Office of Homeland Security
Table of Contents:
Actions Taken to Date
September 20, 2001: President Bush announces the establishment of the Office of Homeland Security, and the appointment of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge in his Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People.
"Today, dozens of federal departments and agencies, as well as state and local governments, have responsibilities affecting homeland security. These efforts must be coordinated at the highest level. So tonight I announce the creation of a Cabinet-level position reporting directly to me -- the Office of Homeland Security. And tonight I also announce a distinguished American to lead this effort, to strengthen American security: a military veteran, an effective governor, a true patriot, a trusted friend -- Pennsylvania's Tom Ridge. (Applause.) He will lead, oversee and coordinate a comprehensive national strategy to safeguard our country against terrorism, and respond to any attacks that may come."
October 8, 2001: President Bush issues Executive Order 13228 Establishing the Office of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Council.
October 8, 2001: Tom Ridge sworn in as the first Director of the Office of Homeland Security.
March 21, 2002: Executive Order Establishing the President's Homeland Security Advisory Council and Senior Advisory Committees for Homeland Security.
Executive Order 13228 Establishing the Office of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Council enumerates the mission and functions of the Office of Homeland Security.
A summary of the President's Executive Order.
The President's mission for the Office of Homeland Security is "to develop and coordinate the implementation of a comprehensive national strategy to secure the United States from terrorist threats or attacks."
Section 3 of the President's Executive Order sets out in detail the functions of the Office of Homeland Security, which shall be "to coordinate the executive branch's efforts to detect, prepare for, prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks within the United States."
In performing many of its functions, the Office is required to work with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, and with other Federal, State, and local agencies, and private entities, as appropriate.
Section 3 provides that the Director of the Office of Homeland Security shall have the power to:
(b) develop and review a National Strategy on terrorism;
(c) coordinate information collection, analysis and sharing to detect threats of terrorism and activities of terrorists within the United States, and prioritize requirements for foreign intelligence collection. The Office shall:
- facilitate information collection by State and local government and private entities;
- "provide [foreign intelligence] requirements and priorities to the Director of Central Intelligence and other agencies";
- audit and ensure all executive departments' and agencies' technological capabilities to collect intelligence;
- "coordinate development of monitoring protocols and equipment for use in detecting the release of biological, chemical, and radiological hazards"; and
- ensure dissemination and exchange of intelligence and law enforcement information among the executive branch and, where appropriate, promote exchange of such information with and among state and local governments and private entities.
All executive departments and agencies are required to make available to OHS "all information relating to terrorist threats and activities within the United States."
(d) coordinate national efforts to prepare for and mitigate the consequences of terrorist threats or attacks within the United States, including:
- review all federal emergency response plans relating to terrorism within the United States;
- coordinate domestic exercises and simulations designed to assess and practice systems to respond to terrorism, and coordinate programs and activities for training federal, state, and local employees who would be called upon to respond to such a threat or attack;
- coordinate national efforts to ensure public health preparedness for a terrorist attack, including reviewing vaccination policies and reviewing the adequacy of and, if necessary, increasing vaccine and pharmaceutical stockpiles and hospital capacity;
- coordinate federal assistance to state and local authorities and NGOs to prepare for and respond to terrorism;
- implement review and evaluation programs and standards for national preparedness programs, including allocation of resources to implement changes based on such evaluations; and
- ensure the readiness and coordinated deployment of federal response teams to respond to terrorist threats or attacks.
(e) coordinate efforts to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, including:
- facilitate the exchange of information among INS and customs agencies;
- ensure coordination among such agencies to prevent the entry of terrorists and terrorist materials and supplies into the United States and facilitate removal of such terrorists from the United States, when appropriate;
- coordinate efforts to investigate terrorist threats and attacks within the United States;
- coordinate efforts to improve the security of United States borders, territorial waters, and airspace in order to prevent acts of terrorism within the United States.
(f) coordinate efforts to protect the United States and its critical infrastructure from the consequences of terrorist attacks, including:
- strengthen measures for protecting energy production, transmission, and distribution services and critical facilities; other utilities; telecommunications; facilities that produce, use, store, or dispose of nuclear material; and other critical infrastructure services and critical facilities within the United States from terrorist attack;
- coordinate efforts to protect critical public and privately owned information systems within the United States from terrorist attack;
- develop criteria for reviewing whether appropriate security measures are in place at major public and privately owned facilities within the United States;
- coordinate domestic efforts to ensure that special events determined by appropriate senior officials to have national significance are protected from terrorist attack;
- coordinate efforts to protect transportation systems within the United States, including railways, highways, shipping, ports and waterways, and airports and civilian aircraft, from terrorist attack;
- coordinate efforts to protect United States livestock, agriculture, and systems for the provision of water and food for human use and consumption from terrorist attack; and
- coordinate efforts to prevent unauthorized access to, development of, and unlawful importation into the United States of, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, explosive, or other related materials that have the potential to be used in terrorist attacks.
