The Coast Guard would curtail air and surface operations by nearly 25 percent and a significant portion of frontline Homeland Security Department personnel would be furloughed for up to 14 days should sequestration occur on March 1, says Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Across-the-board cuts could also potentially result in reductions in force, Napolitano said, using the government term for layoffs.
A checklist of mobile device security standards to guide agencies on when to allow or restrict data and who that data can be shared with will be published this May, said panelists at a recent ACT-IAC event. The standards will provide recommendations for securing the devices for common uses in multiple types of environments.
A bipartisan task force of state senators recently conducted tours and roundtables to view storm damage and hear from local officials and community members. The senators found doubt among business owners that enough federal loans would reach them and that their input would matter.The senators also say insurance checks are not reaching their constituents quickly enough.
The Office of National Capital Region Coordination has been floundering in determining the effectiveness of its emergency preparedness measures, and isn't getting much help from its parent agency, the Federal Emergency Management Administration, says the Government Accountability Office.
The House approved $50.7 billion in aid to the ongoing recovery from Hurricane Sandy on Jan. 15. Along with the $9.7 billion in aid President Obama signed into law Jan. 6, the bill, if it becomes law, will bring the total aid to precisely the $60.4 billion Obama proposed in December .
In the latest (.pdf) in a series of reports examining FEMA implementation of the law, auditors say FEMA hasn't required debtors potentially eligible for a waiver to explain why they are not at fault for receipt of an improper payment. FEMA estimates that of the $8 billion it dispersed in assistance payments during the period covered by the law, about $371 million was potentially improper. Following hurricanes Katrina and Rita, FEMA loosened its controls for individual assistance disbursement.
In a year-end report (.pdf) summarizing individual reports completed during fiscal 2012 (which ended Sept. 30), auditors note past gaps in state grants administration--although they say that generally the states in question "did an efficient and effective job." Nonetheless, some of the past shortfalls were significant, such as Arkansas taking up to 1,031 days past the required deadline for obligating its allocated federal grants money to subgrantees during the period of fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2010.
The U.S. Fire Administration would be authorized at a rate of $76.49 million annually for 5 years and Federal Emergency Management Agency firefighter grants at the inflation-adjusted rate of $750 million annually under the House and Senate conference version of the fiscal 2013 national defense authorization act unveiled Dec. 18. Congressional authorization for the administration expired at the end of fiscal 2012; reauthorization language, which is Title 18 of the defense bill, was added in the Senate.
FEMA officials told auditors in response to a Nov. 29 report (.pdf) recommending that they reevaluate and possibly abolish a cap stipulating that FEMA reservists--also known as disaster assistance employees--be deployed for no more than 78 weeks every 2 years that they've already temporarily suspended it. That temporary suspension, made in December 2011, could become permanent, says the official response to the audit, signed by David Kaufman, director of the FEMA office of policy and program analysis.
In a letter (.pdf), Jeffrey Zients, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, says the Budget Control Act allows Congress to approve supplemental appropriations for emergencies without bumping up against the discretionary spending caps the act established.