Thursday, September 23, 2010


William Jenkins of GAO gave updated testimony to Congress on September 22, 2010 on federal response planning efforts. The testimony purports to use the analytical framework set forth below to produce that point in time analysis. It follows:

1. Acceptability. A plan is acceptable if it can meet the requirements of anticipated scenarios, can be implemented within the costs and time frames that senior officials and the public can support, and is consistent with applicable laws.

2. Adequacy. A plan is adequate if it complies with applicable planning guidance, planning assumptions are valid and relevant, and the concept of operations identifies and addresses critical tasks specific to the plan’s objectives.

3. Completeness. A plan is complete if it incorporates major actions, objectives, and tasks to be accomplished. The complete plan addresses the personnel and resources required and sound concepts for how those will be deployed, employed, sustained, and demobilized. It also addresses timelines and criteria for measuring success in achieving objectives and the desired end state. Including all those who could be affected in the planning process can help ensure that a plan is complete.

4. Consistency and standardization of products. Standardized planning processes and products foster consistency, interoperability, and collaboration, therefore, emergency operations plans for disaster response should be consistent with all other related planning documents.

5. Feasibility. A plan is considered feasible if the critical tasks can be accomplished with the resources available internally or through mutual aid, immediate need for additional resources from other sources (in the case of a local plan, from state or federal partners) are identified in detail and coordinated in advance, and procedures are in place to integrate and employ resources effectively from all potential providers.

6. Flexibility. Flexibility and adaptability are promoted by decentralized decisionmaking and by accommodating all hazards ranging from smaller-scale incidents to wider national contingencies.

7. Interoperability and collaboration. A plan is interoperable and collaborative if it identifies other stakeholders in the planning process with similar and complementary plans and objectives, and supports regular collaboration focused on integrating with those stakeholders’ plans to optimize achievement of individual and collective goals and objectives in an incident.

I am not sure if this is the first time for GAO to use this evaluation architecture but believe it is far too subjective to properly analyze what now are 72 separate plans that are in various states of completion, implementation, and understanding.  Will think over this next several days but probably will be addressing this architecture if that is how GAO intends to review the 72 identified plans, identified in the sense that is the number GAO counts as currently mandated.