Wise, Charles R. (2002):

Organizing for homeland security. (Special Report).(World Trade Center and Pentagon Attacks, 2001)

Public Administration Review, Vol. 62, No. 2, (Mar. – Apr., 2002), pp. 131-144.






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12/7 2007

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The events of September 11 have prompted vastly heightened scrutiny of many aspects of government functioning, as major wars and national cataclysms have done in the past. Few aspects, perhaps, have received more attention than the question of whether government in general, and the federal government in particular, has the right organizational structure to meet the requirements for homeland security. An initial determination was made by the president that sufficient organization was woefully lacking, and he established the Office of Homeland Security by executive order on October 8, 2001, less than one month after the terrorist attacks. The establishment of the office--headed by the new Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and involving the new Homeland Security Council--has not ended the scrutiny and debate over the appropriate organizational system needed by the federal government to meet impending terrorist threats.
This report will examine the alternatives for organizing for homeland security in the federal government and the issues that will need to be addressed in choosing among them. It first will explore key concepts and factors that should be considered in adopting an organizational approach to homeland security. It then will present and analyze three extant approaches for the organization of a central headquarters for homeland security in the federal government. An examination of past experience with analogous organizational approaches in the areas of emergency management and drug control will follow, and lessons from these experiences will be derived. Implications for present and future priorities for approaching the organization of homeland security will follow.

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Homeland security