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GAO warns against funding DHS R&D without strategic plan in place

Before the Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its research arm, the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA), can be funded, problems must be ironed out, according to the General Accounting Office (GAO), Congress’s accounting arm.

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DHS needs to get better control over its IT spending, Congress warned

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is implementing a strategic IT framework at a cost of billions of dollars without it being under the control—or even the authority—of the department’s chief information officer (CIO), an official of the General Accounting Office (GAO) told the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

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Working together to safeguard America

Cities and counties are at the forefront of forging best practices in the new field of homeland security. The states are doing their best to circle the wagons within their jurisdictions among regions, counties, cities and towns, as well as special districts. The federal government is also grappling with our nation’s security, with the assistance of the newest federal agency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

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The mantra for successful grant writing? Just do it

With $400billion in grant opportunities available nationally on an annual basis, why wouldn’t your organization pursue a grant strategy? You probably have your reasons, and grants officers and consultants have heard them all. Here’s what you need to defeat the defeatist voice in your head and take the leap that may lead to success.

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Behind the absence on stage

When DHS Secretary Tom Ridge was absent from a crucial press conference, the press, pundits and politicos tried to divine the meaning—but sometimes the explanation is simpler than it seems

 

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Training for urban readiness

For the first time this fall, an organization charged with homeland security responsibilities, the Southern Antiterrorist Regional Training Academy (SARTA) in Carville, La., will use the Mobile Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) system to prepare first responders. The system was developed in the early 1990s to train soldiers in urban combat.

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The big boys and their strategies

The five largest American defense contractors are seeking to extend their dominance at the Pentagon to the homeland security market.

Together, Lockheed Martin Corp., the Boeing Co., Northrop Grumman Corp., General Dynamics Corp. and Raytheon Co. held almost one-third of the $209 billion in prime contracts awarded by the Department of Defense in 2003.

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Elmer Nelson

Vice President, Homeland Systems Solutions, Lockheed Martin Systems Management

For Elmer Nelson, homeland security is something very personal.

The day after Sept. 11, 2001, Nelson, a captain in the Navy Reserve, was called to duty at the Pentagon.

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Ballots in the Bullseye

With the Spanish example fresh in their minds, US authorities are asking whether they will see a terrorist replay when Americans go to the polls in November

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Guarding the Games

Security for this year’s summer games is an Olympic challenge in itself. A look at how it’s being done.

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Boston Braces for the Democrats

The cradle of liberty is preparing for a flood of politicos, celebrities, protesters and media in the first political convention since Sept. 11.

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New York’s summer of discontent

Has Washington shortchanged the Big Apple? Some New York responders think so—and they’ll let the world know just how much when the Republican National Convention comes to town in August.

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The Shadow of the Munich Games

As the world prepares to celebrate the Olympic games amidst the war on terror, a look back at a past tragedy holds some important lessons.

 

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The critical summer of 2004

It was long ago evident that this was to be a momentous summer.

In the United States, the Democratic and Republican conventions had been scheduled four years before. As the US Constitution provides, elections will be held in November. Independence will be celebrated on July 4. Athens was awarded the 2004 Olympics in 1997 and will hold the games in August. Whatever else was going to happen in the world, we all knew these rituals would be observed.

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Allegation of lax cargo container inspections sets off alarms

The revelation that cargo container inspection regulations are being ignored has sent shudders through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), according to insiders speaking on background. The allegation was made before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee at a March 24 hearing on the state of maritime security.

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Computer controls of electric power systems vulnerable

Power generators’ control systems in the United States are vulnerable to hacking and terrorist attack, the General Accounting Office (GAO) stated in a March 30 report, Critical Infrastructure Protection: Challenges and Efforts to Secure Control Systems, (http://www.gao.gov/ new.items/d031165t.pdf) The findings, however, do not come as a surprise to experts in the field.

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Let’s get a grip on alerts

Since February 2003, the national alert level has cycled from yellow to orange five times, and we can expect this pattern to continue in the future. While the color alert system has been mocked in the press, no one has offered a reasonable alternative.

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