isting relationship with many of these groups in the context of disaster response efforts. The Department of Transportation undertakes many programs in conjunction with state and local transportation agencies, and it would be sensible to broaden these relationships to encompass homeland security work in the transportation field. However most agencies are not prepared to accommodate the wide variety of fairly distinct requirements the states and cities will have in technology-based preparations for terrorist incidents.2 This problem is often exacerbated by perceived conflicts between the interests of the cities and those of the states, and the difficulties inherent in overlapping jurisdictions.3

A great deal more work must be undertaken to bring cities, counties, and states into effective partnership in the federal government’s counterterrorism efforts. It is a federal responsibility to contribute to the research and development work necessary to enable new counterterrorism technologies to be tested and relevant standards to be set. However, local governments must be involved from the very beginning, so that the design of standards and the development of procedures are informed by the experience and insight of the first responders. Cooperation and coordination will be needed at the state and local levels to facilitate participation in the federal programs and to allow the results of these programs to be effectively disseminated and utilized. Many relevant counterterrorism standards and protocols (such as decontamination guidelines for anthrax) are yet to be determined, and professional associations (e.g., the National Fire Protection Association) and associations for state or local governments (e.g., the U.S. Conference of Mayors) must be identified and engaged so that productive interaction between federal agencies and front-line users can proceed.4 As potential standards and protocols are developed, they will have to be tested in pilot programs in various municipalities and the results shared nationwide.

In addition to effectively utilizing the results of federal programs, it will be important for states to support their own programs, guided by information from the federal level. Some states have offices that allocate state resources to re-

2  

OMB’s Annual Report to Congress on Combating Terrorism, FY2001, includes agency-by-agency discussions (in Part 5) on coordination. Most of them center on how an individual agency coordinates with other federal agencies. However, some agency discussions—such as those for FEMA, HHS, DOE, and EPA—do mention state coordination efforts as well. There is no systematic treatment, however, on how federal R&D for counterterrorism—as managed overall—is coordinated with any state-level R&D. Governor Tom Ridge, the current Director of the Office of Homeland Security, has stated that he is responsible for a national strategy to combat terrorism, meaning it is one that embraces all levels of government as well as the private sector.

3  

In addition to city and state governments, county-level institutions (such as sheriff’s departments) and special-purpose authorities (such as port authorities handling air and sea facilities) also may have responsibilities for emergency preparation and response.

4  

For example, the federal government has worked effectively with national police associations on standards for bulletproof vests.



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