Friday, December 21, 2012

New Private Sector Resources Catalog

I got an email from DHS Assistant Secretary Douglas A. Smith this morning (actually it was from an organization that provides update notification services for select government web sites) announcing the publication of the latest version of the DHS Private Sector Resources Catalog. As I have mentioned on a number of occasions, this web based document provides a list of publicly available resources available from DHS concerning the wide variety of programs administered by that Department.

The 91 page .PDF document can be downloaded in whole or part. Personally, since I don’t have much to do with border enforcement or immigration issues, I prefer to download just those sections that specifically address programs of interest to me. Those include:

There is also an appendix that lists key points of contact within the Department and another that provides a subject index to the entire publication. Back in May I noted that the subject index would be more helpful if it included links to the appropriate section of the Catalog, but that change has not been made.

Because of the re-arrangement of the Departments on-line presence earlier this year this update is even more valuable than previous versions. Unfortunately many of the earlier web sites seem to have disappeared and there are even more programs that require emailing someone at DHS to obtain the necessary information. I have always found these emails to be answered relatively promptly, but there is a delay that cannot be avoided. Again, I urge the Department to put more of the program information documents live on their web site so that people can get them in a timely manner.

Even with these minor complaints, I really do appreciate DHS taking the initiative to publish and periodically update this resource. It is a valuable service to the country.

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