The Role of the Office of Homeland Security in the Federal Budget Process: Recommendations for Effective Long-Term Engagement

by Victoria A. Greenfield


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How can the newly created Office of Homeland Security (OHS) engage effectively in the federal budget process? This report finds that OHS is uniquely poised to bring strategy and funding decisions together across departments and agencies; however, it must build on the foundation of its presidential imprimatur to do so. With the president's support, OHS can leverage its position in the administration by cultivating and managing its relationships with other homeland security institutions and their proponents. This report addresses key relationships within the executive branch and proposes a strategy for congressional outreach that identifies a core group of active committees. It also yields a road map with specific recommendations for OHS's budgetary role, highlighting the importance of establishing policy priorities and objectives early and formulating strategy and developing funding requests through a tightly coordinated interagency process. The report suggests that OHS focus on issues along the "seams" of homeland security policy, where departments' and agencies' jurisdictions gap or overlap. These findings are based on an analysis of expert opinion, institutional analogy, and congressional interest and involvement, as reflected in funding streams, committee hearings, and other legislative activity prior to and following September 11, 2001.

The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND's National Security Research Division.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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