Federal government knows little about what states do with its homeland security grants

Published 28 February 2006

The federal government disburses billions of dollars in homeland security funds, but it lacks adequate insight into how state and local governments use these grant funds, a senior official with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said late last week. In the last several years, the federal government has awarded some $11 billion in grants to federal, state and local authorities to improve emergency preparedness, response and recovery capabilities,” said William Jenkins, director of GAO’s Homeland Security and Justice Issues division. In written testimony before the Little Hoover Commission in California, which investigates state government operations, Jenkins said federal agencies know too little about how states and localities finance their homeland security and emergency preparedness efforts, use their federal funds and assess whether those funds are put to good use. He noted that DHS now requires states to provide an investment justification in order to receive 2006 Urban Area Security Initiative grants. The justification plans outline state investments and initiatives, providing greater insight on how money is spent.

-read Jenkins’s testimony at GAO Web site