Current CSDP Public Affairs Program

1. A Clearly Stated Mission and Associated Vision

The POIO mission and vision statements reprinted below were developedby PMCD in 1996 and revised in 1999 (PMCD, 1999a).

Mission: Provide a public involvement program that supports meaningful publicparticipation and dialogue.

Vision: With management support and through a strategic public involvementprogram, POIO will gain acceptance of the need for safe and expeditiousdisposal of chemical warfare material.

The POIO program for CSDP is composed of three elements (public relations,public outreach, and public involvement). In both the mission andvision statements, these elements are lumped together under the termpublic involvement, which does not accurately reflect what POIO does. The committee believesthese three components should be stated separately. In addition,the mission statement is not explicitly related to the overall missionof CSDP.

Recommendation 1. The mission and vision statements for the Public Outreach and InformationOffice (POIO) should describe how the role of POIO relates to andsupports the mission of the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program.The mission and vision statements should differentiate between theroles of public relations, public outreach, and public involvement.CSDP as a whole would benefit by explicitly considering how POIO's effectiveness could be enhanced in conjunction with CSDP's operations.

2. Organizational Strategy and Measurable Objectives

Defining measurable objectives and tracking an organization's progress toward meeting these objectives are important steps ina strategy for meeting mission objectives. The committee was unableto document that POIO objectives have been met because program outcomesare not currently being measured, quantified, or documented againstprogram benchmarks for success.

Whenever possible, POIO activities should be linked to the overallCSDP mission and specific metrics established to measure progress.POIO might also consider using a checklist or set of priorities todetermine the effectiveness of its program. The first step is todefine its mission clearly in relation to the overall goal. For example,if POIO's mission is to develop a clear understanding among localcommunities and other stakeholders about risk, the need for stockpiledestruction, the risk management process, and public involvementmechanisms, then objectives should be developed that reflect thismission. POIO could then determine how each activity is related tomeeting its mission. Pre-event and post-event news media coverage,e-mail activity, and focus groups might be used to measure the effectivenessof POIO's activities. Another opportunity to determine POIO's program effectiveness could be a retrospective analysisof the unanticipated agent release at the Tooele Chemical Agent DisposalFacility on May 8, 2000.

The advantage of using measurable objectives is that they encouragethe allocation of resources to be linked to objectives. Some goalsmay be difficult to quantify, however, especially for public affairsprograms. Therefore, these objectives could be expressed in termsof well defined, clearly articulated outcomes (e.g., successes) ratherthan numerical goals. Objectives



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A REVIEW OF THE ARMY'S PUBLIC AFFAIRS EFFORTS IN SUPPORT OF THE CHEMICAL STOCKPILE DISPOSALPROGRAM Current CSDP Public Affairs Program 1. A Clearly Stated Mission and Associated Vision The POIO mission and vision statements reprinted below were developedby PMCD in 1996 and revised in 1999 (PMCD, 1999a). Mission: Provide a public involvement program that supports meaningful publicparticipation and dialogue. Vision: With management support and through a strategic public involvementprogram, POIO will gain acceptance of the need for safe and expeditiousdisposal of chemical warfare material. The POIO program for CSDP is composed of three elements (public relations,public outreach, and public involvement). In both the mission andvision statements, these elements are lumped together under the termpublic involvement, which does not accurately reflect what POIO does. The committee believesthese three components should be stated separately. In addition,the mission statement is not explicitly related to the overall missionof CSDP. Recommendation 1. The mission and vision statements for the Public Outreach and InformationOffice (POIO) should describe how the role of POIO relates to andsupports the mission of the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program.The mission and vision statements should differentiate between theroles of public relations, public outreach, and public involvement.CSDP as a whole would benefit by explicitly considering how POIO's effectiveness could be enhanced in conjunction with CSDP's operations. 2. Organizational Strategy and Measurable Objectives Defining measurable objectives and tracking an organization's progress toward meeting these objectives are important steps ina strategy for meeting mission objectives. The committee was unableto document that POIO objectives have been met because program outcomesare not currently being measured, quantified, or documented againstprogram benchmarks for success. Whenever possible, POIO activities should be linked to the overallCSDP mission and specific metrics established to measure progress.POIO might also consider using a checklist or set of priorities todetermine the effectiveness of its program. The first step is todefine its mission clearly in relation to the overall goal. For example,if POIO's mission is to develop a clear understanding among localcommunities and other stakeholders about risk, the need for stockpiledestruction, the risk management process, and public involvementmechanisms, then objectives should be developed that reflect thismission. POIO could then determine how each activity is related tomeeting its mission. Pre-event and post-event news media coverage,e-mail activity, and focus groups might be used to measure the effectivenessof POIO's activities. Another opportunity to determine POIO's program effectiveness could be a retrospective analysisof the unanticipated agent release at the Tooele Chemical Agent DisposalFacility on May 8, 2000. The advantage of using measurable objectives is that they encouragethe allocation of resources to be linked to objectives. Some goalsmay be difficult to quantify, however, especially for public affairsprograms. Therefore, these objectives could be expressed in termsof well defined, clearly articulated outcomes (e.g., successes) ratherthan numerical goals. Objectives

