According to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and Homeland Security Research Corporation, DHS Homeland security funding constitutes only 20-21% of the consolidated U.S.
Homeland Security – Homeland Defense funding, while approximately 40% of the DHS budget funds civil, non-security activities, such as the U.S. coast guard search and rescue operations and customs functions.
Definition / Scope
Homeland security is an American umbrella term for “the concerted national effort to ensure a homeland that is safe, secure, and resilient against terrorism and other hazards where American interests, aspirations, and ways of life can thrive to the national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce the vulnerability of the U.S. to terrorism, and minimize the damage from attacks that do occur.”
Homeland security is officially defined by the National Strategy for Homeland Security as “a concerted national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America’s vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do occur”.
Because the U.S. Department of Homeland Security includes the Federal Emergency Management Agency, it also has responsibility for preparedness, response, and recovery to natural disasters.
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a cabinet department of the United States federal government, created in response to the September 11 attacks, and with the primary responsibilities of protecting the territory of the United States and protectorates from and responding to terrorist attacks, man-made accidents, and natural disasters.
In fiscal year 2011 it was allocated a budget of $98.8 billion and spent, net, $66.4 billion.
The Department became the third-largest federal department, bringing together 22 different federal agencies, each with a role in this effort. Since the Department’s creation, the goal is simple: one DHS, one enterprise, a shared vision, with integrated results-based operations.
In fiscal year 2014, the President requested over $700 million for an agro-defense facility in Kansas, even as the Government Accountability Office has criticized the selection of such a facility. When more critical challenges exist within DHS, wasteful and uncoordinated research programs indicate a troubling lack of vision for DHS research and development.
As the US federal government’s attention turns more sharply to immigration issues, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will need to shift more of its focus to its immigration and border security capabilities. In addition, steadily increasing cyber threats have demanded strong response via cyber security capabilities and information assurance preparedness.
In response to these events, DHS is relying on consultants to assist in key initiatives and goals with several capability offerings, from supply chain management and strategic planning to cyber security and analytics/cloud.
In the United States, the concept of “Homeland Security” extends and recombines responsibilities of government agencies and entities.
The U.S. federal Homeland Security and Homeland Defense includes 187 federal agencies and departments, including the United States National Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the United States Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the United States Secret Service, the Transportation Security Administration, the 14 agencies that constitute the U.S. intelligence community and Civil Air Patrol.
Although many businesses now operate in the area of homeland security, it is overwhelmingly a government function.
Data mining (ADVISE): The Associated Press reported on September 5, 2007, that DHS had scrapped an anti-terrorism data mining tool called ADVISE (Analysis, Dissemination, Visualization, Insight and Semantic Enhancement) after the agency’s internal Inspector General found that pilot testing of the system had been performed using data on real people without required privacy safeguards in place.
The system, in development at Lawrence Livermore and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory since 2003, has cost the agency $42 million to date. Controversy over the program is not new; in March 2007, the Government Accountability Office stated that “the ADVISE tool could misidentify or erroneously associate an individual with undesirable activity such as fraud, crime or terrorism.”
Homeland Security’s Inspector General later said that ADVISE was poorly planned, time-consuming for analysts to use, and lacked adequate justifications Fusion centers Fusion centers are terrorism prevention and response centers, many of which were created under a joint project between the Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs between 2003 and 2007 The Privacy Office has identified a number of risks to privacy presented by the fusion center program:
- Justification for fusion centers
- Ambiguous Lines of Authority, Rules, and Oversight
- Participation of the Military and the Private Sector
- Data Mining
- Excessive Secrecy
- Inaccurate or Incomplete Information
- Mission Creep
There are a number of documented criticisms of fusion centers, including relative ineffectiveness at counterterrorism activities, the potential to be used for secondary purposes unrelated to counterterrorism, and their links to violations of civil liberties of American citizens and others.
