Washington, D.C. – On December 2, 2005, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released grant guidance and an application kit for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP). The FY 2006 HSGP includes five programs: the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP), the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI), the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program (LETPP), the Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS), and the Citizen Corps Program (CCP).
Each state will be responsible for submitting an application for FY 2006 HSGP funds by Thursday, March 2, 2006.
The grant guidance and application kit are available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/odp/docs/fy2006hsgp.pdf.
How the funds are allocated
In FY 2006, each state will receive a base allocation under SHSP and LETPP using the USA PATRIOT Act formula of 0.75 percent of the total amount appropriated by Congress for base funding, which was $950 million. The rest of the funding under those two programs, as well as under UASI, will be allocated based on DHS’ new “risk and need” approach, for a total of $1.175 million. DHS will divide $30 million in MMRS funds evenly among the current 124 MMRS jurisdictions. Each state will receive 0.75 percent of the $20 million in CCP funds, with the rest to be distributed based on population.
Under the new “risk and need” approach, the states must identify the risks they face and their need for particular funding. DHS will determine risk according to a formula that takes into account three variables: the consequences of a specified attack to a particular asset; the vulnerability of that asset to that particular threat; and threat to that asset. The two types of risk considered will be “asset-based,” comparing intelligence community assessments with specific types of infrastructure, and “geographically-based,” taking into account such factors as international borders, terrorism-related reporting and investigations, and population density. States must prove need by justifying all requested funding as effective at addressing its identified priorities, thereby reducing overall risk. States will prove need by filling out an “Investment Justification” form, which will be formally reviewed and scored through a peer review process.
The National Preparedness Goal
The FY 2006 HSGP attempts to bring federal homeland security funding in line with the Interim National Preparedness Goal (the “Goal”), which “establishes a framework that guides entities at all levels of government in the development and maintenance of the capabilities to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from major events, including Incidents of National Significance as defined in the [National Response Plan (NRP)].” The Goal’s overarching priorities, which the FY 2006 HSGP will seek to fund, include:
- Expanded regional collaboration;
- Implementing the National Incident Management System and NRP; and
- Implementing the interim National Infrastructure Protection Plan.
The Goal also has capability-specific priorities, which include:
- Strengthening information-sharing and collaboration capabilities;
- Strengthening interoperable communications capabilities;
- Strengthening chemical, biological, radiological/nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) detection, response, and decontamination capabilities; and
- Strengthening medical surge and mass prophylaxis capabilities.
In addition, the FY 2006 HSGP seeks to incorporate the draft Target Capabilities List, which identifies 37 capabilities that are integral to nationwide all-hazards preparedness, including acts of terrorism.
With regard to strengthening interoperable communications capabilities, the grant guidance outlines specific requirements for states and urban areas. By the end of 2007, each state must develop and adopt a statewide communications interoperability plan. In the meantime, states and urban areas receiving FY 2006 HSGP funding must respond to an interoperability baseline study survey that DHS will disseminate this February. Also, UASI cities and select other metropolitan areas must develop and validate a Tactical Interoperable Communications Plan (TICP) “to enable rapid on-scene, incident-based mission critical voice communications among all emergency responder (e.g., EMS, fire and law enforcement) agencies and in support of NIMS.” These plans are due to DHS no later than May 1, 2006. Jurisdictions will have one year from the date of submission in which to validate the plan through an exercise.
Emergency medical services
Finally, DHS will require grantees to work closely with the emergency medical services (EMS) community in preparedness efforts. In the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2006 (H.R. 2360), Congress directed DHS to evaluate how much funding is given to EMS providers and to require an explanation from any state that does not provide at least 10 percent of its grant funding to the EMS community. DHS will not require states to allocate a certain amount of funding to EMS; however, states should be prepared to explain their EMS funding decisions to DHS upon request.
This grant guidance comes from the new DHS Office of Grants and Training, which is part of the new Preparedness Directorate that Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff recently established. Secretary Chertoff consolidated the department’s preparedness and response functions by dismantling the former Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate. The new Preparedness Directorate holds the U.S. Fire Administration, the Office of Grants and Training, infrastructure protection duties, and the chief medical officer. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is now a separate entity within DHS.