Tuesday, November 2, 2010

2nd Edition--DHS Risk Lexicon

DHS has now issued the 2nd edition of the Risk Lexicon. The preface to that document [posted on this blog under baseline docs] is of some interest to me.

Specifically, the Preface, in part, provides as follows:

"Clear and unambiguous communications among homeland security risk practioners, decision makers, and stakeholders is necessary to achieve integrated risk management. The DHS Risk Lexicon supports integrated risk management by defining a single language for risk management and analysis. The DHS Risk Lexicon makes available an official set of harmonized risk-related terms and definitions."

Certainly I also believe it is important that there be common understanding of terminology in risk assessment, and analysis, and implementation of decisions concerning risk.
So I thought it might be fun to see how the Risk Lexicon matches up with the organizational blocks of DHS and FEMA. I do realize this is somewhat unfair since the Lexicon is not designed to provide common terminology outside of RISK ASSESSMENT and ANALYSIS and certainly is not designed to provide organizational definition. But still it might be useful if organizations in DHS and FEMA understood what their specific missions and goals are, what legal authority has been delegated, and what they are expected to accomplish organizationally.

As this is quick and dirty analysis I list the term used in an organizational heading. Am sorry it is not alphabetized. So here goes! Let the eye of the beholder decide if these terms relate to the objective of the Lexicon as provided in the Preface to the document. And perhaps other definitional materials are available from DHS.

1. Disability;
2. Policy;
3. Program Analysis;
4. Protection;
5. Preparedness;
6. National preparedness;
7. Insurance;
8. Response;
9. Recovery;
10. Logistics;
11. Operations;
12. Immigration;
13. Customs;
14. Enforcement;
15. Border;
16. Intelligence;
17. Emergency Management;
18. Civil Rights;
19. Civil Liberties;
20. Counter Narcotics;
21. Transportation Security;
22. Credentialing;
23. Strategic;
24. Operational Process;
25. Technology;
26. Health;
27. Science;
28. Global;
29. Network;
30. Training;
31. Development;
32. Human Resources;
33. Secure;
34. International;
35. Transformation;
36. Human Capital;
37. Refugee;
38. Asylum;
40. National Security;
41. Domestic;
42. Coordination;
43. Detection;
44. Removal;
45. Student;
46. Exchange;
47. Incident;
48. Protective;
49. Research;
50. Continuity;
51. Command and Control;
52. Resources;
53. Transition;
54. Corporate Communications;
55. Test and Evaluation;
56. Business Operations;
57. Innovation;
58. Geophysical;
59. Watch and Warning;
60. Environment.

Of course while these terms may seem self evident in their meaning some mask organizational units that have almost no relationship to the words used to title that organization. What their [the words above] true relationship is to risk management and analysis is vague perhaps, nonexistent perhaps, but perhaps crucial to an organization that is charged with operations largely based on risk assessment and analysis, and that broad guage charter applies to both FEMA and DHS according to my reading of their statutory and other charter documents.