In early April 2009, the Virginia Fusion Center came under criticism for publishing a terrorism threat assessment which stated that certain universities are potential hubs for terror related activity. The report targeted historically black colleges and identified hacktivism as a form of terrorism.
Cyber Security Cyber security has emerged as an issue of vital national security. Governments, businesses, and individuals are under attack from other governments, cyber criminals, and “hacktivists.” These attacks steal hundreds of billions of dollars in personal and business data and compromise sensitive government operations.
Coast Guard Revitalization
The Coast Guard provides crucial security in American waters. In recent years, the number of Coast Guard missions has grown steadily due to the varied nature of maritime security threats and the need to protect U.S. interests in hostile environments, such as in the Arctic and hurricanes.
Combating Violent Extremism
Countering violent extremism is an important complementary effort to an effective counterterrorism strategy. In August 2011, the U.S. government released a strategic plan called “Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States.”
While the plan focuses on outlining how federal agencies can assist local officials, groups, and private organizations in preventing violent extremism, sadly this plan is not a true strategy. It fails to assign responsibilities and does not direct action or resource investments.
Lack of Research and Development
It is time for a serious strategic debate on the direction of DHS’s homeland security research. Similar to its grant programs, the research portions of DHS are often more focused on pork than real security Departmental Image DHS and its various agencies—including the TSA, the Science and Technology Directorate, and ICE—have some of the worst public images in government and some of the least satisfied workforces in federal service.
Indeed, just last year, the House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing titled, “Building One DHS: Why Is Employee Morale Low?”
The answer from both Democrats and Republicans was a lack of leadership. Real Leadership Needed DHS’s missions are often compromised by pork-barrel spending, a lack of good priorities, politically driven decisions, an emphasis on the status quo and government-centric answers, and a lack of leadership and vision.
These problems demand real reforms—from the program level all the way to the leadership of the department.
In July 2006, the Office of Personnel Management conducted a survey of federal employees in all 36 federal agencies on job satisfaction and how they felt their respective agency was headed. DHS was last or near to last in every category including
- 33rd on the talent management index
- 35th on the leadership and knowledge management index
- 36th on the job satisfaction index
- 36th on the results-oriented performance culture index
The low scores were attributed to major concerns about basic supervision, management and leadership within the agency.
Top Market Opportunities
In the ten years since 9/11, the federal government has strengthened the connection between collection and analysis on transnational organizations and threats.
Terrorism-related information sharing across the intelligence community has greatly improved. Moreover, we have strengthened the ability to convey intelligence on threats to the homeland in a context that is useful and relevant to law enforcement and homeland security officials at the state and local level.
DHS, working closely with the FBI, has re-focused its information sharing and production efforts to better address the needs of state and local governments and private sector partners.
In addition, DHS continues to improve and expand the information-sharing mechanisms by which officers are made aware of the threat picture, vulnerabilities, and what it means for their local communities Shortly after the September 11 attacks, Homeland security also took off as an up-and-coming academic field with a number of schools in the United States offering certificate and degree programs in Homeland Security.
The field is often studied alongside Emergency Management due to their identical nature and purposes. With the relatively sudden growth of the field, the quality of the programs varies greatly from one to another along with their respective accreditation statuses (or lack thereof).
In a partial effort to combat these variations, the International Association of Emergency Managers offers a scholarship program with the aim of nurturing, promoting and developing disaster preparedness and resistance by furthering the education of students studying the fields of emergency management, disaster management or related programs such as Homeland Security.
From general mission support to law enforcement to immigration and travel security to prevention and response, exciting professional growth opportunities exist throughout the Department.
According to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and Homeland Security Research Corporation, DHS Homeland security funding constitutes only 20-21% of the consolidated U.S. Homeland Security – Homeland Defense funding, while approximately 40% of the DHS budget funds civil, non-security activities, such as the U.S. coast guard search and rescue operations and customs functions.
