The National Governors Association (NGA) sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security requesting a change in current policy that allows the use of homeland security grants for sustainment purposes.
The letter was signed by NGA Homeland Security Co-Lead Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and NGA Homeland Security Co-Lead Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons.
It read, in part:
"On behalf of the nation’s governors we request that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) revise its policy regarding the use of preparedness grant funding to allow for the sustainment of critical homeland security and emergency management capabilities.
The Grant Programs Directorate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently sent an email to states seeking to clarify its policy regarding the use of preparedness grant funds to sustain homeland security investments. According to the email, grantees may only use grant funds to pay for “maintenance agreements, user fees, and other sustainment costs as long as the equipment was purchased with FEMA preparedness grant funding and the sustainment costs fall within the performance period of the grant that was used to purchase the equipment.” While FEMA states that this is not a new policy, it is inconsistent with past practice and will lead to the loss or weakening of critical homeland security capabilities across the country."
Read the entirety of the letter here. If you have any questions about the letter, please contact the NGA Office of Communications at 202-624-5301.