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A REVIEW OF THE ARMY'S PUBLIC AFFAIRS EFFORTS IN SUPPORT OF THE CHEMICAL STOCKPILE DISPOSALPROGRAM could also be directly related to progress in achieving the overallPMCD mission. Some goals may be best expressed as priorities (e.g,for ranking outreach technologies or ranking departments with whommemoranda of agreement should be developed). In an effort to createmeasurable objectives, PMCD must be careful not to create goals thatquantify unimportant indicators just because they can be easily quantified. Recommendation 2. The Public Outreach and Information Office (POIO) in the ChemicalStockpile Disposal Program (CSDP) should establish specific, measurableobjectives and evaluate its organizational strategy in terms of thoseobjectives. This will require that the Program Manager for ChemicalDemilitarization integrate POIO's activities into the overall programand provide appropriate support from line management. Outcomes shouldbe evaluated in terms of the defined objectives. 3. Budgetary and Personnel Resources When the Stockpile Committee made its first recommendation in thisarea in 1994, PMCD resources available for public affairs activitieswere limited (NRC, 1994). In fiscal year 1994 (FY94), the budgetfor public affairs was $600,000, there were three public affairsemployees, and there were no outreach offices. Allocated resourcesincreased dramatically in FY95 and FY97 to support personnel at thestockpile sites (see Table 2). As POIO's activities have expanded since FY94, its budget has increased tenfold. Considering the scale of current CSDP activities, the level of resourcesfor public affairs, especially for public involvement, will haveto be maintained, perhaps even increased. The allocation of resourcesmay have to be changed to meet the needs of ongoing operations andto develop plans proactively for the closure, stewardship, and futureuse of stockpile storage and disposal sites. Public involvement willbe critical to resolving these issues because of their impact onthe future development of local communities. Local governments andresident groups who will have to live with the legacy of the federalgovernment's decisions are likely to have strong feelings about economicand future-use issues. Thus, CSDP has some excellent opportunitiesfor public involvement in the decision-making process. In addition,PMCD is likely to need outside expertise in land use and in analyzingeconomic impacts to respond to local and state concerns. Recommendation 3. The Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization should reevaluatethe level and priority of resource allocations necessary to maintainsupport for the Public Outreach and Information Office as scheduleddisposal operations are undertaken at more sites and as the scopeof CSDP activities expands. This reevaluation should include monitoring TABLE 2 Resources Allocated to POIO for FY94 through FY99 Fiscal Year Budget ($millions) Outreach Offices Established 1994 0.6   1995 2.3 Tooele, Utah 1996 2.3 Anniston, Alabama; Pine Bluff, Arkansas; Umatilla, Oregon 1997 5.5 Pueblo, Colorado; Edgewood, Maryland; Blue Grass, Kentucky; Newport,Indiana 1998 6.7 White Hall, Arkansas 1999 6.5   Source: PMCD, 1999a.

