National Preparedness: FEMA Has Made Progress in Improving Grant Management and Assessing Capabilities, but Challenges Remain, by David C. Maurer, Director, Homeland Security and Justice, before the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications, Committee on Homeland Security, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 299KB]

"From fiscal years 2002 through 2012, the Congress appropriated about $39 billion to a variety of DHS preparedness grant programs to enhance the capabilities of state and local governments to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks and other disasters. DHS allocated more than $21.3 billion through four of the largest preparedness programs-- the Port Security Grant Program, the State Homeland Security Program, the Transit Security Grant Program, and the Urban Areas Security Initiative. In February 2012, GAO [Government Accountability Office] identified factors that contribute to the risk of FEMA potentially funding unnecessarily duplicative projects across the four grant programs. In March 2011, GAO reported that FEMA has faced challenges in developing and implementing a national preparedness assessment, which inhibits its abilities to effectively prioritize preparedness grant funding. This testimony update s GAO's prior work and describes DHS's and FEMA's progress over the past year in (1) managing preparedness grants and (2) measuring national preparedness by assessing cap abilities. This statement is based on prior products GAO issued from March 2011 to February 2012 and selected updates in March 2013. To conduct the updates, GAO analyzed agency documents and interviewed FEMA officials. […] GAO has made recommendations to DHS and FEMA in prior reports. DHS and FEMA concurred with these recommendations and have actions underway to address them."

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