Thompson and Meek seek Security Plans for HS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thompson and Meek seek Security Plans from Homeland Security
May 22, 2006 (WASHINGTON, D.C.)- On Friday, May 19, 2006, Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Congressman Kendrick B. Meek (D-FL), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Management, Integration, and Oversight, sent the following letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, outlining 118 reports that the Committee on Homeland Security would like to review. Many of these reports are past due while others are approaching their congressionally mandated deadlines.
Today, the Washington Post drew attention to the overdue reports in their article "2 Congressmen Seek Security Plans." A copy of the letter and reports list is attached or can be viewed on our website:
May 19, 2006
The Honorable Michael Chertoff
Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528
Dear Mr. Secretary:
It was a little less than a year ago, on July 7, 2005, that James Adams began his day just like any other with a quick ride into work on London's Underground. According to news reports, the 32-year-old mortgage advisor and church deacon called his parents to wish them good morning just minutes before a bomb exploded at the Russell Square Tube Station, killing him instantly. On that morning, four separate bombs took the lives of 52 people and shattered the lives of thousands more friends, family, and co-workers.
Almost a year after these attacks, the Department of Homeland Security has yet to take basic steps required by Congress to harden transportation security so that a London style attack could not be perpetrated here. The Department has yet to submit rail and mass transit security strategies that were required by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. Specifically, that Act required that risk-based priorities be developed across all transportation modes to secure our national transportation system, including, specifically, modal security plans for mass transit and commuter rail.
Unfortunately, these strategies are not the only delinquent reports that the Department owes Congress. Last year, on March 9, 2005, we wrote to you regarding the Department of Homeland Security's failure to produce over one hundred reports mandated by Congress. It is disappointing that more than a year later, we are having to write you again to refocus your attention on numerous overdue reports and to urge that you comply with the law in each of more than 100 instances.
Your compliance is necessary to ensure that our nation is being adequately protected. Given the below-average performance of the Department on so many fronts including emergency preparedness during the past year, adequate assessments of the Department's capabilities and plans are not only needed but critical to our nation's security.
We have attached to this letter a list of 118 mandated reports that we believe are overdue or missing. We have also noted a number of report requirements whose deadlines are approaching and ask that you notify ours and other appropriate Congressional Committees at least one month in advance of a deadline of which your department will be unable to comply. The American people deserve more from the Department of Homeland Security than missed deadlines, especially when our nation's security is at risk.
Bennie G. Thompson
Committee on Homeland Security
Subcommittee on Management, Integration, and Oversight
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House of Representatives
Committee on Homeland Security - Democratic Staff
H2-117, Ford House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 226-2616 | Fax: (202) 226-4499