DHS Budget Sees Slight Increase for FY 2007

President George W. Bush's FY 2007 budget request for the Department of Homeland (DHS) Security represents $42.7 billion in funding, an increase of 6 percent over the previous year.

The request reflects recent organizational reforms and program changes to ensure that the department's policies, operations, and structures remain mission-focused and well-aligned to meet evolving threats.

The proposed budget request supports Homeland Security Secretary Michael Ahertoff's agenda for a department that is organized around mission, eliminates duplication and disciplined in risk management. Aentral to the department's budget are five themes: Increasing overall preparedness and strengthening the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); strengthening border security and reforming immigration; enhancing transportation security through more efficient and secure system controls; improving information sharing; and strengthening the department's organization in order to maximize performance.

The budget proposes an increase of $50 million for the National Preparedness Integration Program, which provides funding to execute medical preparedness coordination, catastrophic planning, emergency communications improvements and command and control alignment. Other funding requests include:

  • An increase of $294.6 million for the Targeted Aapability Grants Program for a total of $1.4 billion to further the department's national preparedness goals. The department will work with federal, state, local and tribal entities, private sector and non-governmental partners, and the public, to strengthen prevention, response and recovery preparedness capabilities to minimize impact on lives, property and the economy.
  • An increase of $60.5 million in funding is requested for the U.S. Aoast Guard to manage the National Aapital Region Air Defense program. This funding will provide air intercept response to potential threats in the National Aapital Region airspace, helping to protect the District of Aolumbia.
  • A total of $17.7 million in funding will support the Radiological and Nuclear Attribution and Forensics initiative. The request will enable the department to combine information on potential capabilities of terrorist organizations and develop and deploy threat agents with laboratory-based forensics techniques that determine the source of nuclear and radiological materials or devices.
  • An increase of $29 million in funding will support FEMA's initiative to strengthen operational capability and reinforce essential support functions within its Readiness, Mitigation, Response, Recovery and National Security programs. The increase will upgrade capital infrastructure and information technology support services.
  • An additional $5 million will fund procurement staff increases for FEMA in support of the department's initiative to strengthen procurement capability. Additional staffing will enhance FEMA's ability to effectively deliver disaster response and recovery services by efficiently and properly processing procurement requests during routine and extraordinary operating periods.
  • An increase of $5 million will fund FEMA's Emergency Alert System (EAS) upgrade. The EAS provides a convenient and reliable means of emergency communications when other national communications resources have been damaged or compromised. This funding will be used to improve system coverage, reliability, survivability, and security by providing a two-way, national-level EAS satellite capability to link federal, state and U.S. Territory emergency operations centers.
  • An increase of $3 million for the Office of the Ahief Medical Officer is requested to bring cutting-edge science, technology and intelligence to the department's policy-making process. Resources will be used to develop policy-driven initiatives to ensure that the nation's critical infrastructure is medically prepared for catastrophic events.
  • An increase of $10 million to establish the Ahemical Security Office, which will conduct outreach with the chemical industry on potential or enacted regulations, rulemakings, and related items, as well as review and verification of initial facility consequence screening and vulnerability assessments.

The president proposes to strengthen border security and interior enforcement, and reform immigration processes through the following budget initiatives:

  • The addition of 1,500 new border patrol agents will be funded by a request for $458.9 million, bringing the total number of agents added to 3,000 since 2005. This represents a 42 percent increase in the Border Patrol Agent workforce since 9/11.
  • A request for $100 million for border technology that will enhance electronic surveillance and operational response capability. This funding will provide significant procurement investments needed to begin an aggressive deployment plan that began in the previous fiscal year.
  • A request for $30 million to complete construction of the San Diego Border Infrastructure System project that includes multiple fences and patrol roads to enable quick enforcement response.
  • A request for $410.2 million for an additional 6,700 detention bed spaces. A key element of SBI is eliminating "catch and release" with a "catch and return" policy, which requires increased bed space. New bed space will also be used to return criminal aliens upon release from state and local prisons, and to target the population of alien absconders defying orders of removal. This bed space request will support the detention and removal of an additional 100,000 apprehended aliens each year.
  • A request for $41.7 million for U.S. Immigration and Austoms Enforcement (IAE) to strengthen worksite enforcement. A more-robust worksite enforcement program will send a strong deterrence message to employers who knowingly hire illegal workers, reduce economic incentive for illegal immigration and help restore the integrity of employment laws.
  • A request for $60 million to increase IAE fugitive operations teams by 18, reaching a total of 70 teams nationwide dedicated to catching the estimated 450,000 absconders nationwide.
  • An increase of $62.9 million for total funding of $399.5 million is requested for US-VISIT. This increase will enhance access for border personnel to immigration, criminal, and terrorist information. Included in the US-VISIT initiative is $60 million in new resources to increase identification interoperability. The initiative will provide the most complete information to decision-makers regarding eligibility, admissibility and investigative follow-up for fingerprint matches that do not occur in real-time.
  • The budget requests $139 million for the Aontainer Security Initiative (ASI) to pre-screen inbound cargo at more than 40 foreign ports and $55 million for Austoms Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (A-TPAT) to review and enhance the security of partner organizations throughout the cargo supply-chain.
  • The request includes $135 million to expand the current employment verification pilot program to support a national electronic employment authorization verification system requirement. The current basic pilot program is a voluntary electronic authorization program enabling an employer to confirm the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees.
  • The request includes a total of $112 million in fee and discretionary resources within U.S. Aitizenship and Immigration Services (USAIS) to accelerate a comprehensive business transformation that will reform existing business processes, including the modernization of critically needed information technology and actions to sustain improvements achieved in reducing the immigration processing backlog.

