I have been having an ongoing debate with friends in high places and low places as to whether PKEMA actually granted much brand NEW legal authority to FEMA when enacted. So I thought I would have some fun. PKEMA of 2006 of course was not an entirely independent statute but buried in Title VI-NATIONAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT of Public Law 109-295, enacted October 4, 2006. So I thought I would review what FEMA itself thought of the new statutory scheme an now provide what was a September 26, 2006 predecisional document discussing PKEMA of 2006. I will let the readers of this blog decide on their own but my informal estimate is that almost 75% of the statutory mandates, which in fact often just require FEMA to exericise what it had discretion to do all along, and almost always issue a report or something similiar, have NOT been met and in many cases no evidence exists of their even being started. Somewhate shocking is both the DHS/OIG and GAO have tentatively reviewed portions of this statute and made recommendations and suggestions but have not actually stated that NO PROGRESS was found on these mandates and listed those they believe no progress made. Some are obvious and probably will blog about them at some time. Let's take an example of the three dedicated National Strike TEAMS trained and ready for all hazards. Well hoping they have oil spill expertise.
Anyhow for what it is worth this is how FEMA itself described the new statute:
POST-KATRINA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT REFORM ACT OF 2006
TITLE VI—National Emergency Management
Sec. 601. Short Title. This Act may be cited as the “Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006”.
Sec. 602. Definitions. Creates new definitions for “appropriate committees of Congress”, “catastrophic incident”, “emergency management”, “emergency response provider”, “National Incident Management System”, “National Response Plan” and “surge capacity”. “Emergency,” “major disaster” and “Federal Coordinating Officer” have the same meanings that they do under the Stafford Act.
Subtitle A —Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Section 611. Amends Title V of the Homeland Security Act. The following section references refer to that Act.
Sec. 501. Definitions. Defines “Administrator” as the Administrator of FEMA. Creates new definitions for “catastrophic incident”, “emergency communications capabilities”, “interoperable”, “National Incident Management System”, “National Response Plan” and “surge capacity.”
Sec. 503. Federal Emergency Management Agency. Re-designated section 503 “creates” the Federal Emergency Management Agency and adds new mission and responsibilities to the Administrator of FEMA. The Administrator’s mission is to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the Nation from all hazards, by leading and supporting the Nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation. The Administrator is responsible for preparing for, protecting against, responding to, recovering from and mitigating against the risk of a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster. The Administrator shall partner with State, local governments and other emergency providers to build a national system of emergency management. The Administrator shall integrate the Agency’s emergency preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation responsibilities to confront the challenges of a natural disaster, act of terrorism or other man made disaster. Finally, the Administrator shall coordinate the implementation of risk-based, all-hazards strategy.
Section 503(c) states that the Administrator shall be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate and shall be an individual with a demonstrated ability in and knowledge of emergency management and homeland security, and at least 5 years of executive leadership and management experience. The Administrator shall report directly to the Secretary. The Administrator is the principal advisor to the President, Homeland Security Council, and the Secretary for all matters relating to emergency management in the United States. Advice can be provided on request to any of these entities. After informing the Secretary, the Administrator can make recommendations to Congress relating to emergency management. The President may designate the Administrator to serve as a member of the Cabinet in the event of natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or other man-made disasters. Nothing in the above is to be construed as affecting the authority of the Secretary under the Homeland Security Act.
More responsibilities are added to the Administrator’s duties in section 504. The Administrator shall assist the President in carrying out functions of the Stafford Act, and carry out the mission to protect the Nation from all hazards by leading and supporting a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system. The Administrator would also be responsible for supervising FEMA’s grant programs and administering the National Response Plan. The Administrator would also assist the President in carrying out the functions of the national preparedness goal and the national preparedness system.
Sec. 505. Functions Transferred. New section 505 transfers all of the functions, assets and personnel of FEMA and most of the Directorate of Preparedness (as both were constituted on June 1, 2006) to the “new” FEMA. The following functions, personnel, assets and authorities in the Preparedness Directorate shall not be transferred: The Office of Infrastructure Protection, the National Communications System, the National Cybersecurity Division, and the Office of the Chief Medical Officer.
Sec. 506. Preserving the Federal Emergency Management Agency. New section 506(a) mandates that the new agency shall be maintained as a distinct entity within the Department, and new section 506(b) states that section 872 of the Homeland Security Act shall not apply to the new agency including any function or organizational unit of the entity. Section 506(c) further limits the Secretary’s authority to change the responsibilities or functions of the new agency prohibiting the diversion of any asset, function, or mission to any other entity of the Department. Section 506(d) limits the Secretary’s authority to reprogram or transfer funds.
Sec. 507. Regional Offices. New section 507 establishes 10 Regional Offices within FEMA as identified by the Administrator. Each Regional Office shall be headed by a Regional Administrator, appointed by the Administrator, in consultation with State and local governments in the region. The Regional Administrators report directly to the Administrator and are to be SESs. Each Regional Administrator should have demonstrated ability in and knowledge of emergency management and homeland security, and the Administrator must consider the familiarity of each with the geographical area to which they are assigned.
Section 507(c) outlines the responsibilities of the Regional Administrators. They include ensuring effective and coordinated regional preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation activities for natural disasters and acts of terrorism. They are also responsible for coordinating the establishment of effective regional operable and interoperable emergency communications capabilities, staffing and overseeing 1 or more strike teams, and assisting in the development of regional capabilities needed for a national catastrophic response system. Each Regional Administrator is also required to undergo training, and participate in regional and national exercises.
Section 507(d) creates Area Offices for the Pacific, for the Caribbean, and requires the establishment of an Area Office in Alaska. All three are to be created as components in the appropriate Regional Office.
Section 507(e) creates a Regional Advisory Council, who shall advise the Regional Administrators on emergency management issues specific to their region and on unique characteristics of the region. A State, local, or tribal government may nominate official to serve as members of the Regional Advisory Council.
