As you know, on June 20, 2002 the President signed an executive order establishing within OMB a Transition Planning Office for the Department of Homeland Security. Simply put, the objective of the Transition Planning Office is to plan and facilitate an accelerated transition to an integrated and effective Department of Homeland Security. At the same time, we must maintain and enhance homeland security vigilance and effectiveness during the transition period. Central to this goal, we wish to stress that in all instances operations and program execution of the entities to be included in the new department will continue to be directed under existing departmental chains of command until the affected components transfer into the new department. In addition, during the transition period we must continue to discharge effectively any non-homeland security activities which are the responsibility of the entities that will comprise the new department.