Showing posts from September, 2011

Many DHS Grants are Effective and Have Proper Oversight

Today's blog takes a twist on a recent piece that was published on the Homeland Security Newswire and repeated on several UASI and Emergency Management mail lists and blogs.
The title of this piece was "Many DHS grantsineffective, lack proper oversight" and it was based on an interview with David Muhlhausen, a research fellow in empirical policy analysis at the Heritage Foundation.
As our blog's title clearly indicates, we do not agree with this premise.  And, we question the Heritage Foundation's constant criticism of homeland security grants and efforts.
First some background on where this is coming from.  The Heritage Foundation is a conservative American think tank based in Washington, D.C. Heritage's stated mission is to "formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense."
The foundation is considered…

UASI 2012: An Alternative Future

One of my "UASI Friends" asked why the proposed 2012 UASI funding of $400 million couldn't be shared among the 2011 UASI awardees.  It could obviously. That approach would amount to about 60% of the current award. An updated curve graphic of what this would look like is shown below. This is one alternative future, the money could be spread over more or less UASIs based on the decision of the Homeland Security Secretary.

You can click on this image to get a larger version which you may be able to actually read.

Just a note, this is all obviously very speculative. UASIs should consider what is realistic to expect given the funding and the previous clear desire to fund the most at-risk cities over those less at-risk.  However, the argument can certainly be made that all of the cities currently receiving UASI dollars are at-risk and worthy of funding. I expect this will be a debate as the budget is finalized and finally implemented.

Why $400 Million Will Not Save Tier II UASIs

Yesterday’s blog provided a chart that shows how the Senate’s proposed FY 2012 Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) budget compared to previous years.  While the chart shows a steep decline, you may think that $400 million is still a lot of money.  It certainly is a lot of money, and it is better than what the House bill would have provided, but the chart belies the impact on what DHS calls “Tier II” UASI cities. 
Today’s blog looks at the impact of the proposed funding level on UASI cities.
Background The total number of UASI cities grew to 64 in FY 2010 but saw a dramatic decrease in FY 2011 when it was cut down to 31 due to a 21% decrease in funding.  One can only guess at this point how many FY 2012 UASIs there will be; but, an educated guess is that there will be no more than ten or eleven.  Eleven is the current number of Tier I cities, while ten is a number that has been thrown around by both legislators and grants managers.
The Tier I cities have historically received the “Lion…

FY 2012 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill

Senate bill provides $2.58 billion for state and local grants - $557 million above the House level.

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security approved a Fiscal Year 2012 funding legislation bill on September 6th.  The legislation, which still needs to go through the conference committee process and be signed by the President before it becomes law, totals $41 billion in discretionary budget authority, $2.6 billion below the President’s request, and $666 million (-1.6%) below FY 2011.
The good news for DHS and grantees is that this is $408 million above the House-passed bill. 
The Senate rejected the House approach to grants.  In particular, The bill rejects the House proposal to eliminate the Urban Area Security Initiative, Port Security Grants, and Transit Security Grants and other programs and replace them with a block grant.
The bill provides $2.58 billion for state and local grants, which is $557 million above the House level.  The bill rejects the House propo…