Section 507(f) provides each Regional Administrator authority over multi-agency Regional Office Strike Teams. Each strike team shall consist of a designated Federal coordinating officer, a defense coordinating officer, liaisons to other Federal agencies, individuals from agencies with primary responsibility for the functions of the National Response Plan, personnel trained in incident management, and others deemed appropriate. The members of the strike teams shall be based primarily in the region to which they are assigned. Each strike team shall be trained as a unit on a regular basis for preparedness. If the Administrator determines that the statutory authority under this subsection is inadequate for the preparedness and deployment of these strike teams, he shall submit a report to Congress regarding what authorities are needed.
Sec. 508. National Advisory Council. Within 60 days of enactment, the Secretary is required to establish an advisory body under section 871(a) of the Homeland Security Act to ensure effective coordination of Federal preparedness, protection, response, etc. The National Advisory Council advises the Administrator on emergency management, members shall be appointed by the Administrator, and they shall represent a geographic and substantive cross section including the private sector and nongovernmental organizations. The Administrator must coordinate the selection of health or emergency medical service professionals with the Secretaries of HHS and DOT. The Administrator shall designate 1 or more officers of the Federal Government to serve as ex officio members. After the initial appointments, each member serves a 3 year term. For the initial appointments, one third of the members are appointed for one year, and one third shall be appointed for two years. Most provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act apply.
Sec. 509. National Integration Center. New section 509 establishes a National Integration Center in the new entity. Through this Center, the Administrator shall ensure ongoing management and maintenance of the National Incident Management System, the National Response Plan, and any successor to such system or plan. The Center shall review and revise as appropriate the National Incident Management System and the National Response Plan.
Section 509(c) requires the Secretary, acting through the Administrator, to ensure that the National Response Plan provides for a clear chain of command to lead the Federal response to any natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster. Such chain of command should account for the Administrator’s role as the principal emergency management advisor to the President, Homeland Security Council, and Secretary. The Plan should also provide a role for the Federal Coordinating Office consistent with section 302(b) of the Stafford Act. The Principal Federal Official shall not direct or replace the incident command structure established at the incident, or have directive authority over the Senior Federal Law Enforcement Official, Federal Coordinating Officer, or other Federal and State officials.
Sec. 510. Credentialing and Typing. The Administrator shall enter into a MOU with the administrators of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, State and local governments, emergency response providers, and their representatives to collaborate on developing standards for deployment capabilities, including credentialing of all personnel and typing of resources likely needed to respond to a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster.
Sec. 511. The National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center. This Center is created within the Department, and shall serve as a source of national expertise to address critical infrastructure protection and continuity through support for activities related to counterterrorism, threat assessment, risk mitigation, natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or other man-made disasters. The Center shall include modeling, simulation, and analysis of the system and assets comprising critical infrastructure. Each Federal agency and department with critical infrastructure responsibilities under HSPD-7 shall establish a formal relationship, including an agreement regarding information sharing, with the Center, through the Department.
Sec. 512. Evacuation Plans and Exercises. Grants made through the State Homeland Security Grant Program or Urban Area Security Initiative may be used to establish and maintain mass evacuation plans, prepare for the execution of such plans, and conduct exercises of such plans. Section 512(b) outlines what factors States or local governments should consider when developing a mass evacuation plan. Section 512(c) allows the Administrator to establish any guidelines, standards or requirements determined appropriate to administer this section and the Administrator shall make assistance available to assist hospitals, nursing homes, and other institutions that house individuals with special needs to establish plans that coordinate with State, local and tribal plans.
Sec. 513 Disability Coordinator. Amends the Homeland Security Act by adding a new section which calls for the appointment by the Administrator of a Disability Coordinator to ensure the needs of individuals with disabilities are being properly addressed in emergency preparedness and disaster relief. The Disability Coordinator reports directly to the Administrator. Section 513(b) outlines the Coordinator’s responsibilities.
Sec. 514. Department and Agency Officials. Subsection (a) authorizes the President to appoint no more than 4 Deputy Administrators of the new entity. This section also creates an Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity and Telecommunications within the Department, as well as giving the Administrator of the US Fire Administration the rank equivalent to an assistant secretary of the Department.
Sec. 515. National Operations Center. New section 515 establishes the National Operations Center as the principal operations center for the Department, which shall provide “situational awareness” and a common operation picture for the entire Federal government, and for State and local governments as appropriate, in the event of a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster. The National Operations Center shall also ensure that critical terrorism and disaster-related information reaches government decision makers.
Sec. 516. Chief Medical Officer. New section 516 creates a Chief Medical Officer in the Department, appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The CMO shall have the primary responsibility within the Department for medical issues related to natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters, including serving as the principal advisor to the Secretary and Administrator on medical and public health issues. The CMO serves as the primary contact point for medical and public health issues, as well as coordinating the biodefense activities of the Department. The CMO also will ensure internal and external coordination of all medical preparedness and response activities of the Department.
Section 612. Technical and Conforming Amendments. This section creates the Administrator as an Executive Level II rank position. Any reference in any law to the Director of FEMA shall be considered to refer to the Administrator of FEMA. The Undersecretary for Preparedness and the Director of FEMA shall take such actions as necessary to provide for an orderly implementation by March 31, 2007.
Section 613. National Weather Service. This section protects the authorities and activities of the National Weather Service.
Section 614. Effective Date. Most of the provisions take place on the date of enactment, but some are not effective until March 31, 2007. These provisions are the creation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the additional authority and responsibilities of the new entity, the transfer of functions, the creation of regional offices, the National Advisory Council, and the creation of Department Officials.
Subtitle B—Personnel Provisions
Chapter 1—Federal Emergency Management Personnel
Sec. 621. Workforce Development.
§ 10101. Definitions. “Agency”, “Administrator”, “Appropriate committee of Congress”, “Department” and “Surge Capacity Force” are defined.
§ 10102. Strategic Human Capital Plan. Requires the Administrator of FEMA to develop a human capital strategy to ensure that FEMA has a workforce of appropriate size and with appropriate skills and training to carry out FEMA’s mission. This strategy is to be developed no later than 6 months after the date of the enactment. No later than May 1, 2007 and May 1 of each year until 2012, the Director is required to submit an update of the strategic human capital plan.
