National Response Framework: FEMA Needs Policies and Procedures to Better Integrate Non-Federal Stakeholders in the Revision Process   [open pdf - 378KB]

"Hurricane Katrina illustrated that effective preparation and response to a catastrophe requires a joint effort between federal, state, and local government. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is responsible for heading the joint effort. In January 2008, DHS released the National Response Framework (NRF), a revision of the 2004 National Response Plan (2004 Plan), the national preparation plan for all hazards. In response to the explanatory statement to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 and as discussed with congressional committees, this report evaluates the extent to which DHS collaborated with non-federal stakeholders in revising and updating the 2004 Plan into the 2008 NRF and FEMA has developed policies and procedures for managing future NRF revisions. To accomplish these objectives, GAO reviewed DHS and FEMA documents related to the revision process, analyzed the relevant statutes, and interviewed federal and non-federal officials who held key positions in the revision process. GAO recommends that FEMA develop policies and procedures that guide how future revision processes will occur, particularly for collaborating with non-federal stakeholders. FEMA concurred with our recommendation."

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Government Accountability Office (GAO): http://www.gao.gov/
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Listed on June 18, 2008 [Critical Releases]