I'm not sure why it should take 5 years to come up with "goals and priorities" - they should be well past making plans and working on implementing them.
Nearly five years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Washington region still lacks a strategic plan to guide preparations for any future attacks or to effectively spend hundreds of millions of homeland security dollars, federal and local officials told a U.S. Senate panel yesterday.
An oversight panel for the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs took emergency response officials from the District, Maryland, Virginia and the federal government to task for bureaucratic
foot-dragging and a lack of agreement on a long-term plan for protecting
millions of residents in the region.
Senators questioned why the Capital Region Homeland Security Strategic Plan has not been completed. The plan was promised last September but will not be available until August at the earliest, officials said. The plan would establish goals and priorities for enhancing disaster response and for efficiently spending federal preparedness dollars.
Local jurisdictions might be somewhat prepared, but not to work together in a major incident:
Edward D. Reiskin, the District's deputy mayor for public safety and justice, assured the panel that local jurisdictions are prepared to respond to individual emergencies.
"If a big, bad thing happens, we have a response plan,'' he said after the hearing. "That's not at all what is the issue here. It's about strategic planning and about what is the vision.''
Thomas Lockwood, the DHS director for the capital region, said leaders are working hard to come up with a consensus plan. But he said the effort is hampered by fragmented authority among the region's 12 jurisdictions, two states and the District of Columbia, all three branches of the federal government, more than 2,000 nonprofit organizations and numerous regional business and civic groups. Nearly three dozen police departments operate in the District alone.
Technorati Tags: DC, Terrorism