§ 10103. Career Paths. Requires the Administrator to 1) ensure that appropriate career paths for personnel are identified, including the education, training, experience, and assignments necessary for career progression within the Agency and 2) publish information on the career paths described in requirement 1.
§10104. Recruitment bonuses. Authorizes the Administrator to pay individuals bonuses for recruitment purposes for difficult to fill positions in the absence of such a bonus. All bonuses are paid out in accordance with the completed Strategic Human Capital Plan. Authority terminates 5 years after enactment.
§10104. Retention bonuses. Authorizes the Administrator to pay, on a case-by-case basis, a bonus to an employee if 1) that employee is uniquely qualified and it is essential to retain that employee and 2) that employee is likely to leave FEMA. All bonuses are paid out in accordance with the completed Strategic Human Capital Plan. Authority terminates 5 years after enactment.
§ 10106. Quarterly Report on Vacancy Rate in Employee Positions. No later than 3 months after the enactment of this Act, the Administrator is required to submit to Congress a report on the vacancies in employee positions of the Agency. No later than 3 months after the initial report, the Administrator is required to update Congress on the progress of the Agency in filling vacant employee positions for 5 years.
Sec. 622. Establishment of Homeland Security Rotation Program at the Department of Homeland Security. Amends Title VIII of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 by inserting the following after section 843:
Sec. 844 – Homeland Security Rotation Program. No later than 180 days after the enacted of this section, the Secretary is required to establish the Homeland Security Rotation Program for employees of the Department. The Rotation Program shall use applicable best practices, including those from the Chief Human Capital Officers Council. No later than 180 days after the enactment of the Rotation Program, the Secretary is required to submit a report on the status of the Program to Congress.
Sec. 623. Homeland Security Education Program. Amends Title VIII of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 by inserting the following after Section 844:
Sec. 845 – Homeland Security Education Program. Acting through the Administrator, the Secretary is directed to establish a graduate-level Homeland Security Education Program in the National capital Region to provide educational opportunities to senior Federal officials and selected State and local official with homeland security and emergency management responsibilities. The Administrator will appoint an individual to administer the activities under this section.
Sec. 624. Surge Capacity Force. No later than 6 months after the enactment of this Act, the Administrator is required to prepare and submit to Congress a plan to establish and implement a Surge Capacity Force for deployment of individuals to natural disasters and to acts of terrorism and other man-made disasters, including catastrophic incidents. The Surge Capacity Force should be trained and deployed under the authorities set forth in the Stafford Act. If the existing authorities are inadequate, the Administrator must report to Congress the additional statutory authorities necessary.
Subtitle B, Chapter 2 –Emergency Management Capabilities
Sec. 631. State Catastrophic Incident Annex. This section amends section 613 of the Stafford Act to require State and local governments to include catastrophic incident annexes as part of their planning in order to be eligible to receive FEMA funds. The specific requirements for such catastrophic incident annexes are delineated.
Sec. 632. Evacuation Preparedness Technical Assistance. Requires the Administrator, in coordination with appropriate Federal Agencies to provide evacuation preparedness technical assistance to States and local governments, including technical assistance in the preparation of hurricane evacuation studies and evacuation plans assessing storm surge estimates, evacuation zones, evacuation clearance times, transportation capacity, and shelter capacity.
Sec. 633. Emergency Response Teams. Amends section 303 of the Stafford Act to add a new section b, which calls for the establishment of at least 3 national response teams and sufficient regional and other response teams as may be necessary. The Administrator must evaluate team readiness on a regular basis and report team readiness levels in the report required under section 652.
Sec. 634. National Urban Search and Rescue Response System. This section recognizes the Urban Search and Rescue Response System and makes specific appropriations.
Sec. 635. Metropolitan Medical Response Grant Program. The program is to continue to function as it did on June 1, 2006.
Sec. 636. Logistics. Requires the Administrator to develop an efficient, transparent, and flexible logistics system for procurement and delivery of goods and services necessary for an effective and timely response to major disasters, acts of terrorism, and other emergencies and for real-time visibility of items at each point throughout the logistics system.
Sec. 637. Prepositioned Equipment Program. The Administrator is required to establish a prepositioned equipment program to preposition standardized emergency equipment in selected geographic areas to sustain and replenish critical assets used by State and local governments in the wake of major disasters, acts of terrorism, and other emergencies. The Administrator must notify State and local officials 60 days prior to the date a location for the prepositioned equipment program will be closed. There should be at least 11 locations fully funded and operational at all times.
Sec. 638. Hurricane Katrina and Rita Recovery Offices. Prescribes the establishment of long-term recovery offices in the following States, if necessary: Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Texas. Each long-term recovery office shall be led by an executive director. The Administrator shall identify performance measures and provide incentives f the timely closeout of public assistance projects under sections 406 and 407 of the Stafford Act. Each recovery office shall terminate at the discretion of the Administrator.
Sec. 639. Basic Life Supporting First Aid and Education. Requires the Administrator to enter into agreements with organizations to provide funds to emergency response providers to provide education and training in life supporting first aid to children.
Sec. 640. Improvements to Information Technology Systems. Requires the Administrator, in coordination with the Chief Information Officer of DHS, to take appropriate measures to update and improve the information technology systems of the Agency, including NEMIS, and to send to Congress a report describing the implementation of this section within 270 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
Sec. 640a. Disclosure of Certain Information to Law Enforcement Agencies. In an evacuation, sheltering, or mass relocation, the Administrator may disclose information in any individual assistance database of the Department, in accordance with the Privacy Act, to any law enforcement agency of the Federal, State, or local government in order to identify illegal conduct or address public safety concerns, including sex offender notification laws.
Subtitle C – Comprehensive Emergency Preparedness System
Chapter 1—National Preparedness System
Sec. 641. Definitions. “Capability”, “Hazard”, “Mission Assignment”, “National Preparedness Goal”, “National Preparedness System”, “National Training Program”, “Operational Readiness”, “Performance Measure”, “Performance Metric”, and “Prevention” are defined.
