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

By Victoria A. Greenfield | Go to book overview

3.
Relationships, Process, and Substance
Intertwine
In this section we develop a model for OHS engagement that builds on the relationships that it forms with other key policy players, particularly in the administration and Congress. The model, as previously noted, is not issue specific. Instead, it is a template that can be applied to almost any of the crosscutting issues that require OHS coordination through the HSC structure. With some modification, OHS can apply the template to either a single- or multiyear planning horizon.Ultimately, the budgetary effect of OHS will depend on how it uses its position in the EOP and what it brings to the interagency table. To make a valuable contribution, OHS must understand the intricacies of the federal budget process, in part, to gain access to its critical decision points, and fill a role that the departments and agencies cannot fill independently. Speaking on the President's behalf, OHS is uniquely poised to bring strategy and funding decisions together across departments and agencies and provide a unified White House perspective on homeland security.Our analysis, including the consideration of NSC, NEC, and ONDCP leadership roles, suggests three key, if deceptively simple, principles that we incorporate in a timetable for a tightly integrated interagency process:
Establish policy priorities and objectives as early as possible
Formulate strategy and then develop funding requests
Be prepared for rapid change.

Although homeland security must be addressed comprehensively, OHS cannot coordinate every related policy issue, nor should it try—some issues require close interagency coordination, others require monitoring.26 Issues along policy

____________________
26
HSPD-1 identifies 11 functional areas, covering a wide range of homeland security issues. The President's FY 2003 budget focuses on four key areas, but promises a comprehensive strategy in the future. If OHS fails to distinguish between these two kinds of issues—those requiring coordination and those requiring monitoring—as it moves forward, it may eventually spread itself too thin, needlessly. This would not be unprecedented in the executive branch. For example, informal interviews suggest that this has been a problem for ONDCP. Moreover, in a discussion of drug policy coordination at state and federal levels, the RAND Drug Policy Research Center (1997) concludes, “Administrators and policymakers should… resist the temptation to ‘coordinate everything.’” The research further recommends that they identify “coordination clusters” which it defines as “small groups of two to five organizations… for which the benefits of building linkages outweigh the costs.”

-22-

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

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures vii
  • Tables ix
  • Summary xi
  • Acknowledgments xix
  • Abbreviations xxi
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Key Relationships and Points of Leverage 7
  • 3 - Relationships, Process, and Substance Intertwine 22
  • 4 - Conclusions 34
  • Bibliography 35
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