Emergency Communications: Actions Needed to Better Coordinate Federal Efforts in the National Capital Region, Report to Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 3MB]

"The NCR [National Capital Region] is considered at high risk for various threats and hazards. Federal, state, and local agencies in the NCR continue to face challenges with emergency communications interoperability -- that is, the ability to use radios to communicate across entities when needed. The federal government has taken actions to improve interoperability in the NCR including allocating almost $720 million through a DHS grant program to enhance regional preparedness since fiscal year 2002, and establishing the ONCRC [Office of NCR Coordination] to coordinate NCR entities on homeland security activities, including interoperability. GAO [U.S. Government Accountability Office] was asked to review federal efforts to improve emergency communications interoperability in the NCR. This report examines (1) actions the ONCRC has taken to help improve emergency communications interoperability in the NCR and (2) status of the ONCRC's efforts to coordinate with federal agencies to help improve emergency preparedness in the NCR, including communications interoperability. GAO reviewed documentation from the ONCRC and interviewed DHS officials and emergency managers from the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. […] GAO recommends that ONCRC, as part of its efforts to restructure the JFC [Joint Federal Committee], clearly articulate in a written agreement the roles and responsibilities of participating agencies and specify how they are to work together across agency boundaries. ONCRC concurred with this recommendation."

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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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