In her first 10 days in office, new Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has issued 12 “action directives” focused on specific homeland security areas. Here’s an overview of all the action directives, including their purpose and a brief look at what they may indicate for Homeland Security policy in the Obama administration.
What is an action directive?
According to the DHS press release, action directives “instruct specific offices and agencies to gather information, review existing strategies and programs, and to provide oral and written reports” by a specified date. The dates are specified separately for each directive.
So essentially the action directives are reviews of existing programs. Although the action directives do not direct any changes to the programs under review, the specific areas each directive specifies for review give an indication of programs that may begin seeing changes after the reviews are complete.
List of Action Directives
The list of action directives follows. I’ve listed all the relevant dates for each directive as [Date issued / date oral presentations due / date written reports due]. I’ve linked each directive in this list to the DHS press release that includes it.
Note: Although the initial press release didn’t give both oral and written dates for the 5 action directives issued on that date, based on the press releases for the other action directives, this appears to be an error, and I’ve made the assumption that all 5 of those directives have the same oral and written response dates. No date was specified for oral presentations for the last action directive (immigration and border security).
Although immigration and border security was the last action directive issued, it is by far the longest and most specific directive, while at the same time allowing the shortest time between issuance of the directive and due date for the final report. This may be a reflection of Secretary Napolitano’s experience with immigration, but in any case it indicates a likely increase in emphasis on immigration and border security compared to the previous administration.
The other theme clearly evident in many of the action directives is interoperability and integration, integration, integration. Napolitano stated during her confirmation hearing that a primary focus under her watch would be integration of DHS agencies into a single cohesive agency, and the action directives reflect that.
Filed under: Commentary, DHS, Press Releases, Reports | Tagged: action directive, border, cybersecurity, first responder, Hurricane Katrina, immigration, information sharing, infrastructure, integration, interoperability, Janet Napolitano, surge capacity, transportation | 2 Comments »