Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Importance of an Agency's No.2

Recently a friend ERIC HOLDERMAN on his blog DISASTER ZONE published a very important article about the importance of the number TWO (2) person in any EM agency. Well what about the fact that there are two Deputy Administrators in FEMA. Richard Serino and Tim Manning. The latter of course heads the National Preparedness Director and holds the title of Deputy Administrator for National Preparedness. This is not to be confused with the other direct report to Craig Fugate, the Administrator of FEMA, Richard Serino. Both of these men have outstanding education, training and experience and are worthy Number 2's. My question of course is whether a formal succession document has been prepared for what I will now refer to as the semi-independent agency FEMA, still housed in DHS. Its semi-independence is questionable but none the less a chain of succession approved by not just the Administrator but also Secretary DHS is necessary at all times in case the current Administrator is incapacitated or worsel. Basic COG [Continuinity of Government] planning, and it might surprise some to know that it was a civil defense mandate to the states long before the federal program, requires that a succession of up to (7) seven positions in any organization be identified. It would be of interest to see FEMA's succession document.
What may be of interest is that I was one among many that pushed based on the current law to have the President, not just a Cabinet Secretary, publish an Executive Order [in the Federal Register of course] establishing the chain of succession in each department. This is now done periodically and with name changes of positions and remember formal delegations are always to positions not to named individuals this does require considerable up keep.
And as a post-script please don't confuse Tim Manning's organization with Rand Beers completely independent of FEMA National Preparedness and Programs Directorate. Confusing? Well isn't that the DHS way?