Serial No. 106-27: Combating Terrorism: Proposed Transfer of the Domestic Preparedness Program: Hearing before the Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs, and International Relations of the Committee on Government Reform, House of Representatives, One Hundred Sixth Congress, First Session, May 26, 1999 [open pdf - 2MB]
From the opening Statement of Chairman Christopher Shays: "Preparing to meet the threat of a terrorist attack here at home, local, public safety and health care officials today face a confusing array of Federal programs and agencies offering expertise, training and equipment. In 1995, the President designated the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA], as the lead Federal agency for consequence management, the measures needed to protect life, restore essential services and provide emergency relief after a terrorism event involving conventional, biological or chemical weapons of mass destruction. At the same time, the Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI], part of the Department of Justice [DOJ], was directed to lead crisis management, the measures needed to prevent or punish acts of terrorism. In 1996, Congress directed the Department of Defense [DoD], to provide consequence management training and equipment to cities through what is now known as the Domestic Preparedness Program while also authorizing FEMA and DOJ to enhance the response capabilities of local police and fire departments. So the proposed transfer of the Domestic Preparedness Program from the Department of Defense to the Department of Justice offers the promise of one-stop shopping for State and local first responders, but raises key questions that should be addressed before an act of terrorism puts that promise to the test. The central question, does the consolidation of domestic preparedness programs in DOJ ignore the clear, necessary distinction between crisis management and consequence management reflected in the President's original lead agency designations? Will FEMA be able to assert a primary role in consequence management once the bulk of Federal training and equipment funds are coming from Justice? How will DOJ resolve inevitable conflicts between the law enforcement imperative to maintain the integrity of a crime scene and the equally compelling need to mitigate consequences by evacuating and decontaminating the same area when they are responsible for both?" Statements, letters, and material submitted for the record include those of the following: Charles L. Cragin, Catherine Light, Bruce Baughman, Barbara Y. Martinez, Andy Mitchell, and Christopher Shays.
Serial No. 106-27