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A REVIEW OF THE ARMY'S PUBLIC AFFAIRS EFFORTS IN SUPPORT OF THE CHEMICAL STOCKPILE DISPOSALPROGRAM the use and effectiveness of the staff and CSDP's outreach methods, as well as incorporating POIO miscues and accomplishmentsinto the lessons-learned program. Lessons learned from program evaluationsshould then be reflected in the mission statement, measurable objectives,and resource allocations. 4. Strategic Planning and Exercises for Routine Activities and UnusualEvents Good planning requires anticipating events that might occur duringthe course of meeting the overall mission and specific objectives,as well as preparing responses to unanticipated events. Measurableobjectives can be created for planned, as well as unanticipated events.PMCD has recently developed plans for both in a three-tiered structurefor decision making. Tier 1 and Tier 2 documents are the programmaticand mission-specific plans and strategies, respectively. Tier 1 documentsinclude crosscutting program guidance documents, such as the PMCDdocuments related to environmental justice and tribal concerns ofNative Americans (PMCD, 1999b; 1999c). The Change Management Process to Accompany the Guide to Risk ManagementPolicy and Activities is an example of a Tier 2 document (PCMD,1998a). Tier 3 documents include site-specific implementation plans.All of the documents are used to guide on-site teams responsiblefor implementing public affairs programs. Taken together, these documents provide appropriate guidance formaintaining continuous dialogues with local populations about ongoingconcerns, assigning responsibility to staff, and providing mechanismsfor meeting and evaluating objectives. The documents are considered“living” documents, that is, they are expected to change as objectives areachieved or as policies change. An organization responsible for managing large quantities of veryhazardous materials must have a public affairs response plan to avoidconfusion that could amplify problems during unanticipated events.The Programmatic Critical Issues Response Plan provides for a rapid response team to facilitate communication amongthe sites, PMCD, and surrounding communities in case of unanticipatedevents (PMCD, 1998b). Tests of this response plan have been conductedat the Umatilla and Anniston sites. According to POIO, both testsresulted in slower than desirable responses. Also according to POIO,after the recent (May 2000) accidental release of agent at the Tooelesite, conflicting information was disseminated, and initial pressreleases were not followed up with detailed information. These experiencessuggest that more exercises are needed to practice responding toupset events. POIO should also clearly define information disseminationrequirements, including the level of information, the timing of providinginformation, and appropriate follow-up with key stakeholders. Atthe very least, information beyond the immediate press releases shouldbe disseminated. In general, POIO's responses to upset events haveimproved, and POIO is highly motivated to improve them further. Recommendation 4. The Stockpile Committee strongly supports the continued developmentby the Public Outreach and Information Office (POIO) of well coordinatedstrategic and tactical documents for planning and operations, includingTier 3 documents for all sites. The public affairs planning and strategyprocess, including documents supporting the process, as well as thetraining of employees, should be carefully monitored and evaluated.POIO's responses to unanticipated events and the subsequent disseminationof information should be carefully planned, practiced, and evaluated.Findings from evaluations and exercises should be introduced intothe lessons-learned process. 5. Implementation Processes and Tools One-way communications (public relations) can be powerful tools ifdata are collected and analyzed and used to improve them. One-waycommunications that provide information can

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A REVIEW OF THE ARMY'S PUBLIC AFFAIRS EFFORTS IN SUPPORT OF THE CHEMICAL STOCKPILE DISPOSALPROGRAM evolve into two-way communications if the public is given an opportunityto respond by mail, Internet, telephone, or in person. POIO trackspublic relations data, measures trends, and integrates this informationwith other data gathered as part of its one-way communication andoutreach efforts into a lessons-learned program (see next section). A general review of two-way outreach methods is beyond the scopeof this report. However, CSDP's methods, such as CAC and public meetings,are consistent with methods used by businesses and other governmentagencies. The two-way outreach tools of particular interest for POIOare discussed below. CommNet CommNet, which was established by PMCD as an internal communicationstool, operates through a restricted access intranet. CommNet providesprogram documents, program position statements, updates of eventsand operations, and forums on topical issues. In 1999, the Army wasawarded an information technology industry award, Computerworld SmithsonianCollection Laureate, for the use of this information mechanism. However,the audience for CommNet is limited to the Army and its contractors.This may create distrust among stakeholders who are not granted access. CommNet provides an opportunity for POIO to establish specific measurableobjectives. The Army could define the criteria for granting accessas a way of enhancing CSDP's mission (e.g., to solicit feedback onideas and to solicit new ideas about technologies, future use offacilities, laws, public involvement opportunities, etc.). Worldwide Web Pages Worldwide Web pages are ideal tools for providing information tomultiple users who can choose the level of detail they desire. Text,graphical information, full text reports, and even brief movies canbe disseminated through this medium. In addition, by using the technology's tracking mechanism, the site provider can determine which informationis of most interest to its users. The current PMCD web page provides only superficial information.For example, no information is provided on risks associated withstockpile storage and disposal, on emergency preparedness and response,on the baseline reverse assembly and incineration process, or onlinks from press releases to more detailed information, includingthe multitude of reports prepared by and for the program. The PMCDweb page could be a medium for disseminating detailed informationabout the program status, the results of safety reviews, and informationabout events, as well as a vehicle for gathering data for improvingthe web site and the PMCD disposal program. PMCD should thoroughly review the dissemination of information andthe collection of data by POIO through the Worldwide Web. POIO cancreate measurable objectives for using these tools. Government, for-profit,and not-for-profit agencies, such as the Environmental ProtectionAgency (EPA), the American Chemistry Council, the Environmental DefenseFund, and others, all have useful sites that could provide a basisfor evaluating the effectiveness of the PMCD web page, as well asideas for improving it. Surveys POIO recently conducted the Chemical Demilitarization Stakeholder Instrument (1999 CSDP Survey), a large, complex survey to solicit informationfor refining its public affairs and risk management strategies anddetermining the impact of the public affairs program on the overallCSDP (Environment, Behavior, and Risk Research Laboratory, 1999;PMCD, 1999a). Follow-up surveys will be based on the results of thissurvey. As an indication of the growing