(g) coordinate efforts to respond to and promote recovery from terrorist threats or attacks within the United States, including:
- coordinate efforts to ensure rapid restoration of transportation systems, energy production, transmission, and distribution systems; telecommunications; other utilities; and other critical infrastructure facilities after disruption by a terrorist threat or attack;
- coordinate efforts to ensure rapid restoration of public and private critical information systems after disruption by a terrorist threat or attack;
- work with the National Economic Council to coordinate efforts to stabilize United States financial markets after a terrorist threat or attack and manage the immediate economic and financial consequences of the incident;
- coordinate federal plans and programs to provide medical, financial, and other assistance to victims of terrorist attacks and their families; and
- coordinate containment and removal of any biological, chemical, radiological, explosive, or other hazardous materials, and coordinate efforts to mitigate the effects of such an attack.
(h) The Director of the OHS will be the individual primarily responsible for incident management:
- coordinating the domestic response efforts of all departments and agencies in the event of an imminent terrorist threat and during and in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack within the United States;
- principal point of contact for and to the President with respect to coordination of such efforts.
(i) The Director of the OHS will review plans and preparations for ensuring the continuity of the Federal Government in the event of a terrorist attack that threatens the safety and security of the United States Government or its leadership.
(j) The Office, subject to the direction of the White House Office of Communications, shall:
- coordinate the strategy of the executive branch for communicating with the public in the event of a terrorist threat or attack within the United States;
- develop programs for educating the public about the nature of terrorist threats and appropriate precautions and responses.
(k) Legal analysis and legislative proposals. The Office will:
- coordinate a periodic review and assessment of the legal authorities available to executive departments and agencies to permit them to perform the functions described in this order;
- develop proposals for presidential action and legislative proposals for submission to the Office of Management and Budget to enhance the ability of executive departments and agencies to perform those functions.
- work with state and local governments to assess the adequacy of their legal authorities to permit them to detect, prepare for, prevent, protect against, and recover from terrorist threats and attacks.
(l) The Director, in conducting a budget review, will:
- identify programs that contribute to the Administration's strategy for homeland security;
- review and provide advice to the heads of departments and agencies for such programs;
- provide advice to the OMB on the level and use of funding in departments and agencies for homeland security-related activities;
- certify to the OMB the funding levels that the Director believes are necessary and appropriate for the homeland security-related activities of the executive branch.
Executive Order Establishing the President's Homeland Security Advisory Council and Senior Advisory Committees for Homeland Security. (March 21, 2002)
This most recent order gives Director Ridge the authority to appoint the Executive Director of the President's Homeland Security Advisory Council (PHSAC) and the Chair and Vice Chair for each of the Senior Advisory Committees for Homeland Security (SACs). Director Ridge is authorized to convene meetings of the Council and Committee to provide advice to the President through Director Ridge (Section 2: Functions).
Director of the Office of Homeland Security:
Biography of Governor Tom Ridge, Director of the Office of Homeland Security.
Deputy Director of the Office of Homeland Security: Admiral Steve Abbot.
Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security: Mark A. Holman.
Deputy Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs for the Office of Homeland Security: Becky Halkias.
Special Assistant to the President and Executive Secretary for the Office of Homeland Security: Carl M. Buckholz.
Special Assistant to the President and Public Liaison for the Office of Homeland Security: Barbara Chaffee.
Special Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for Homeland Security: Susan Neely.
Special Assistant to the President and Adviser for External Affairs on Homeland Security: Frank Cilluffo.
Office of Homeland Security General Counsel: Ed McNally.
Senior Director of Protection and Prevention: Major General Bruce Lawlor.
Senior Director of Response and Recovery: Michael Byrne.
Senior Director of Border Security: Brian Peterman.
Senior Director of Policy and Plans: Richard Falkenrath.
Announcement of appointments and biographical information.
- Approximately 80 staff.
- The Office was intended to have a staff of 100.
"Securing the Homeland, Strengthening the Nation," by President George W. Bush .
In this publication, the President outlines his vision for the operation of the Office of Homeland Security in more detail, including budgetary allocations and spending on specific programs.
Specifically, the report itemizes the spending under the President's four key budgetary goals that will be administered by the Office of Homeland Security, namely:
- Supporting First Responders
- Defending Against Bioterrorism
- Securing America’s Borders
- Using 21st Century Technology to Secure the Homeland
Additional Budget Priorities administered under the Office of Homeland Security include:
- Transportation Security
- Federal Law Enforcement
- Citizen Corps
- Department of Defense and Intelligence Community
- Protecting our Critical Infrastructure
Director Ridge's National Strategy for Homeland Security "will encompass the full range of homeland security activities and will set priorities among them," thus directing the allocation of $10.6 billion of the Federal Emergency Response Fund, as well as billions of dollars at the state and local levels. The FY2003 Federal Budget directs $37.7 billion to homeland security.
The Budget for the Executive Office of the President, for Physical and IT Security in FY2002 was $2 million, with an additional $58 million in the 2002 Supplement when the Office of Homeland Security also came within this budgetary category. The FY2003 request for the Executive Office of the President Physical and IT Security and the Office of Homeland Security is $48 million.