Sec. 642. National Preparedness. Requires the President consistent with section 601 of the Stafford Act and title V of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to develop a national preparedness goal and a national preparedness system.
Sec. 643. National Preparedness Goal. Requires the President, acting through the Administrator, to complete, revise, and update as necessary a national preparedness goal that defines the target level of preparedness to ensure the Nation’s ability to prevent, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters. The Goal should be as consistent as possible with NIMS and the NRP.
Sec. 644. Establishment of the National Preparedness System. Requires the President, acting through the Administrator, to establish a national preparedness system to enable the Nation to meet the national preparedness goal.
Sec. 645. National Planning Scenarios. Directs the Administrator to work with the heads of appropriate Federal agencies and the National Advisory Council, to develop planning scenarios to reflect the relative risk requirements presented by all hazards, including major disasters, acts of terrorism, and other emergencies in order to provide the foundation for the flexile and adaptive development of target capabilities and the identification of target capability levels to meet the national preparedness goal.
Sec. 646. Target Capabilities and Preparedness Priorities. Within 180 days of enactment, the Administrator must work with the heads of appropriate Federal agencies, including the National Council on Disability, and the National Advisory Council, to complete, revise, and update as necessary guidelines to define the risk-based target capabilities for Federal, State, and local government preparedness that enables the Nation to prevent, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against all hazards, including major disasters, acts of terrorism, and other emergencies. These guidelines are to be provided to Congress and the States, who are encouraged to distribute to local jurisdictions. The Director may provide support for the development of mutual aid agreements within states.
Sec. 647. Equipment and Training Standards. Directs the Administrator to work with the heads of appropriate Federal agencies and the National Advisory Council to support the development, promulgation, and updating, as necessary, national voluntary consensus standards for the performance, use, and validation of equipment used by Federal, State, and local governments and nongovernmental emergency response providers and national voluntary consensus standards for training.
Sec. 648. Training and Exercises. Requires within180 days of enactment, the Administrator must work with the heads of appropriate Federal agencies, including the National Council on Disability, and the National Advisory Council, to carry out a national training program to implement the national preparedness goal, national incident management system, national response plan, and other related plans and strategies. Within 180 days, the Administrator shall also work to carry out a national exercise program to test and evaluate (exercise) the goal, NIMS, NRP and other related plans. No less than biennially, there must be national level exercise to test and evaluate the capability of Federal, State, and local governments to respond detect, disrupt, and prevent threatened or actual catastrophic acts of terrorism, and to test the readiness of Federal, State, and local governments to respond and recover in a coordinated and unified manner to catastrophic incidents.
Sec. 649. Comprehensive Assessment System. The Administrator shall work with the National Council on Disability and the National Advisory Council to establish a comprehensive system to asses on an ongoing basis, the Nation’s prevention capabilities and overall preparedness, including operational readiness.
Sec. 650. Remedial Action Management Program. Requires the Administrator to work with the National Council on Disability and the National Advisory Council to establish a remedial action management program to look at events, training and exercises to identify lessons learned, generate after action reports, monitor the implementation of lessons learned,
Sec. 651. Federal Response Capability Inventory. Consistent with Title VI of the Stafford Act, requires the Administrator to accelerate the completion of the inventory of Federal response capabilities, to create a database of those capabilities, and to work with DOD to develop a list of functions that can be uses to provide civil support during disasters, acts of terrorism or other emergency.
Sec. 652. Reporting Requirements. Within 12 months of enactment and annually thereafter, the Administrator is required to work with the heads of appropriate Federal agencies to submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the Nation’s level of preparedness for all hazards, including natural disaster, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters. Annually, the Administrator shall develop and submit to the appropriate committees of Congress an estimate of the resources necessary to respond to a catastrophic incident. Within 15 months of enactment and annually thereafter, a State receiving Federal assistance must submit a report to the Administrator on the State’s level of preparedness.
Sec. 653. Federal Preparedness. Requires the President to ensure and annually certify that each Federal agency with responsibility for responding under the NRP 1) have operational capability to meet the national preparedness goal 2) comply with NIMS 3) develop a deliberate planning capability and 4) develop, train and exercise rosters of response personnel to be deployed when the organization is called upon to support a Federal response. Requires the President to ensure that agencies have prescripted mission assignments.
Sec. 654. Use of Existing Resources. Requires the Administrator in establishing the national preparedness goal and national preparedness system to use existing preparedness documents, planning tools, and guidelines to the extent practicable and consistent with the Act.
Chapter 2 – Additional Preparedness
Sec. ¬¬661. Emergency Management Assistance Compact Grants. The Administrator may make grants to administer the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. $4,000,000 is authorized for FY08 and is to remain available until expended.
Sec. 662. Emergency Management Performance Grants. Authorizes to be appropriated for the Emergency Management Performance Grants Program for FY08, an amount equal to the amount appropriated for the program for FY07 and an additional $175,000,000.
Sec. 663. Transfer of Noble Training Center. Transfers the Noble Training Center to the Center for Domestic Preparedness. The Center for Domestic Preparedness is to integrate the Noble Training Center into the program structure of the Center for Domestic Preparedness.
Sec. ¬664. National Exercise Simulation Center. Requires the President to establish a national exercise simulation center that uses a mix of live, virtual, and constructive simulations.
Subtitle D―Emergency Communications
Section 671. Emergency Communications.
This section, entitled the 21st Century Emergency Communications Act of 2006, amends the Homeland Security Act by inserting a new Title XVIII, consisting of eight new sections (numbered 1801-1808) that provide as follows:
Sec. 1801. Office of Emergency Communications.
