Protecting DHS component pre-9/11 functions: improving visibility in budget exhibits
Dietrich, Serena J.
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When the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was formed in 2003, 22 distinct agencies and directorates were consolidated into one organization. The Homeland Security Act of 2002, which mandated DHS’ creation, also required that functions performed by other agencies within the Department—those not related directly to securing the homeland—not be diminished or neglected. DHS has been challenged to produce annual budgets that clearly delineate homeland security and non-homeland security functions, making it difficult to assess whether legacy functions have been diminished. This thesis utilized a policy analysis research method to review budget exhibits from fiscal years 2004–2013 in order to analyze funding levels for DHS components’ specific legacy functions. Findings revealed that some functions have received decreased funding without a commensurate reduction in demand for that service. The need to unequivocally define which DHS activities are considered homeland security-related emerged as a recurring theme in the research as well. Using a multi-goal policy approach, the study assessed potential courses of action and ultimately makes two recommendations: to pursue a pilot test of modified budget submission requirements for a limited number of DHS components, and to benchmark business processes followed by the Departments of Interior and Commerce.
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