been mandated by legislation, executive orders, and other White House directives will remain in place. It is not possible to predict changes that may be introduced by the new administration and the new Congress and how they might be implemented. Also, important U.S. nongovernmental organizations are carrying out extensive studies of approaches to reforming the overall national security framework with particular emphasis on coordination. For example, studies with active participation by congressional staffs are devoted to restructuring the responsibilities of the National Security Council (NSC) and the Homeland Security Council (HSC), as well as establishing a select committee for national security within Congress. In particular, the report of the Project on National Security Reform, Forging a New Shield (November 2008, Washington, D.C.: Center for the Study of the Presidency), addresses such issues. In any event, an analysis of possible changes in the structure and responsibilities of organizations within the executive branch or Congress is beyond the scope of this study. At the same time, the suggestions that are presented in this report should be adaptable to almost any structure that could be put in place in the near future.
Interagency coordination involving issues of interest to BTRP takes place in many settings, usually under the auspices of Congress, the NSC, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, DOD, other government departments, and U.S. embassies. International venues that provide opportunities for meetings with representatives of international organizations and other countries that support relevant activities in developing countries are also important. Coordination within the developing countries themselves, where many external organizations are usually active, is crucial.
As the BTRP budget continues to grow, Congress has taken an increasing interest in the interfaces between BTRP and related programs. Congressional hearings have included discussions of coordination of biological programs within DOD. Regarding coordination with other U.S. government departments, Congress requested that, as one step, this report should address BTRP’s participation in the integration of programs across the government. At the same time, DOD has provided Congress, other departments, and the public with detailed information about BTRP activities and future plans. Such information sharing is an important step in encouraging coordination.
The NSC will undoubtedly continue to serve as a principal interagency policy coordination mechanism for international biosecurity-related activities. In 2004, the President approved the establishment of a biodefense policy to be carried out under the leadership of the NSC and HSC.1 Within the framework
Biodefense for the 21st Century. 2004. Washington, D.C.: White House Press Office. Available online at www.whitehouse.gov/homeland/20040430.html. Accessed November 29, 2008.