Sneak Preview: Agencies Plan To Ramp Up PSIC Program Monitoring

December 29, 2011 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

(The following is excerpted from the January issue of the Single Audit Information Service.) To reduce monitoring weaknesses in the Public Safety Interoperable Communications (PSIC) program, two federal agencies plan to clarify the program’s requirements and better track grantees’ progress toward achieving program goals.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency jointly oversee the PSIC program, which was established by the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 to enable public safety agencies to establish interoperable emergency communications systems using reallocated radio spectrum. Funding for the PSIC program originally was available until September 2010, but was extended in 2009 through Sept. 30, 2012.

A recent audit by the Department of Commerce Office of Inspector General found that the two agencies did not adequately monitor PSIC equipment purchases and operating capability. Although grantees collectively will use 90 percent of the PSIC program funds to purchase and deploy equipment, neither NTIA nor FEMA had procedures to specifically monitor whether the equipment bought with PSIC funds was appropriate, had been tested, operated as planned and improved communications interoperability, the OIG said.

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