This section establishes a new “Office of Emergency Communications,” with a Director who would report to the “Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications.” The responsibilities of the Director would include:
• assisting the Secretary in developing and implementing the public safety communications interoperability program in Section 7303(a)(1) of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA);
• administering Integrated Wireless Network (IWN) program, and the SAFECOM program (except those elements related to R&D, testing, and standards), which the Secretary is directed to transfer to the Director for Emergency Communications, along with the Interoperable Communications Technical Assistance Program.;
• conducting outreach and performing such other duties of DHS necessary to support and promote the ability of emergency response providers and “relevant” government officials to continue to communicate in a natural or man-made disaster;
• conducting outreach to encourage development of operable and interoperable communications by State/regional/local/tribal (S/R/L/T) government, public safety agencies, and consortia;
• providing technical assistance to S/R/L/T officials relative to interoperable emergency comms capabilities;
• coordinating with the Regional Administrators regarding the activities of the Regional Emergency Communications Coordination Working Groups (see sec. 1805 below);
• promoting development of standard operating procedures and best practices for use of interoperable comms capabilities in incident response and promoting information sharing to develop and enhance such capabilities;
• in cooperation with the National Communications System (NCS), coordinating establishment of a national response capability for deploying comms equipment for “relevant” S/L/T governments and emergency response providers during a catastrophic loss of local/regional emergency comms;
• assisting POTUS and EOP (NSC, HSC, OMB) in ensuring the continued operation of Federal telecommunications functions and responsibilities (excluding spectrum management);
• working with Director of Office for Interoperability and Compatibility (see Sec.872, below) to establish requirements for non-proprietary interoperable emergency comms capabilities for all public safety radio and data systems purchased using DHS-administered assistance funds, but excluding any alert and warning devices, technologies, or systems;
• (in consultation with A/S Grants & Training) reviewing all Federal/State/local/tribal interoperable emergency comms plans developed using DHS-administered assistance funds;
• developing and periodically updating a National Emergency Communications Plan (see proposed sec. 1802); and
• performing other duties of DHS necessary to achieve, maintain, and enhance interoperable emergency comms capabilities.
The section requires the Director to coordinate with the Director of the Office for Interoperability and Compatibility (see Sec.872, below), and with the Administrator of FEMA with respect to the foregoing responsibilities.
Reporting Requirement: Finally, subsection (f) requires the Secretary within 120 days after enactment to provide to Congress a sufficiency of resources plan that identifies the resources and personnel needed to carry out the assigned responsibilities, the validity of which report is to be separately reviewed by the Comptroller General within 60 days after the date of submission of the plan by the Secretary.
Sec. 1802. National Emergency Communications Plan.
Reporting Requirement: Within 180 days following completion of the baseline assessment required by proposed section 1803 (see below), this section requires the Secretary, through the Director/Emergency Comms, and in cooperation with the Ðepartment of National Communications System (as appropriate)”, to work with Federal D/As, State/local/tribal governments, emergency response providers, and the private sector to develop a National Emergency Communications Plan with recommendations on how the U.S. should support and promote the ability of emergency response providers and “relevant” government officials to continue to communicate in a natural or man-made disaster and attain interoperable emergency communications nationwide. The bill directs the Emergency Communications Preparedness Center to coordinate the “Federal aspects” of the Plan.
The bill also prescribes the contents of the Plan, which include: recommendations (with FCC and NIST) for encouraging more rapid development of national voluntary equipment standards; an identification of the emergency comms capabilities necessary for emergency response providers and “relevant” government officials to continue to communicate in a natural or man-made disaster; an identification of the interoperable emergency comms capabilities necessary for F/S/L/T governments for a natural or man-made crisis; short and long-term solutions for deploying interoperable emergency comms systems for F/S/L/T governments and for ensuring that emergency response providers and “relevant” government officials can continue to communicate during natural and man-made disasters; identification of how Federal D/As that engage in disaster response can work with State/local/tribal/other entities; identification of obstacles to and recommended solutions for attaining nationwide interoperable emergency comms; recommended goals and timeframes for deploying an emergency, command-level comms system and interoperable emergency comms systems across the nation; and recommended measures that emergency responders should use to ensure continued operation of “relevant” governmental communications infrastructure during natural and man-made crises.
Sec. 1803. Assessments and Reports.
Reporting Requirement: Subsection (a) requires the Secretary, through the Director/Emergency Comms, to develop a baseline operability and interoperability assessment of Federal/State/local/tribal government identifies what interoperable emergency communications capabilities are needed to continue to communicate in the event of a natural or man-made disaster or to respond to certain events, what capabilities exist, and assesses the gap between existing capabilities and needs. The section also directs the Secretaries of Homeland Security and Commerce, and the FCC Chairman, to compile a national inventory of interoperable emergency communications used by Federal departments and agencies and for public safety systems. The first report is due one year after enactment with updates at least every five years thereafter. The bill provides that the Report may include a classified annex and the baseline assessment may incorporate findings from previous assessments conducted before enactment.
Reporting Requirement: Separately, subsection (b) directs the Secretary to provide a progress report to Congress within one year, and every two years thereafter, on the status of DHS’s efforts in implementing the bill’s requirements and achieving improvements in interoperable emergency communications nationwide and gaps that remain to be addressed.
Specifically, the progress report is required to include: a description of the findings of the most recent baseline assessment; a determination of the degree to which interoperable emergency comms have been achieved and remaining gaps; an assessment of the ability of communities to provide and maintain operable and interoperable emergency comms among emergency managers, emergency response providers, and government officials in a crisis; a list of best practices among communities for providing and maintaining operable and interoperable emergency comms; and an evaluation of the feasibility and desirability of DHS developing, alone or with DOD, a mobile communications capability that could be deployed to support emergency communications needs at the site of a natural or man-made disaster.
Sec. 1804. Coordination of Department Emergency Communications Grant Programs.
Subsection (a) tasks the Director of the Office of Emergency Comms to ensure that guidelines for DHS grant assistance for interoperable emergency communications are aligned with goals and recommendations set forth in the National Emergency Communications Plan, discussed above.
Subsection (b) authorizes the Assistant Secretary for Grants and Training, in consultation with the Director/Emergency Comms, to prohibit State/local/tribal governments from using DHS grant funds for interoperable emergency communications purposes if the entity has not submitted a Statewide Interoperable Communications Plan (required by sec. 7303(f) of the IRTPA); is proposing to use the funds for equipment or systems that do not meet or exceed national voluntary consensus-based standards (unless a reasonable explanation is provided); or if such voluntary standards have not been developed within three years after the release of the first National Emergency Communications Plan. The bill specifically directs the Secretary to work with NIST, the FCC, and other Federal agencies with standards-setting responsibilities to support the development and promulgation of such standards.