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A REVIEW OF THE ARMY'S PUBLIC AFFAIRS EFFORTS IN SUPPORT OF THE CHEMICAL STOCKPILE DISPOSALPROGRAM importance of public outreach, the size of the sample was 8,315respondents, which is considered quite large for a government survey. The survey results are being made available in segments. The initialanalysis focused on predicting public involvement in CSDP (Williamset al., 1999a). Hierarchical linear modeling was used to predictpublic participation rates, which is an appropriate method for analyzingmixed data about individuals and the places where they live. However,the analysis would have benefited from an explanation of the “ecologicalfallacy,” a potential error caused by generalizing about individualsbased on aggregate spatial data. The “individualistic fallacy,” generalizing to groups ofpeople based on data from surveys of a few individuals, should alsohave been discussed. Although the authors found a number of statistically significantassociations, they were not able to predict the public's stated preferencefor participation modes. In future surveys, personality variablesand other global indicators of trust used to predict civic engagementmay be helpful (Greenberg, 1998, 1999; Pew Research Center 1998,1999). Personality variables might also help explain why (and when)people prefer to be informed via mail, television, radio, or otherbroadcast media and when personal sources, such as public meetings,are considered more appropriate (Greenberg and Osafo, 2000). The committee recognizes that survey developers can be under greatpressure to include questions of interest to various people withinan organization. However, even a few questions about many differenttopics can sometimes crowd out questions about key topics. The committeebelieves more questions about public confidence in the CACs, stateand local governments, and other potential stewards of the publicinterest would have been helpful. A second paper on the 1999 CSDP Survey compared public views of alternativetechnologies and found differences in preference by site (Williamset al., 1999b). At sites where incineration is the chosen technology,there appears to be support for that technology. At sites where alternativetechnologies have been chosen, survey respondents appear to supportthose technologies. For the two sites where a final technology selectionhas not yet been made, the survey provided data about public preferences. Other reports summarizing the study are still in preparation. Thecommittee strongly believes that the results should be subject topeer review and then incorporated into the lessons-learned program.For example, findings about the percentage of people knowledgeableabout the Army's activities and the number who express preferencesfor various modes of participation can help POIO evaluate how itallocates resources for its headquarters and on-site offices. Focusgroups could be used to clarify survey findings Change Management and Other Processes for Public Involvement The Stockpile Committee has strongly advocated that PMCD adopt anduse the Army's change management process (CMP) (NRC, 1997, 1999).Unannounced and unexplained changes in risk management policies canundermine the integrity of the overall disposal program in the mindsof stakeholders. The CMP is designed to solicit public input as partof the Army's evaluation of proposed changes and to continue interactionswith stakeholders until a decision is made. The PMCD has institutedthe CMP for making significant modifications to disposal facilities,such as reconfiguration of a furnace, modification of a pollutionabatement system, modification of a permit, and the addition of anew material-handling operation that could affect the results ofa quantitative risk assessment 1 or a health risk assessment (Hopkins, 1999). When the CMP was presented to local communities at the Anniston,Tooele, and Umatilla sites, only a few comments were received, andattendance at public meetings was low (PMCD, 1   A quantitative risk assessment is a comprehensive analysis of accidentprobabilities in which the accident might lead to a release of agentand the resultant health risks.

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A REVIEW OF THE ARMY'S PUBLIC AFFAIRS EFFORTS IN SUPPORT OF THE CHEMICAL STOCKPILE DISPOSALPROGRAM 1999a). One reason for limited public participation may have beena poor explanation by the Army in advertisements of the nature ofthe meetings and their potential impact on the Army's decisions.Hopkins (1999) reported a wide range of public comments at the meetings,ranging from a desire that the Army simply agree to community preferencesto questions about the wisdom of community involvement. The public,Hopkins noted, was not sure if it was expected to react to the Army's concerns or if it was being invited to propose changes. Attendeessuggested a variety of alternatives to open meetings, including theuse of the Internet, mailings, and focus groups. Reports presentedto the committee have shown that POIO has tested and fine tuned theCMP after each field application (PMCD, 1998a, 1999a). As part ofits lessons-learned program (see next section), POIO provides opportunitiesfor people to express their views in person at outreach offices,over toll-free telephone lines, and through face-to-face communications.To encourage public participation, local offices issue press releases,send out mass mailings, issue radio announcements, and advertisein newspapers. POIO has identified several issues that could be handled throughthe CMP, including the offsite processing of brine, changes to thedisposal campaign schedule at the Tooele facility, and the eliminationof dunnage incineration. So far, however, only initial announcementsand overviews have been made readily available to interested parties.Detailed information should be made available describing each optionin terms of its advantages and disadvantages relative to risk management,program schedule, cost, and other potential impacts. The recently developed Public Involvement Screening Criteria (a draft document) describes a process for identifying and reactingto opportunities for public involvement in decisions that are notobviously risk-related and, hence, not appropriate for the CMP process(PMCD, 1999d). Examples listed include matters related to regulatorycompliance, such as permit renewals, program milestones, and updatesof quantitative and health risk assessments. Although technicallythese may not be risk-related decisions, they could well be perceivedas risk-related decisions by the public. The committee believes thedistinctions between the CMP criteria and the screening criteriashould be clarified before POIO uses them to make decisions aboutpublic involvement. The screening criteria might be helpful for decisions related tothe closure and future use of disposal sites. For example, the committeebelieves that POIO should make every effort to solicit stakeholders' values and views on future uses as soon as possible. All proposalsshould then be tested against the realities of environmental regulations,legal considerations, and economic effects. POIO is already involvedin these activities at the Johnston Island site but will have tomake substantial efforts to develop responses for other CSDP siteswhen proposals are pressed upon the Army by activist groups, localofficials, or branches of the federal government. POIO should also be careful that public involvement does not becomeso time consuming and burdensome that citizens burn out and refuseto become involved. To avoid this problem, requests must be meaningfuland prioritized, and they should be framed in ways that the publiccan grasp and respond to effectively. The role of citizens and thestatus of their input should be completely clear. CAC Responses to the Committee CACs are the official representatives of the public, and, therefore,their responses to POIO's public relations, outreach, and involvementefforts are very important. The committee received four written responsesto its questionnaire from the three CACs representing Kentucky, Maryland,and Utah. Although only three of the eight continental sites wererepresented, the responses raise some common concerns. Two responsesnoted that some of the documents from PMCD were beyond the technicalexpertise of CAC members, and one called for funds to hire localexperts to help evaluate them. In 1996, the Stockpile Committee recommendedthat independent technical experts be made available to CACs (NRC,1996). In fact, PMCD reported