The U.S. Homeland Security is the world’s largest Homeland counter terror organization, having 40% of the global FY 2010 homeland security funding. DHS is leaner, smarter, more responsive and better equipped to protect the nation as a result of the Department-wide efficiency review initiative.
Over 30 DHS Efficiency Review initiatives have led to significant progress across the Department. To date, DHS has identified more than $1 billion in cost avoidances, including:
- $180 million through enterprise software licensing agreements
- $15.5 million by sharing excess IT equipment within the Department rather than buying new
- $4 million by consolidating subscriptions to professional publications and newspapers
- $6.1 million by using government office space and online tools for conferences instead of renting private facilities
U.S. defense spending is expected to increase from 2013 to 2018 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.93 percent, with homeland security expenditures growing at CAGR of 2.15 percent, with increased investments in such homeland security products as surveillance equipment and patrol vessels, according to Research and Markets’ “Future of the US Defense Industry – Market Attractiveness, Competitive Landscape and Forecasts to 2018” report.
Conflicts exist between bodies of international law (ratified by the United States or not) and those applied under “homeland security”. The Department of Homeland Security has been dogged by persistent criticism over excessive bureaucracy, waste, ineffectiveness and lack of transparency.
Congress estimates that the department has wasted roughly $15 billion in failed contracts (as of September 2008).
During the forecast period, the US is expected to invest in homeland security products such as surveillance equipment, and cutters and patrol vessels, and the budget of the U.S. is expected to increase from $60.7 billion in 2013 to $65.3 billion in 2018, registering a CAGR growth of 2.15 percent.
Unlike most other government sectors, the 2013-2020 federal, state and local government funding for HLS & Public Safety will grow over the next eight years at a CAGR of 4-5%.This growth is driven by a solid bipartisan congressional support.
- Congressional Oversight: Since its inception, DHS has been plagued with a massive number of oversight committees and subcommittees, a legacy from the department being cobbled together from 22 preexisting agencies. This nomination and confirmation process is an opportunity for both DHS and Congress to highlight how DHS’s oversight and operations could be streamlined. Experience has shown that little good can come of the present oversight arrangement.
- Border Security: The U.S. does not need additional laws to secure the border. The border can and should be secured through correct use of the regular appropriations process and the faithful enforcement and application of existing law. This is one of the main reasons DHS was formed. The Senate hearing should focus on what concrete steps DHS will undertake to better meet its mandate. These measures should include more robust and effective Border Enhancement Security Teams, more effective cooperation with state and local government, and more efficacious use of technology.
- Aviation Security: The U.S. should reform aviation security to be more integrated with counterterrorism operations so that the nation’s security measures and capacity to act against threats are synchronized in the most effective manner. In some areas, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has made some effort to implement better risk-based aviation screening, but progress has been inadequate. Programs that leverage the strength of the private sector, such as the Security Partnership Program, offer increased efficiencies that the TSA should pursue. The TSA should also work to further expand and use Secure Flight, TSA PreCheck, and the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program in order to enhance and prioritize passenger screening and provide low-cost, high-utility aviation security measures.
- Immigration Enforcement: Effectively enforcing current law is one of the most important deterrents to future illegal migration and a vital component of a sound, coherent immigration policy. Regrettably, the Obama Administration has chosen to selectively enforce immigration laws. Indeed, from workplace enforcement measures to working with local law enforcement through the 287(g) program, there is a great deal that the Administration could do to fix the U.S.’s broken immigration system if it only had the resolve and resources to enforce the law. The next DHS Secretary should make this a priority by working through the budgeting process to increase funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other immigration organizations so that they can fulfill their objectives—instead of decreasing their funding, as the Obama Administration has regularly recommended
- Cyber Security: Cyber security has emerged as an issue of vital national security. Governments, businesses, and individuals are under attack from other governments, cyber criminals, and “hacktivists.” These attacks steal hundreds of billions of dollars in personal and business data and compromise sensitive government operations. As the organization responsible for defending civilian government networks as well as the nation’s critical infrastructure, it is critical that DHS effectively fulfill its responsibilities in cyberspace. The top priority should be recruiting, training, and maintaining a qualified, motivated, dependable, and empowered workforce. Additionally, DHS should be a leader in facilitating public-private cooperation rather than slow, static regulation.
