 produced in the early 90's and did NOT include Attachment G or the document referenced in the URL above. What that review concluded in the less than 50% of the STATES had or could respond under the watered down SLG-101 criteria certain events and were woefully lacking in capability. Fewer than 10% of the States had even come close to complying with the planning guidance of SLG-101!

So where does this leave US? The states for the most part are deficient in planning and capability and now what is occurring is further erosion in funding for critical EM and HS activities. Is this of concern to anyone? Apparently not despite what should have been the principal lesson of Hurricane Katrina, at least with respect to Louisiana. The STATES have not and will not take seriously EM and HS unless they begin to understand that the funds they receive are not general revenue sharing and cannot be disposed of without sanction. And FEMA needs to finally live up to its responsibility to annually document to Congress state capability, a requirement of the statute known as PKEMA enacted in 2006! But then FEMA has failed to produce its own annual preparedness reports on federal level efforts. So okay! Is anyone home? How about ending the speech circuit and start doing the hard and nitty work of governance. The people have paid for preparedness but somehow they are not getting their money's worth IMO and will not until leadership of FEMA and DHS understands fully "it" can happen on their watch and the governors and mayors and chief executives of the 95,000 state and local government units understand they are guilty of gross negligence. Only soverign immunity keeps the plaintiff's bar from documenting how bad this system really is for the polity of the US. Thus, a series of post will document this failure since apparently OIG/DHS and GAO have other things on their mind than determining basic preparedness and response capability. Of course as always others may draw differenct conclusions but if any of the documents above are read you will at least have to forge a substantial argument to convince me. These docs are of course available upon request.