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A REVIEW OF THE ARMY'S PUBLIC AFFAIRS EFFORTS IN SUPPORT OF THE CHEMICAL STOCKPILE DISPOSALPROGRAM to the committee that an independent structural engineer was hiredby the CAC in Anniston, Alabama, to review the proposal for repairingthe blast-confining wall of the Munitions Demilitarization Building,which was found to have defective concrete (PMCD, 1999a). The conditionsunder which independent consultants can and cannot be hired havenot been defined, however. One CAC member suggested that the Army work with “experts on mediation and facilitation to identify ways of increasingcooperation and consensus between PMCD, CACs, and local citizens.” Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods have been widely usedto resolve labor, sports, and other disputes by helping disputantsreach a consensus (Bingham, 1986; Morse, 1984; Susskind, 1992). Inthe context of POIO's program, some aspects of ADR would be usefulfor helping opposing groups reach a consensus, or at least isolatepoints of agreement and disagreement. However, ADR also has limitations.First, effective ADR requires that the parties representing all stakeholdersbe truly representative and truly willing to work toward a resolution.For local communities, achieving balance and avoiding biases towardsnational agendas can be difficult. Second, ADR is not a substitutefor a comprehensive public affairs program that reaches out to stakeholdersin many ways. Third, ADR is most appropriate in situations wherethe decision maker, in this case the Army, has clarified what isnegotiable and what is not because of legal, budgetary, risk, andother requirements, as well as when agreements reached between andamong parties are legally binding. The limited number of responses to the committee's questionnaire does not necessarily mean that CACs are dissatisfiedwith POIO; nor does it mean that they are satisfied (Fetterman etal., 1996). Because CACs are important local representatives to theCSDP, the committee believes PMCD should consider inviting them toengage in a process of evaluation to define and articulate theirgoals, progress, and methods of improving their effectiveness. CACsmight even be asked to provide annual or periodic reviews of theirpriorities. Recommendation 5a. The Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization should continueto reach out to stakeholders via multiple public relations, publicoutreach, and public involvement methods, track the success of thesemethods, and evaluate the information obtained from them. The 1999CSDP Survey of all sites should be followed up with focused informationgathering to clarify key unresolved issues. Recommendation 5b. The Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization should use a varietyof methods in a focused effort to solicit the views, values, andneeds of stakeholders on closures and future uses of stockpile disposalsites. Recommendation 5c. The Army should clarify its policy on funding outside experts toassist citizens advisory commissions (CACs). To ensure that CACsare credible representatives of the public interest that can be reliedupon to monitor PMCD activities, providing technical assistance mightbe appropriate in certain circumstances. Recommendation 5d. Citizens advisory commissions should be encouraged to identify specificobjectives and issues they wish to resolve with the Army. Recommendation 5e. The web site of the Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarizationshould be improved and expanded to provide information consistentwith the objectives of the Public Outreach and Information Office.