NOTE: An un-numbered draft section received from the Committee captioned Emergency Communications and Interoperability Grants would direct the Secretary to establish a grant program to make funds available to States and regions to support improvements in statewide, regional, national and, in certain circumstances, international emergency communications interoperability. The program must only be established, however, after the National Emergency Communications Report (sec. 1802) and the Baseline Assessment (sec. 1803) have been completed and submitted to Congress, and the Secretary has determined that there has been substantial progress toward the development and promulgation of voluntary, consensus-based standards.
Once the program is established, the bill permits the specified grant funds to be used to support short-term or long-term solutions for emergency communications operability and interoperability across the system life cycle (e.g., planning, system design/engineering, procurement and installation, exercises, technical assistance/training, etc.).
Sec. 1805. Regional Emergency Communications Coordination.
This section creates within each of the Regional Offices of the new entity a Regional Emergency Communications Coordination Working Group (RECC-WG), each of which reports to its respective Regional Administrator and coordinates its activities with its corresponding Regional Advisory Council. The RECC-WGs are to consist of non-Federal subject matter experts (SMEs) representing State and local officials (including emergency managers, homeland security advisors, and State administrative agencies) and police departments; local fire departments; local 911 services; and representatives from DHS, FCC, and other Federal departments and agencies with responsibility for coordinating emergency communications or providing emergency support services to State/local/tribal governments.
In performing their specified duties, the RECC-WGs are required to coordinate their activities with communications service providers across the range of sub sectors (e.g., local telephone companies, wireless carriers, local broadcasters, satellite service providers, cable television operators, etc.), equipment manufacturers, and other entities such as hospitals, public utilities, ambulance services, and amateur radio operators. Their duties include evaluating local emergency communications systems to determine whether they meet the goals of the National Emergency Communications Plan and reporting to their respective Regional Administrators, the Director for Emergency Communications, the FCC Chairman, and the Asst Secy of Commerce for Information and Communications on the status of efforts within the region to develop robust interoperable voice and data emergency communications networks.
Sec. 1806. Emergency Communications Preparedness Center.
The bill establishes an Emergency Communications Preparedness Center as an interagency body jointly operated by the Secretary, the Chairman of the FCC, the Attorney General, and the Secretaries of Defense, Commerce, and the heads of other Federal departments and agencies, pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding entitled the Emergency Communications Preparedness Center (ECPC) Charter. The ECPC is charged to serve as a focal point for interagency efforts and as a clearing house for intergovernmental information to support and promote interoperable emergency comms and the ability of emergency response providers and “relevant” government officials to continue to communicate in a natural or man-made disaster.
Reporting Requirement. The bill also requires the Center annually to provide Congress with a strategic assessment regarding the coordination efforts of Federal D/As to advance the objectives of interoperable communications. In preparing this strategic assessment, the Center is directed to consider the goals contained in the National Emergency Communications Strategy Plan.
Sec. 1807. Urban and Other High Risk Area Communications Capabilities.
The bill requires the Secretary, in consultation with the FCC Chairman and the Secretary of Defense, and “appropriate” State/local/tribal officials, to provide assistance (including technical guidance and training) to support rapid establishment of interoperable emergency comms capabilities in urban and other areas that the Secretary determines are a consistently high risk from natural and man-made disasters (including acts of terrorism). At a minimum, the interoperable emergency comms capabilities must ensure the ability of all levels of government, emergency response providers, and the private sector to communicate with each other during an emergency, and must support appropriate and timely access to the Information Sharing Environment (ISE).
Sec. 1808. Definitions.
The bill defines “interoperable” by referring to the definition assigned in section 7303(g)(1) of the IRTPA (6 U.S.C. 194(g)(1)).
Section 672. Office for Interoperability and Compatibility.
This section amends Title III of the Homeland Security Act to insert a new Proposed Section 314, which outlines those responsibilities that would be retained by the Office for Interoperability and Compatibility in the Science and Technology Directorate. Specifically, these responsibilities include assisting with development and implementation of the S&T aspects of the public safety communications interoperability program in Section 7303(a)(1)(D)-(G) of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA); in coordination with the FCC, NIST, and other Federal D/As with standards responsibilities, supporting the development of national consensus-based voluntary standards for interoperable emergency communications; and research, development, and testing to improve interoperable emergency comms (including for the SAFECOM program); and working with the Director of the Office of Emergency Communications to establish capabilities requirements for all public safety radio and data communications equipment purchased using DHS grant funds, and conducting pilot projects to test and demonstrate technologies to enhance interoperable voice, data, and video emergency communications capabilities.
NOTE: The draft contains a typographical error. It incorrectly designates the fourth subsection of proposed section 314, captioned “Clerical Amendment”, as (b). It should be designated as subsection (d).
Section 673. Emergency Communications Interoperability Research and Development.
Like the previous section, this section also would amend Title III of the HSA by inserting a new Proposed Section 315, which would establish a comprehensive emergency communications interoperability research and development program to be carried out by the Director of the Office for Interoperability and Compatibility within S&T. The R&D program would support competitive research efforts using HSARPA, and S&T is also directed to consider establishing a Center of Excellence for enhancing information and communications systems for emergency response providers.
Section 674. 911 and E911 Services Report.
Reporting Requirement. The bill requires the Chairman of the FCC to report to Congress within 180 days after enactment on the status of efforts of State/Local/Tribal governments to develop plans for rerouting 9-1-1 and e9-1-1 services in the event that public safety answering points (PSAPs) are disabled during a natural or man-made disaster.
Section 675. Savings Clause.
The bill explicitly states that nothing in Subtitle D shall be construed to transfer to the Office of Emergency Communications any function, personnel, asset, component, authority, grant program, or liability of FEMA as constituted on June 1, 2006.
