Saturday, May 29, 2010

FEMA Workforce Study

I often have defined the term "preparedness" as including personnel (their level of training, education, experience, competence, and availabilty [after all events are not just controlled by actions of a singe shift of workerbees but in fact require 24/7/365 days availability and with appropriate rotations for reasons of sleep, and health.] In additon of course "preparedness" includes logistics, equipment, surge capability, legal authority, integration or ability to integrate legal, medical, technical, and scientific advice, and other things also including planning.
This post is focused on the fact that DHS/FEMA paid a huge outlay to a FFRDC (Federally Funded Research and Development Center) to study FEMA workforce issues under a statutory mandate enacted as far back as FEMA. What is of interest of course is that even VP Al Gore's Reinventing Government effort focused on the need to study work force issues in FEMA. What I find fascinating is that the study was conducted and transmitted to Congress without definition of the FEMA role in the Executive Branch or domestic civil crisis management, response and recovery and mitigation. The study however looks quite interesting and I will analyze further over time. The question I will use for the basis of my analysis has been raised elsewhere on this blog, is FEMA the Executive Branch safety net for civil government in crisis and emergencies and disasters when other Executive branch organizations fail for a variety of reasons including lack of funding? This unanwered question makes any FEMA workforce study compromised at the beginning if not answered yet each workforce study of FEMA and their have been several major ones provide some interesting insights as to exactly who FEMA hires and how they are utilized. I discussed this issue tangentially in an article published in JHSEM (Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management)in its very first issue with my friend Dr. Richard Sylves, PhD, and it concerned HAZMATS and FEMA's Road to DHS. I will furnish articles on request and also available from JHSEM.
I will also furnish copies of the workforce study which was transmitted to Congress on May 10th upon request.