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A REVIEW OF THE ARMY'S PUBLIC AFFAIRS EFFORTS IN SUPPORT OF THE CHEMICAL STOCKPILE DISPOSALPROGRAM 6. Lessons-Learned Program Although surveys, focus groups, reviews of media coverage, and manyof the other devices used by POIO can provide insights and can certainlyreach some members of the public, they are not sufficient in andof themselves. To encourage innovation and the transfer of informationacross the CSDP, the information gathered could be tracked, compared,and incorporated into a lessons-learned program. Lessons can alsobe learned from many community sources, including the general public;journalists; elected officials; federal, state, and local governments;and environmental organizations. A representative of PMCD indicated to the committee that POIO isopen to formal and informal processes that would contribute to adynamic lessons-learned program (PMCD, 1999a). For example, to avoiddifferent Army commands delivering contradictory messages to thepublic, POIO now uses CommNet, an Internet-based communication systemthat permits rapid communication among branches of the Army. POIOalso appears to be committed to integrating the findings of the recentlycompleted 1999 CSDP Survey with the tracking results of public inquiries,outreach efforts by local staff, legislative and media coverage,and other data sources. PMCD has convened environmental forums in several states to shareinformation with and learn from the EPA, state environmental officials,and CAC members. Participants in these forums, which included invitedstakeholders from all of the stockpile sites, discussed topics thatranged from risk assessment, environmental justice, the role of CACs,public involvement in PMCD's CMP, and closure planning to the nonstockpileprogram, emergency preparedness, technical assistance grants, andthe permitting of sites (PMCD, 1999a). POIO is also reviewing a variety of other organizations and programsand providing sensitivity training on environmental justice and NativeAmerican issues. The PMCD communications network is used to keeptrack of chemical and environmental events and to provide feedbackto stakeholders. Moreover, POIO has attempted to review the processesused by the Navy, the Chemical Manufacturers Association (CMA) (nowthe American Chemical Council), and the U.S. Department of Energy(DOE) to determine if they might be of value. POIO has also increasedits interaction with public affairs and public participation peersat regional and national conferences, another sign of its opennessto new ideas (PMCD, 1999a). The committee supports POIO's lessons-learned program. However, this is a very recent programthat will have to be carefully monitored to determine the advantagesand effectiveness of specific approaches. Recommendation 6. The Public Outreach and Information Office (POIO) should continueto pursue a multidirectional lessons-learned program that includesa tracking system for gathering data from one-way communicationsand public outreach efforts, surveys, and informal and formal meetingswith stakeholders. POIO should also continue to reach out to othergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations (such as the AmericanChemical Council) to explore innovative ideas with analogous programs. 7. Identifying Serious Obstacles and Responding Flexibly The best efforts of a public affairs program cannot guarantee success.Five things typically go wrong. First, good public affairs effortscan be negated by poor performance of an activity (such as disposaloperations). Second, without coordination through a single, qualifiedspokesperson, different elements within an organization may providecontradictory information to stakeholders. Third, some stakeholdersmay refuse to participate or even go to court to try to stop activitiesthey oppose. Fourth, because controversy guarantees high media ratings,disagreements can be magnified by the mass media (Greenberg and Chess,1992). Fifth, once a situation

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A REVIEW OF THE ARMY'S PUBLIC AFFAIRS EFFORTS IN SUPPORT OF THE CHEMICAL STOCKPILE DISPOSALPROGRAM becomes polarized, it is difficult to reinstate productive interactionswith many community residents. In response to a query from the committee regarding barriers to increasingthe public involvement element of a public affairs program, POIOidentified the following five barriers (PMCD, 1999a): minimal stakeholder response to its outreach efforts lack of program credibility in some locations complex science beyond the understanding of many segments of thepublic program complexity complex chains of command As the 1999 CSDP survey confirmed, people choose to participate ornot to participate for many reasons. Despite very careful samplingmethods, the survey did not produce strong predictive equations (Williamset al., 1999a). As elections in the United States demonstrate, some people do notparticipate even when matters important to them are at stake. POIOhas tried using every conceivable public affairs tool to engage thepublic. The committee suggests that rather than considering minimalstakeholder response a barrier, POIO consider it a simple reality.(This would not negate the need for POIO to provide opportunitiesfor meaningful public involvement as often as possible and to monitorthe consequences of every public affairs method to determine themost effective combination.) Mistrust, or lack of program credibility, was the second barriernoted by POIO to increasing public involvement. Researchers havefound that the public does not trust government that is distant fromthem, and that mistrust of government has existed for decades (PewResearch Center, 1998). For example, the Pew Research Center reportedin 1998 that 40 percent of Americans had little or no confidencein the federal government's handling of problems. Among federal agencies,the Internal Revenue Service was considered one of the least trustworthy.The U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Park Service, and Centers for DiseaseControl and Prevention were not considered as untrustworthy. TheU.S. Department of Defense as a whole had the fourth highest levelof trust among the public. Moreover, the Pew study and other studieshave shown that trust in government has rebounded since 1994, thusshowing that the level of trust is correlated with how people feelabout their personal lives. As a rule, then, government credibilityis subject to change. Two things can be predicted about government credibility. First,some elements in the Army or related governmental organizations,such as DOE, are likely to engage in activities somewhere in theworld that will undermine the credibility of PMCD. Second, the media,which thrives on controversy, are likely to reinforce this conflict.PMCD has little control over such developments. PMCD has clarified its expectations of trust: Consistent with the Chemical Manufacturers Association first principle,the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program has expanded its effortsin an attempt to better serve the public through open, two-way communicationbased on trust (PMCD, 1999a). PMCD should note that the ten guiding principles for the CMA's (now the American Chemical Council) Responsible Care® program do not mention the words trust or credibility (CMA, 2000).In fact, it is not clear from the CMA's guiding principles or fromconversations with CMA members and advisors that the CMA believesit can convince the public to trust the chemical industry (Sandman,1998). Instead of trying to convince the public to trust them, organizationslike PMCD should assume that the public will not trust them and makeevery effort to establish a public affairs