ACTIONS TAKEN TO DATE
(available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/homeland/archive.html)October 8, 2001: Governor Ridge Sworn-In to Lead Homeland Security, President Establishes Office of Homeland Security.
October 18, 2001: Director Ridge, Leaders Discuss Homeland Security and Anthrax.
October 19, 2001: Director Ridge Briefs Media at Week's End on Homeland Security Issues and Anthrax.
October 22, 2001: Director Ridge Discusses Anthrax Situation
October 25, 2001: Gov. Ridge, Medical Authorities Discuss Anthrax
October 29, 2001: Ridge, Thompson Hold Briefing
October 30, 2001: Tuesday's Homeland Security Briefing: "one of the great challenges I have as the Director of Homeland Security, in giving you timely and accurate and complete information with regard to this threat assessment and the threat alert."
November 7, 2001: Wednesday's Homeland Security Briefing. Reflecting on some of the activity of the Homeland Security Office, Governor Ridge reported meetings with, among others, members of Congress, a business roundtable, Governors and Mayors, NASCAR, the British Ambassador.
November 28, 2001: Governor Ridge Speaks at Homeland Security and Defense Conference (selected quotes):
"Now, the Defense Department takes a long-range approach to its budget needs, Homeland Security will do likewise with a multiyear budget plan, a plan that cuts across all agencies, a plan that not only addresses present urgent needs as we build a foundation for national homeland strategy, for security strategy, but also works to get ahead of the threat. In other words, we're not preparing to fight the wars of the past, we're creating a blueprint to win the wars of the future."
"I think one of the challenges that the Office of Homeland Security has is to make sure that it becomes a permanent part of how the federal government does business… But I think our long-term best interests will be served if we create structures and relationships that just become a permanent part of how we do business and how the government provides service and security for the long-term.
"One of the more interesting ideas I received, it was generated from a conversation I had with the airline industry, happened to involve the voluntary deployment of biometric cards. Now, I know there are some people that favor face recognition technology. I happen to believe that whatever the technology that can be applied with the greatest impact immediately because this technology is going to change, we will deploy the best first; and as it changes, let's change our system. Let's try to be as flexible and as quick to respond in government, as agencies and organizations and companies and individuals are outside of government. So I'll let the experts decide what is the best technology to be deployed."
December 3, 2001: Governor Ridge Holds Homeland Security Briefing and Issues an Alert, "discerning specific, credible information and concluding that it gives rise to a reminder to America that we're still at war."
December 12, 2001: Governor Ridge and John Manley, then Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, sign the "Smart Border Declaration" with a 30-point action plan that will help speed and secure the flow of people and goods between the United States and Canada.
January 23, 2002: Governor Ridge Addresses U.S. Conference of Mayors: "One of the opportunities the President has given this office, and I think it's an opportunity that this country should embrace, as we take a look at ourselves through the lens of security, we may find that if we look a little bit beyond just security, we'll find ways to dramatically improve our communities, our states and our country, as well."
January 24, 2002: President Announces Substantial Increases in Homeland Security Budget: "Thirty-eight billion dollars is the total request. Double over 2002. It's the beginning of a homeland defense initiative which is going to last throughout my administration."
February 24, 2002: Homeland Security Director Speaks at the National Governor's Associations Winter Meeting in Washington:
"In the President's executive order, he specifically directed this office to design and implement a national strategy, not a federal one. And by implication, that means that the federal government, working with the state government, working with local governments. We need to find a way to be as seamless as we possibly can."
"But the President has said, take a look at the borders with our friends in the north in Canada, and in the south in Mexico, and come up with some smart border agreements -- not dealing just with security, but dealing with the enhancement of commerce, dealing with drug interdiction, dealing with immigration."
"I know that John [Magaw] has said, no more special treatment for frequent fliers. But I do think that this might be a great opportunity for us to do some work with biometrics, and get a trusted flier program."
February 25, 2002: President Bush Meets with Nation's Governors. Regarding the appointment of Governor Ridge to the Office of Homeland Security: "And I said, would you come and be a member of my Cabinet, be sitting at my right hand there, and design a national strategy for homeland security? And, fortunately, for the country, he said yes."
March 4, 2002: Gov Ridge Speaks at U.S. Embassy in Mexico regarding Border Security initiatives
March 8, 2002: Governor Ridge Discusses Smart Border Plan with the Deputy P.M. of Canada. Proposes expanding ID card program for pre-screened travelers.
March 12, 2002: Governor Ridge Announces New Homeland Security Advisory System: "Now, the decision to name a threat condition will rest with the Attorney General, after consulting with members of the Homeland Security Council, after consulting with me. We're asking all federal departments and agencies make this system work immediately, integrate their plans into this advisory system, and work with us over the next 135 days to a final system."
OHS web site. Executive Order Establishing Office of Homeland Security. President George W. Bush: "Securing the Homeland, Strengthening the Nation." Biography of Governor Tom Ridge, Director of the Office of Homeland Security. Announcement of staff appointments and biographical information. Executive Order Establishing the President's Homeland Security Advisory Council and Senior Advisory Committees for Homeland Security.