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Implementation of the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act And Other Organizational Changes

On October 4, 2006, the President signed into law the Post-Katrina Emergency Reform Act. That Act establishes new leadership positions within the Department, brings additional functions into the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), creates and reallocates functions to other components within the Department, and amends the Homeland Security Act, in ways that directly and indirectly affect the organization and functions of various entities within DHS.

In addition, the Department has made certain other organizational changes outside of FEMA which complement the changes mandated by Congress. These changes, taken together, will strengthen the Department's ability to prevent, prepare for, protect against, respond to and recover from all hazard threats.

The changes that the Department will make will be effective on March 31, 2007.

Transfers Mandated By the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act

The Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act transfers, with the exception of certain offices listed in the Act, functions of the Preparedness Directorate to the new FEMA. This transfer includes:

  • The United States Fire Administration (USFA)
  • The Office of Grants and Training (G&T)
  • The Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Division (CSEP)
  • The Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program (REPP)
  • The Office of National Capital Region Coordination (NCRC)

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The New FEMA

FEMA will continue to be headed by R. David Paulison, and he will take on the new title of Administrator. The Administrator will be supported by two Deputy Administrators. One will be the Deputy Administrator and Chief Operating Officer. This will be the principal deputy, with overall operational responsibilities at FEMA. Harvey Johnson, currently the Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of FEMA, will continue in this role. The other will be a Deputy Administrator for National Preparedness, a new division within FEMA.

National Preparedness will include existing FEMA programs and several legacy Preparedness Directorate programs. It will focus on policy, contingency planning, exercise coordination and evaluation, emergency management training and hazard mitigation with respect to the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness (CSEP) and Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program (REPP). National Preparedness will oversee two divisions: Readiness, Prevention and Planning (RPP), and the National Integration Center (NIC). Readiness, Prevention and Planning will be the central office within FEMA handling preparedness policy and planning functions. The National Integration Center will maintain the National Incident Management System (NIMS), the National Response Plan (NRP), and will coordinate activities with the U.S. Fire Administration.

The Office of Grants and Training will be moved to the new FEMA and renamed the “Office of Grant Programs.” The Training and Systems Support Divisionsof the Office of Grants and Training will be transferred to the National Integration Center (NIC). The Office of the Citizen Corps within the Office of Grants and Training will be transferred into the FEMA Office of Readiness, Prevention and Planning.

Additional headquarters positions created at FEMA by the Post-Katrina Act include a Disability Coordinator, residing in the FEMA Office of Equal Rights, a Small State and Rural Advocate, a Law Enforcement Advisor to the Administrator and a National Advisory Council.

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The National Protection and Programs Directorate

The Act specifically excluded certain elements of the Preparedness Directorate from transfer to FEMA. The legacy Preparedness Directorate will be renamed the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD). NPPD will continue to be led by Under Secretary George Foresman. This Directorate will include the following offices:

  • Office of the Under Secretary
  • Office of Infrastructure Protection will identify risks, threats and vulnerabilities to critical infrastructure, and develop methods to mitigate them. The office will continue to help strengthen the first line of defense against attacks on our Nation’s critical infrastructure and provide robust real-time monitoring and response to incidents of national significance.
  • Office of Cyber Security and Communications (CS&C) combines the Office of Cyber Security and Telecommunications and the Office of the Manager of the National Communications System with the new Office of Emergency Communications. CS&C will focus both on cybersecurity and on emergency and interoperable communications, identifying cyber vulnerabilities and threats, and helps protect against and respond to cyber-based attacks, including performing analysis on the potential consequences of a successful attack.
  • Office of Risk Management and Analysis, formerly within the Office of Infrastructure Protection, will directly report to the Under Secretary and will expand its focus from physical critical infrastructure to cybersecurity and other risk analysis arenas. This expanded mission will broaden the Office’s efforts to address risk issues for the overall protection, prevention, and mitigation of homeland security risks.
  • Office of Intergovernmental Programs will provide the Department-level focal point for coordinating related communications and policies with departmental leadership, and ensuring consistent and coordinated component level interactions. This office will provide a clear pathway for communications with departmental leadership.
  • US-VISIT will maintain its current role, but will be administratively relocated to the National Protection and Programs Directorate.

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Office of Health Affairs

The Office of Health Affairs (OHA) will be led by the Chief Medical Officer, who will now have the title of Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer.  The Office of Health Affairs will have three main divisions:  

  • Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and Biodefense will be led by a Deputy Assistant Secretary and will lead the Department’s biodefense activities, including the Bioshield and BioWatch programs (transferring to OHA from S&T) and the National Biosurveillance Integration System (transferring to OHA from Infrastructure Protection). 
  • Medical Readiness will oversee contingency planning, readiness of medical first responders, WMD incident management support, and medical preparedness grant coordination. 
  • Component Services will provide policy, standards, requirements and metrics for the Department’s occupational health and safety programs and provide protective and operational medical services within the Department.

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This page was last modified on January 19, 2007