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A REVIEW OF THE ARMY'S PUBLIC AFFAIRS EFFORTS IN SUPPORT OF THE CHEMICAL STOCKPILE DISPOSALPROGRAM process that gives the public access to CSDP's official public representatives, as well as to risk managementinformation. The public must trust that the risk management processis proceeding as planned. In other words, a “don't trust me, monitorme” approach should be implicit in POIO's efforts and in PMCD's interactions with stakeholders (Sandman, 1998). Many Americans are naturally skeptical, and a healthy skepticismensures vigilance (Pew Research Center, 1998). POIO's efforts toprovide access to sites, documents, experts, independent bodies likethe National Research Council, and other tangible evidence of goodrisk management are sound ways to establish trust in the monitoringprocess. Other keys to credibility are competence, expertise, consistency,honesty, openness, and dedication (Flynn et al., 1992; Greenbergand Schneider, 1997; Greenberg and Williams, 1999; Peters, et al.,1997; Pew Research Center, 1998, 1999; Piller, 1991). In short, open,two-way communications between PMCD and stakeholders are necessary,but insufficient. PMCD needs to encourage public trust in officialrepresentatives of the public (i.e., CACs and local regulatory authorities)as much or more than it needs to build trust in the Army. The third barrier, the complexity of the underlying science and engineering,clearly adds to the credibility problem. POIO appears to be tryingvery hard to provide fact sheets, formal and informal meetings andconversational venues, and other opportunities for public involvementand for objective third parties to communicate with the public. However,some stakeholders do not trust Army scientists, other governmentscientists, or even the National Research Council. These stakeholderstrust only their own experts. At that point, PMCD's options are eitherto live with the mistrust or to allow the distrustful parties tohire experts (NRC, 1996). This problem may become more acute whenissues related to facility closure and future use are raised, suchas the degree of decontamination and the costs of remediating sites. In its 1996 letter report, the Stockpile Committee commented on thedifficulties of overcoming programmatic complexity, the fourth barrierto public involvement noted by POIO (NRC, 1996). A diagram providedby PMCD showing who is involved in communicating with the publicreflects this complexity (PMCD, 1999a, p. 63). A list of stakeholdersprovided by Booz-Allen & Hamilton (1998) includes more than two dozengovernment and private groups. Most segments of the public do notdistinguish between different branches of the U.S. Department ofDefense, nor do they want to hear that PMCD is not responsible foremergency response. The immediate goal of PMCD should be to speakauthoritatively at an appropriate level of expertise for broad publicunderstanding (detailed technical information should also be availableupon request). Hence, working out protocols among the parties isimportant, and, according to PMCD's report to the committee, PMCDis working toward that end through CommNet and memoranda of agreementwith other governmental organizations (PMCD, 1999a). The fifth barrier to public involvement noted by POIO, complexityof the chain of command, can also be a serious problem. The Pentagonmust have a voice in the destruction of chemical weapons. However,PMCD plays an unusual role in the Department of Defense, and centralizedcontrol of public messages in Washington, D.C., could seriously jeopardizePMCD and POIO's efforts to interact with populations that resideprimarily in small and medium-sized towns located far from Washington(ICF Kaiser, 1998). POIO's efforts to coordinate activities amongits headquarters in Washington and its offices at the stockpile siteshave been commendable. However, the authority for deciding how towork with local groups should be left to local staff, many of whomhave experience in media relations in their communities. Their knowledgeand experience in working with the local public and media are criticalto the success of POIO. At the same time, POIO must not lose sight of important stakeholdersbeyond the local communities near the stockpile sites. Congress andother elected officials often require different information thanlocal communities. Failure to convey timely information about PMCD's progress, unexpected events, and the potential impacts of mandatedchanges on risk management, schedule, and costs can jeopardize congressional,state, and local support for the program and, ultimately, the programmission.

