Wednesday, February 15, 2012

More DHS Budget Request Information

Yesterday, in the lead up to Secretary Napolitano’s appearance before two separate House budget hearings today, the Department of Homeland Security published a 3134 page budget justification document. A quick review (boy I’m glad I took a speed reading course in High School) provides some budget numbers for two important (for readers of this blog anyway) programs and a lot of interesting details about the work of DHS that are not normally readily available to the public.

NOTE: All page numbers are Adobe Reader® page numbers.

Budget Numbers

This document provides program level budget numbers not normally seen in this stage of the budget process. Of particular interest to members of the chemical security and cybersecurity communities it provides numbers for the Infrastructure Security Compliance Program (ISCD) and the Control Systems Security Program (ICS-CERT).

ISCD (pages 2096 and 2103) has no changes to the manpower positions included in the budget request from the FY 2012 budget authorization, but it does have a decrease in funding from $93.348 Million to $74.544 Million. No explanation is given in how the program savings will be achieved.

The ICS-CERT funding request (page 2118), on the other hand, shows an increase in the full-time equivalent manpower positions from the FY 2012 authorized levels from 9 to 12. There is also a very slight funding increase from $28.297 Million to $28.929 Million for the program. Presumably this covers the increased manpower costs.

Misleading Metrics

The document leads off with a number of measures of the effectiveness of the various programs covered in the DHS budget. Of special interest is the one metric mentioned for the CFATS program. On page 13 it notes that ISCD had a FY 2011 target of having 10% of the CFATS facilities “in compliance with the Chemical Facility Anti-terrorism Standards” but only 9.1% achieved that standard. It also noted that they are shooting for 20% compliance in FY2012 and 35% compliance in FY 2013.

No details are given about what constitutes ‘in compliance’ but it certainly cannot be having an authorized site security plan since only four facilities (about 0.1% of the CFATS facilities) have achieved even that standard and all of those were authorized since October 1st. I certainly hope that Secretary Napolitano is questioned about this detail today. I also wonder how many of the other metrics are this misleading.

BTW: The reason that ISCD missed the FY 2011 target was missed was “attributable to scheduled authorization inspections in September 2011 being postponed due to Hurricane Irene”. I don’t recall that being one of the problems mentioned in the ISCD report about program deficiencies.

TSA Surface Security Programs

We don’t typically hear much about the TSA surface security programs as the agencies main focus (in terms of both manpower and money spent) is passenger air travel security. This document does list an number of interesting projects that TSA has worked on over the last year. Not much is provided in the way of detail so I will only list the projects here with the page reference.

• TSA Surface Transportation Rule Making, page 1445;

• Toxic Inhalation Hazard (TIH) Transportation Risk Reduction, page 1450;

• TIH Dispersion Modeling, page 1451; and

• TIH Tank Car Vulnerability, page 1451

The actual test results for the last three items will almost certainly be classified, but they should make their way into the regulatory process over the next decade or so; based upon TSA’s past rulemaking record.

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