DHS FY2006 Budget

Moderated by:

Frank Cilluffo
Director, HSPI

Featuring:

Janet Hale
DHS Under Secretary for Management

Andrew Maner
DHS Chief Financial Officer


DHS Under Secretary for Management Janet Hale presents the FY2006 budget at the Feb. 9 GW forum.

Days after President George Bush presented his fiscal year 2006 budget to Congress, Department of Homeland Security leaders detailed their proposed budget at a February 9 GW Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) forum.

DHS Under Secretary for Management Janet Hale said the dollars allocated to DHS would address the spending priorities of protecting the borders, strengthening law enforcement and integrating technology as it seeks to create a 21 st century department. Hale spoke before a crowd of almost 250 officials from academia, the private sector, interest groups and state/local government.

Hale explained that the $41-plus billion dollars designated for DHS represents a 7 percent budget increase as the department looks to reconfigure and expand programs to address its FY06 priorities. The DHS budget increase comes at the same time other departmental budgets are receiving cuts, officials explained, showing the priority the administration is placing in homeland security.

Hale said one of DHS's priorities is to ensure that state and local authorities get the money they need.

"To secure the homeland, hometowns need to be secure," she said. "We need to make sure that communities get the resources on the frontlines."

The budget includes a $3.6 billion allocation for the Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness (SLGCP) to help communities equip, train, exercise emergency personnel.

The U.S. Coast Guard and the recently formed Immigration and Customs Enforcement are among the entities receiving the most significant budgetary increases. Officials also plan to create an Office of Screening Coordination and Operations (SCO) to oversee border and screening operations to enhance terrorist-related screening.

DHS Chief Financial Officer Andrew Maner outlined the details of the budget for the participants in a packed Jack Morton Auditorium on the GW campus before taking questions.

"We need to continue to take out inefficiencies and make sure we have a department prepared for the 21 st century," Maner said.

Maner thanked HSPI for hosting the forum. "There is probably no other department in government that has a broader constituency for its budget than DHS. I am glad to have this opportunity to review this spending plan with such a diverse group."

HSPI Director Frank Cilluffo said he was pleased HSPI could provide the participants with the opportunity to hear from the DHS leadership about spending priorities and added that the FYO6 DHS budget reflects a firm commitment to homeland security by President Bush.

"Since policy without resources is just rhetoric, it's apparent from this budget that the President is fulfilling his stated priority to secure the homeland," Cilluffo said. "There is not fuzzy math here."

The full 108-page budget is available at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Web site at http://www.dhs.gov/interweb/assetlibrary/Budget_BIB-FY2006.pdf

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The HSPI Policy & Research Forum series is designed to spotlight cutting-edge policy solutions and innovative strategies to some of the most pressing national and international concerns. The Forum features leading officials, practitioners and thinkers in a systematic way designed to better highlight their work and promote a dialogue on effective solutions to current issues.