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A REVIEW OF THE ARMY'S PUBLIC AFFAIRS EFFORTS IN SUPPORT OF THE CHEMICAL STOCKPILE DISPOSALPROGRAM Issues related to closure and future use will challenge the abilitiesof POIO and PMCD to overcome these five barriers. For example, acongressional or Army decision to destroy nonstockpile weapons atstockpile sites could seriously jeopardize POIO's public affairsprogram and interfere with PMCD's completion of the stockpile disposalmission at some sites. The use of stockpile facilities to destroynonstockpile materiel might also result in higher costs and increasedrisk to the public. Recommendation 7a. The Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization should focus onincreasing meaningful public input into the decision-making processin order to build a cadre of stakeholder leaders who are trustedby the community to monitor the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program.These leaders are likely to include, but are not limited to, localmayors, health officers or their equivalents, environmental commissioners,journalists, educators, and other local leaders. Recommendation 7b. The Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization should executememoranda of agreement, as necessary, with other government agenciesto create responsible partnerships that clearly define the linesof authority. Because many agencies are involved, many conflictingviews will have to be resolved to ensure effective coordination. 8. Impact on the Risk Management Process and Program Performance For a successful public affairs program, an organization must beable to speak to, listen to, and share views with important stakeholders.Seven of the eight requirements are indicators of progress towardmeeting this goal. The eighth requirement is that a public affairsprogram contribute toward achieving risk management objectives. Inthis regard, PMCD indicated key points at which POIO's activitieshave been incorporated into the CSDP: Site managers are trained in risk communication so they can effectivelycommunicate with stakeholders. POIO has helped design a CMP that enables PMCD to obtain publicinput on proposed changes to process equipment used in chemical agentdisposal facilities. POIO has played a major role in promulgating PMCD's Internet-based CommNet system, which is a vehicle for the rapiddissemination of information among PMCD entities and contractorsin Washington, D.C., and at disposal sites. POIO has begun media analyses to identify trends in coverage andopportunities for PMCD to communicate with stakeholders through themedia. POIO is working on ways to improve PMCD's communications with Congress. As a result of POIO's efforts, public affairs are becoming part of the PMCD organizationalculture. All of these points are consistent with reasonable expectations fora public affairs program. Training risk management experts to speakeffectively is valuable because, in the event of a problem, the mediaand the public want to hear from the manager/engineer in charge,rather than a spokesperson who may not be familiar with risk managementissues. Although a CMP has been developed, it has still not been implementedin a major risk management decision. The successful examples providedin PMCD's response to the committee, with one exception (the additionof a monitor at one site), do not bear directly on key risk managementsystems (PMCD, 1999a). Nevertheless, the CMP is a potentially valuabletool, especially for closure and future use issues.

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A REVIEW OF THE ARMY'S PUBLIC AFFAIRS EFFORTS IN SUPPORT OF THE CHEMICAL STOCKPILE DISPOSALPROGRAM Through its Internet system and in its media and legislative analyses,POIO has attempted to keep abreast of the activities and concernsof external audiences that can greatly influence PMCD's budget and,hence, its risk management efforts. PMCD reports (1999a) that mediacoverage appears to be fair and has become more favorable towardthe destruction of weapons and less favorable toward continued storage.PMCD also reports that members of Congress and local officials havebeen petitioning Congress to provide funding for the program. Because all of POIO's efforts are, in fact, quite new, outcomes are not yet availableto evaluate them. The committee recognizes that support from themedia and elected officials can change when the next risk managementcrisis arises. Nevertheless, POIO's efforts have been valuable andare consistent with public affairs practices. Historically, publicaffairs has rarely been considered a core activity by corporate andgovernment organizations (Chess et al., 1992). Therefore, if POIOhas institutionalized public affairs in PMCD, that is a noteworthyachievement. POIO's influence in PMCD will surely be tested as more sites approachclosure. In terms of overall public affairs, the building and operatingof disposal facilities may turn out to be the easiest part of POIO's job. Neither Congress nor the Army will be disposed to spend moremoney than necessary for site cleanup. Therefore, they may clashwith stakeholders and local government officials who may be in favorof disposal but not the end points for closure, stewardship, andfuture use. The treatment of secondary wastes and other concernsthat do not bear directly on agent destruction may also cause publicdistress at disposal sites. As CSDP evolves, PMCD will be faced withdistressed stakeholders who believe that the risk and stigma theybelieve they have endured for decades should be compensated by morethan minimal efforts at cleanup, closure, and future use. If publicaffairs has indeed become an integral part of PMCD's culture, thenthe outcomes of these conflicts may be more favorable for the Armythan they might have been otherwise. Recommendation 8. The Public Outreach and Information Office should define its criticalrole in decisions related to site closure and future use in additionto its current role in the disposal of chemical agents and munitions.Its role should be defined in the context of the CSDP's overall strategyfor dealing with these issues.