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The Secretary's Five Goals

"Over the next year and beyond, we will remain focused on strengthening the foundations for successful execution of our mission. We will continue to liten, learn, and grow as a Department. And we will continue to work in a spirit of collaboration with our Federal, State, and local partners, and with the American people--all of whom are equal partners in helping us protect our country, as well as equal stakeholders in our progress to achieve our five major goals."

Secretary Michael Chertoff

1. Protect our Nation from Dangerous People

In 2008, we will protect our Nation from dangerous people by strengthening our border security efforts and gaining effective control of our borders. We will continue to enforce “catch and return” and work to expand Operation Streamline along the Southwest Border. We will also continue deploying SBInet and achieve a total of 670 miles of pedestrian and vehicle fencing. We will increase the number of Border Patrol agents to 18,000. We will continue to take aggressive steps to enforce existing immigration rules and improve the current immigration system as laid out in the President’s Immigration Reform and Transformation Initiatives.

We will augment secure identification processes on three fronts: preparing for the implementation of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), including developing and issuing Enhanced Driver’s Licenses, and the REAL ID rule calling for greater security for State-issued identity documents. We will secure and strengthen watch list screening by vetting domestic, commercial flights through Secure Flight. We will conduct behavioral pattern recognition on 50 percent of air travelers. We will create interoperable architecture for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program, WHTI, and REAL ID requirements. And, we will capture 10 prints from foreign travelers and work to achieve database interoperability among DHS, the FBI, and the Department of State.

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2. Protect our Nation from Dangerous Goods

In 2008, we will protect our Nation from dangerous goods by scanning nearly 100 percent of arriving containers for illicit nuclear material. We will expand our overseas container scanning network in foreign ports through the Secure Freight Initiative. We will continue to implement the Securing the Cities Initiative by developing and deploying systems that prevent attacks involving the use of radiological weapons of mass destruction. We will screen air cargo on 96 percent of passenger flights this year and 50 percent of the cargo on the remaining four percent by February 2009. We will adopt rules for a standard security program and the mandatory use of advance passenger information in the General Aviation Sector. We will implement a National Small Vessel Security Strategy to decrease the risk of weapons of mass destruction delivery via small vessels. We will enhance our Nation’s response to biological attacks to gain time in identifying and responding to biological attacks.

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3. Protect Critical Infrastructure

In 2008, we will protect our critical infrastructure by strengthening mutually beneficial partnerships with industry owners and operators of the approximately 85 percent of critical infrastructure in private hands. We will continue to use grant funding to enhance State and local governments’ efforts to protect our critical infrastructure. We will improve the security of cyberspace and America’s cyber assets with a 24/7 intrusion detection system across Federal networks and the National Cyber Exercise. We will continue to work with industry to implement the 17 sector-specific plans as required by the National Infrastructure Protection Plan. We will issue TWIC cards to workers at all regulated port facilities and vessels. We will implement the Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards regulatory program to enhance security at our Nation’s high risk chemical facilities. And, we will launch a large-scale initiative to develop technologies and tactics to deter, detect, defeat, and mitigate the effects of improvised explosive devices.

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4. Strengthen our Nation’s Preparedness and Emergency Response Capabilities

In 2008, we will build a culture of preparedness and a nimble, effective emergency response system through a new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). We will ensure our grant programs are strategically aligned to the National Strategy for Homeland Security, and we will roll out the revised National Response Framework and National Incident Management System to standardize incident management practices. We will release a National Emergency Communications Plan and ensure that all States have statewide interoperability strategies. We will develop and release an Integrated Planning System and a National Homeland Security Plan to enhance preparedness for major man-made and natural disasters. We will enhance FEMA commodity management capabilities. And, we will establish the capability to alert and warn 85 percent of the listening and viewing public within 10 minutes.

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5. Strengthen and Unify DHS Operations and Management

In 2008, we will continue our efforts to enhance DHS operations and management. We will strengthen acquisition management by reducing risk, monitoring program performance, and building a robust acquisition workforce. We will strengthen the role of the Chief Information Officer and underscore the importance of information technology (IT) security, unified enterprise architecture, and an integrated IT investment review process. We will unify IT infrastructures by reducing the number of data centers and networks and by deploying a new range of security services. We will ensure that all DHS Components have improved access to needed data and information through information sharing and access agreements. We will provide all newly-hired DHS employees with a single, secure, tamper-proof smartcard that allows interoperable access to DHS facilities and systems. We will enhance operations coordination by establishing a joint planning capability for non-routine, multi-component operations. And, we will strive to consolidate our headquarters facilities. Finally, we will incorporate best practices for departmental transition planning in order to deliver a strengthened and unified DHS to the next Administration.

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This page was last reviewed/modified on April 7, 2008.