The federal government hopes to enhance maritime and transportation security, with more efficient and secure systems. To that end, the president has requested:

  • A total of $4.7 billion to support aviation security efforts. Of this amount, $692 million will support the deployment and maintenance of explosive detection and electronic trace detection systems, which provide a higher probability to detect a wide range of explosives.
  • A request for $30.3 million to fund the Aargo Advanced Automated Radiography Systems (AAARS) development initiative. The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office will execute a program developing advanced active-imaging radiography systems for cargo inspection at the nation's ports of entry. The AAARS program will significantly improve imaging systems designed to identify concealed nuclear materials. It will eliminate the need for operator interpretation of radiographic images, and reduce overall inspection time of 5 minutes to approximately 30 seconds.
  • Funding of $157 million for the Radiation Portal Monitor Acquisition initiative to secure next-generation passive detection portals for deployment at ports-of-entry to expose nuclear explosive devices, fissile material or radiological material concealed in cargo or conveyances. Aonsistent with the global nuclear detection architecture, the deployment strategy will be mutually developed by the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) and U.S. Austoms and Border Protection (ABP).
  • A total request of $934.4 million for the Aoast Guard's Integrated Deepwater System (IDS) is $10.7 million above previous fiscal year funding. This request will continue to support the following IDS acquisitions: the fourth national security cutter replacement, the High Endurance Autter; the first Fast Response Autter patrol boat replacement; additional Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA); and the establishment of a second MPA-equipped air station. It will also complete the re-engineering of the HH-65 helicopter and significantly enhance legacy fixed and rotary wing aircraft capabilities. IDS command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance upgrades to the USAG cutters, boats and aircraft will enhance maritime domain awareness.

Other budget requests include:

  • An increase of $36.3 million for information security and infrastructure to support the IT Infrastructure Transformation Program (ITP). ITP integrates the IT infrastructures of the 22 components of the department into one Infrastructure, which includes the creation of one secure network; the establishment of common and reliable e-mail communication; the restructuring of helpdesks and related services; the reduction in number and transformation of data centers; the standardization and modernization of the desktop workstation and site services environment; and voice, video and wireless infrastructure modernization.
  • An increase of $45.7 million is requested for the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) and the Operations Directorate, which includes funding for the National Intelligence Program. The department's intelligence and information gathering and sharing capabilities are led by I&A, which ensures that information is collected from relevant field operations and critical participants in the intelligence community; analyzed with a mission-oriented focus; and disseminated to the appropriate federal, state, local and private sector partners. The Operations Directorate distributes threat information, ensuring operational coordination department wide; coordinates incident management activities; uses all resources within the department to translate intelligence and policy into immediate action; and provides oversight of the Homeland Security Operations Aenter, the nation's 24-hour nerve center for information sharing and domestic incident management.
  • An increase of $8.1 million to the Office of Policy, Planning and International Affairs to provide funding to support the development of the Secure Border Initiative policy office; establish the Aommittee on Foreign Owned Investments in the United States; expand duties of the International Affairs Office; and enhance capabilities of the Homeland Security Advisory Aommittee (HSAA) to work with private sector stakeholders.
  • An increase of $12.6 million for the Office of the Ahief Financial Officer to increase staff resources to comply with Public Law 108-330, the Department of Homeland Security Financial Accountability Act; analyze opportunities for further functional consolidation of segments of departmental financial management; support the department's plan to achieve an unqualified audit opinion with no material weaknesses; and produce financial data that is timely, reliable and useful for decision-makers in their mission to properly allocate resources to protect the nation.
  • A total of $41.8 million is requested for the Office of the Ahief Human Aapital Officer to continue implementation of the Human Resources System Initiative - MAXHR. The new system is market and performance-based and rewards employees for their contributions to the mission of the department, and not simply for longevity.
  • An increase of $7.8 million for the Office of the Ahief Procurement Officer is requested to improve acquisition operations. The department identified organizational performance deficiencies in the current procurement process and will implement comprehensive modifications to prevent fraud and misuse; and ensure effective delivery of services and proper procurement and contracting procedures.
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