Subtitle E - Stafford Act Amendments
Sec. 681. General Federal Assistance. Amends Section 402 of the Stafford Act by expanding efforts to include “response or recovery efforts, including precautionary evacuations.” The Federal government may also provide technical and advisory assistance to affected State and local governments for “recovery activities, including disaster impact assessments and planning” and may “provide accelerated Federal assistance and Federal support where necessary to save lives, prevent human suffering, or mitigate sever damage, which may be provided in the absence of a specific request and in which case the President” will work in conjunction with State and local officials. Section 681(b) amends section 502 of the Stafford Act to allow for assistance in an emergency for “precautionary evacuations” and to provide accelerated assistance in the absence of a specific request. Section 681(c) requires the President to promulgate guidelines to assist Governors in requesting an emergency declaration.
Sec. 682. National Disaster Recovery Strategy. The Administrator, along with various other government agencies (including the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs and representatives of nongovernmental organizations) and State and local government officials, shall develop, coordinate, and maintain a National Disaster Recovery Strategy.
Sec. 683. Disaster Housing Strategy. The Administrator, in coordination with Federal agencies and other organizations (listed in (b)(2)), the National Advisory Council, the National Council on Disability, and other entities at the discretion of the Administrator will develop, coordinate, and maintain a National Disaster Housing Strategy. The Strategy, in part, calls for a requirement that a sufficient number of housing units are provided to individuals with disabilities and also requires the Strategy to promote the repair or rehabilitation of existing rental housing. Within 270 days of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator is required to submit to Congress a report with the specifics of the Strategy and update the report when changes. In the absence of changes, the Administrator must submit a report to congress once every five years.
Sec. 684. Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Formula. This section changes the formula for HMGP to increase funding from 7.5% to 15% for amounts spent up to $2 billion, 10% for amounts spent between $2 billion and $10 billion, and 7.5% for amounts spent between $10 billion and $35.33 billion.
Sec. 685. Housing Assistance. Amends section 408 of the Stafford Act by striking “remote” and to authorize both “semi-permanent, or permanent housing” construction.
Sec. 686. Maximum Amount Under Individual Assistance Programs. Amends section 408 of the Stafford Act to eliminate the sub-limits applicable to repair and replacement assistance.
Sec. 687. Coordinating Officers. Allows for the President to appoint a single FCO for an entire affected area, including when such area encompasses more than one state.
Sec. 688. Definitions. Amends definition of private nonprofit facility to add additional facilities; and adds definition of “Individual with disability.”
Sec. 689. Individuals with Disabilities. This section would require the Administrator to develop standards to accommodate individuals with disabilities. Additionally, individuals with disabilities would be added to section 308 of the Stafford Act, which describes nondiscrimination policies in disaster assistance. Providing durable medical equipment is added to section 403(a)(3)(B) as an essential service to saving lives and protecting and preserving property or public health and safety. Persons with disabilities whose primary residences are rendered inaccessible are added as eligible persons for housing assistance under section 408. This section also adds language requiring that readily fabricated dwellings, to the extent practicable, must be located on a site that meets the physical accessibility requirements for individuals with disabilities.
Sec. 689a. Nondiscrimination in Disaster Assistance. Amending section 308(a) by inserting “English proficiency” after “age.”
Sec. 689b. Reunification. Within 180 days after the enactment of this act, the Administrator, in coordination with the Attorney General, shall establish the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children National Emergency Child Locator Center to assist in the tracking of displaced individuals under 21 years of age. Within 270 days of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator is required to submit a report to Congress describing in detail the status of the Child Locator Center.
Sec. 689c. National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System. No later than 180 days after the enactment of this Act, the Administrator is required to establish a National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System to help reunify families separated after an emergency or major disaster. Within 270 days the Administrator must submit a report to Congress describing in detail the status of the National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System.
Sec. 689d. Federal Assistance to Individuals and Households. Amends section 408(c)(1)(A) authorizing financial assistance for temporary housing to include assistance for the payment of utilities, security deposits and hookups.
Sec. 689e. Disaster Related Information Services. Amending Subtitle A of title VI of the Stafford Act to add section 616, which requires Administrator of FEMA to ensure that reasonable steps are taken to ensure effective communication with people with limited English proficiency, disabilities or special needs.
Sec. 689f Transportation Assistance and Case Management Services to Individuals and Households. Adds two new sections to Title IV of the Stafford Act: Sec. 425 Transportation Assistance to Individuals and Households and Sec. 426 Case Management Services. Sec. 425 authorizes the payment of transportation assistance to relocate individuals from their disaster-impacted primary residence to alternative locations where short or long-term housing solutions have been identified. This language also authorizes for transportation assistance to return to the primary residence or an alternative location, if deemed necessary by the President. Sec. 426 authorizes the President to provide case management services, including financial assistance to government agencies or qualified nonprofits to conduct such services.
Sec. 689g. Designation of Small State and Rural Advocate. Amends title III of the Stafford Act by adding section 326, which requires the President to designate a Small State and Rural Advocate within FEMA. No later than 180 days after the enactment of this Act, the Administrator is required to submit a report detailing disaster declaration regulations with respect to less populated States.
Sec. 689h. Repair, Restoration, and Replacement of Damaged Private Nonprofit Educational Facilities. Amends section 406(a)(3)(B) of the Stafford Act by inserting “education” after “communications,” thereby making educational facilities “critical” and eliminating the need for them to first apply to the SBA.
Sec. 689i. Individuals and Households Pilot Program. The Administrator, in coordination with State and local governments, is required to establish and conduct a pilot program, which is designed to make better use of existing rental housing, located in areas covered by a major disaster declaration, in order to provide timely and cost-effective temporary housing assistance to individuals and households eligible for assistance under section 408 of the Stafford Act where alternative housing options are less available or less cost-effective. The Administrator may enter into lease agreements and make improvements to properties. A report is due to Congress no later than March 31, 2009 on the effectiveness of the pilot.
Sec. 689j. Public Assistance Pilot Program. The Administrator, in coordination with State and local governments, is required to establish and conduct a pilot program to reduce the costs to the Federal Government of providing assistance to States and local government under, increase flexibility in the administration of, and expedite the provision of assistance to States and local governments provided under section 403(a)(3)(A), 406, and 407 of the Stafford Act. Several new procedures are authorized; current regulation may be waived; and a report is due to Congress no later than March 31, 2009 assessing the pilot. The pilot must be initiated within 90 days after the date of enactment of the Act.
