The United States Department of Homeland Security concept of regionalization-will it survive the test?
Austin, William H.
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The United States Department of Homeland Security has proposed that the nationâ s system of response to terrorism and catastrophic disasters would be more practical and efficient if handled on a regional basis throughout the country. Regionalization is one of three overall priorities under the National Preparedness Goal. The primary hypothesis is there is a mismatch between the federal governmentâ s expectations of regionalization and the understanding of it by state and local governments. This lack of understanding will negatively impact the expenditure of federal funds in the future. The author proposes that there are six major reasons regionalization may fail and that a change of policy by the federal government will be necessary to increase the chance of success. The reasons include a lack of definition for regionalization; the impact of federalism; the influence of risk-based funding on local interest in regionalization; the impact of home rule and local autonomy; risk and liability questions; and the lack of leadership. Three options are considered including maintaining the same program, creating a Regional Homeland Security Service Agency, and the Regional Council of Governments (RCG) approach.
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