- Coast Guard Revitalization: The Coast Guard provides crucial security in American waters. In recent years, the number of Coast Guard missions has grown steadily due to the varied nature of maritime security threats and the need to protect U.S. interests in hostile environments, such as in the Arctic and hurricanes. However, this increased responsibility has not coincided with adequate modernization. Many of the vessels that support Coast Guard missions are too old and breaking down. While the DHS budget has grown in recent years, the Coast Guard’s funding has actually decreased. The Senate should question Johnson on how he intends to revitalize the Coast Guard’s fleet and other assets so that it can continue executing its security missions.
- Ending Pork-Barrel Security-Related Grants: Homeland security grants have become the newest form of pork-barrel spending and suffer from a severe lack of accountability and oversight. Often valuable homeland security grant dollars are being spent on low-value or truly worthless projects, such as underwater robots in Columbus, Ohio (which has only creeks and small lakes nearby), or a zombie apocalypse simulation at a California island resort. While DHS has made attempts to reform these programs, entrenched interests have hindered common-sense reforms. Johnson should be prepared to answer if and how he intends to return to a risk-based allocation of limited grant funds and consolidate duplicative and wasteful grant programs.
- Combating Violent Extremism: Countering violent extremism is an important complementary effort to an effective counterterrorism strategy. In August 2011, the U.S. government released a strategic plan called “Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States.”While the plan focuses on outlining how federal agencies can assist local officials, groups, and private organizations in preventing violent extremism, sadly this plan is not a true strategy. It fails to assign responsibilities and does not direct action or resource investments. More direction and leadership should be applied to transform a laundry list of good ideas into an effective program to support communities in protecting and strengthening civil society.
- Lack of Research and Development: It is time for a serious strategic debate on the direction of DHS’s homeland security research. Similar to its grant programs, the research portions of DHS are often more focused on pork than real security. The next DHS Secretary should be committed to focusing and coordinating DHS R&D funds on its most critical missions and reforming the way it oversees the programs that receive such funding.
- Departmental Image: DHS and its various agencies—including the TSA, the Science and Technology Directorate, and ICE—have some of the worst public images in government and some of the least satisfied workforces in federal service. Indeed, just last year, the House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing titled, “Building One DHS: Why Is Employee Morale Low?” The answer from both Democrats and Republicans was a lack of leadership. As Secretary of Homeland Security, Johnson would fully bear this responsibility. The Senate must decide if he is capable and ready to make each part of DHS work more efficiently on its own and to form DHS into a more coordinated and cohesive department as a whole.
- Real Leadership Needed: DHS’s missions are often compromised by pork-barrel spending, a lack of good priorities, politically driven decisions, an emphasis on the status quo and government-centric answers, and a lack of leadership and vision. These problems demand real reforms—from the program level all the way to the leadership of the department. The next DHS Secretary must be prepared to undertake these changes; otherwise, DHS’s failures will continue to waste tax dollars and leave the U.S. at risk.
Value Chain and Competition
Technology advances and better performance drive demand for upgrade of legacy systems.
The DHS has a key role in the industry, but it does not dominate the market. DHS controls only a fraction of the total HLS, HLD and Public Safety market.
The State & Local HLS market is larger than the DHS market. This market (i.e., 50 states and over 30.000 counties and cities) represents 23% of the total HLS, HLD and public safety business opportunities.
The U.S. federal agencies possess the most advanced HLS-HLD technologies in the world. However, due to their age and legacy architectures, they believe that the time has come for major transformations.
Aviation security, representing only 7% of the HLS, HLD and public safety market, is an important sector. However, it is much smaller than other industry sectors (e.g. critical infrastructure security, first responders).