Sec. 689k. Disposal of Unused Temporary Housing Units. Notwithstanding section 408(d)(2)(B) of the Stafford Act, if the Administrator authorizes the disposal of unused temporary housing units, they must be pursuant to subchapter III of chapter 5 of subtitle I of title 40.
Subtitle F—Prevention of Fraud, Waste, and Abuse
Sec. 691. Advance Contracting. No later than 180 days after enactment, the Administrator shall submit a report that identifies recurring disaster response requirements, including specific goods and services, for which the Agency can and cannot contract for prior to a natural disaster, act of terrorism or other man-made disaster in a cost effective manner. The report shall also identify a contracting strategy that maximizes the use of advance contracts to the extent practical and cost-effective.
Section 691(b) requires the Administrator, no later than one year after enactment, to enter into one or more contracts identified for each type of good or service identified in the report that can be contracted for in cost effective manner in advance of the incident. The Administrator shall consider section 307 of the Stafford Act before entering into any contract under this section. The Administrator shall also develop a process to ensure that Federal pre-negotiated contracts for goods and services are coordinated with State and local governments, and shall encourage State and local governments to enter into pre-negotiated contracts with vendors for goods and services. The Administrator is required to maintain contracts for the appropriate levels of good and services, as required by this section.
Section 691(d) requires a report at the end of each fiscal quarter on each disaster assistance contract entered into by other than competitive procedures to the appropriate committees of Congress.
Sec. 692. Limitations on Tiering of Subcontractors. This section requires the Administrator to promulgate regulations to minimize the excessive use by contractors of subcontractors or tiers of subcontractors to perform the principal work of the contract. The regulations shall prohibit a contractor from using subcontracts for more than 65 percent of the cost of the contract, or the cost of any individual task or delivery order, unless the Secretary determines that such requirement is not feasible or practicable. Covered contracts include any cost-reimbursement type contract or task or delivery order in an amount greater than the simplified acquisition threshold entered into by the Department to facilitate response to or recovery from a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster.
Sec. 693. Oversight and Accountability of Federal Disaster Expenditures. The Administrator may designate up to 1 percent of the total amount provided to a Federal agency for a mission assignment as oversight funds to be used by the recipient agency for performing oversight activities carried out under the Agency reimbursable mission process. Funds are available until expended. Oversight funds may be used to monitor and audit expenditures, ensure proper management controls, investigate fraud, and review of selected contracts. Oversight funds may not be used to finance existing agency oversight responsibilities related to direct agency appropriations for disaster response, relief, and recovery activities. To the extent practicable, evaluations and audits under this section should be carried out by the Inspector General of the agency.
Section 693(e) requires an agency head, if the agency receives oversight funds for a given fiscal year, to develop a plan describing the oversight activities for disaster response, relief, and recovery anticipated to be undertaken the subsequent fiscal year.
Section 693(f) requires any Federal agency receiving oversight funds to submit an annual report to the Administrator and Congress regarding the use of such funds, including activities and results achieved.
Sec. 694. Use of Local Firms and Individuals. This section replaces section 307 of the Stafford Act. When Federal funds are expended on debris clearance, distribution of supplies, reconstruction, and other major disaster or emergency assistance activities, which may be carried out by contract, preference should be given to individuals and businesses residing or doing business primarily in the area affected by the disaster, to the extent feasible. This section does not restrict the use of DOD resources, and a contract or agreement may be set aside for award based on a specific geographic reason
Any contract not awarded for these activities shall be justified in writing in the contract file. An agency performing response, relief, and reconstruction activities shall transition work performed under contracts in effect on the date of the President declares the emergencies to local firms or individuals, unless the agency head determines that it is not feasible or practicable to do so.
This section does not affect contracts entered into before the occurrence of a major disaster or emergency.
Sec. 695. Limitation on Length of Certain Non-Competitive Contracts. The Administrator shall promulgate regulations that restrict the contract period of certain contracts entered into using noncompetitive procedures to the minimum contract period necessary to meet the urgent and compelling requirements of the work to be performed, and to enter into another contract through the use of competitive procedures. The regulations shall require the contract period to not exceed 150 days, unless the Secretary determines that exception circumstances apply. Covered contracts include any contract in an amount greater than the simplified acquisition threshold entered into by the Department to facilitate the response to or recovery from a major disaster or emergency.
Sec. 696. Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Controls. The Administrator shall ensure that the programs regarding disaster relief assistance develop and maintain proper internal management controls to prevent and detect fraud, waste, and abuse. Application databases used to collect information on eligible recipients must record disbursements, and must be integrated with application information. Any database or similar processing system must undergo a review by the Inspector General of the agency to determine the existence and implementation of the required controls.
Section 696(c) amends the section 408 of the Stafford Act to require the President (or his designee) to develop a system, including an electronic database, to verify the identity and address of the recipients of assistance to better ensure that eligible individuals receive assistance and that duplicative assistance is not paid.
Sec. 697. Registry of Disaster Response Contractors. The Administrator shall establish and maintain a registry of contractors who are willing to perform debris removal and other relief activities. The registry, among other things, shall include the name and location of the business, as well as whether the business is a small business. All information submitted shall be voluntary. The Administrator is required to verify the documentation provided by the business. The registry shall be made available on the agency’s website.
Sec. 698. Fraud Prevention Training Program. The Administrator shall develop and implement a program to provide training on the prevention of waste, fraud and abuse of Federal disaster relief assistance.
Subtitle G—Authorization of Appropriations
Sec. 699. Authorization of Appropriations. To carry out this title and the amendments made by this title, there is authorized for fiscal year 2008, an amount equal to the amount appropriated for fiscal year 2007 for administration and operations of the Agency, multiplied by 1.1. The same determination is made for fiscal years 2009 and 2010 (1.1 * the previous years appropriation).
Sec. 699a. Except as expressly provided otherwise, any reference to “this Act” contained in this titles shall be treated as referring only to the provisions of this title.