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Research Question

  1. How can the efficacy, effectiveness, and ability to plan for the future of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Joint Requirements Council (JRC) be improved?

The Joint Requirements Council (JRC) is an executive-level body in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) charged with building a unified, effective, and efficient operational requirements process for DHS. This report offers actions to improve the JRC's efficacy, effectiveness, and ability to plan for the future. In conducting this assessment, we undertook a multimethod approach based on the Doctrine, Organization, Training, Material, Leadership, Personnel, Facilities framework to examine four mission areas of the JRC: implementation and execution of the Joint Requirements Integration and Management System, provision of training to DHS staff on the requirements process, analysis of joint capabilities and requirements, and requirements outreach. To assess these areas, we reviewed literature on common problems facing complex organizations, examined literature on best practices from other joint requirements councils, and interviewed program staff. We find that the present organizational and personnel systems in place for the JRC should be expanded to more fully address the mission of the JRC and that the JRC staff authorizations are insufficient to accomplish all tasks across its mission areas. Additionally, JRC staff members face a high degree of uncertainty in their work given the decentralized nature of decisionmaking in the DHS requirements process. We offer two preliminary recommendations to DHS leadership. First, the JRC staffing level should be increased to accommodate workload across mission areas. Second, DHS leadership should vest more authority over DHS requirements to the JRC to facilitate the implementation of an enterprise-wide joint requirements process.

Key Findings

Preliminary Findings: More Staff, Authority Needed

  • JRC staff members face a high degree of uncertainty in their work because of the decentralized nature of decisionmaking in the DHS requirements process.
  • The JRC is responsible for joint requirements, but lacks the authority to make necessary decisions regarding those requirements.

Recommendations

  • The present organizational and personnel systems in place for the JRC should be expanded to more fully address the mission of the JRC, and the JRC staff authorizations are insufficient to accomplish all tasks across its mission areas.
  • The JRC staffing level should be increased to accommodate workload across mission areas.
  • DHS leadership should vest more authority over DHS requirements to the JRC to facilitate the implementation of an enterprise-wide joint requirements process.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Definitions of Mission Areas and Analytic Framework Elements

  • Chapter Three

    Summary of Literature Review Findings

  • Chapter Four

    Joint Requirements Council Staffing Interviews

  • Chapter Five

    Summary of Emergent Findings

  • Appendix A

    Literature Review

  • Appendix B

    Interview Methodology

This research was sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Joint Requirements Council (JRC) and conducted by the Acquisition and Development Program within the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC).

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.