Sneak Preview: FEMA Looks To Boost Port Program Effectiveness

February 2, 2012 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

(The following was excerpted from an article in the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) In response to Government Accountability Office recommendations, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials are developing measures to help agency staff monitor grants awarded through the Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) and better assess grantee effectiveness.

The Department of Homeland Security awarded about $1.7 billion in PSGP funds between fiscal years 2006 and 2010 to ports across the country to protect critical maritime infrastructure and the public from terrorist attacks. Program funds were allocated based on a risk analysis model that considered threat (i.e., the relative likelihood of an attack occurring), vulnerability (i.e., the relative exposure to an attack) and consequence (i.e., the relative expected impact of an attack), with the majority of funds going to ports with the greatest risks. However, the GAO found that the vulnerability portion of the equation did not always use the most precise data available.

Prior to 2011, the PSGP risk model held port vulnerability constant rather than accounting for differences among ports. The Department of Homeland Security modified its vulnerability index last year to recognize that different ports can have different levels of vulnerability. However, the new vulnerability index does not capture how new security measures affect a port’s vulnerability.
(The following was excerpted from an article in the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) In response to Government Accountability Office recommendations, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials are developing measures to help agency staff monitor grants awarded through the Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) and better assess grantee effectiveness.

The Department of Homeland Security awarded about $1.7 billion in PSGP funds between fiscal years 2006 and 2010 to ports across the country to protect critical maritime infrastructure and the public from terrorist attacks. Program funds were allocated based on a risk analysis model that considered threat (i.e., the relative likelihood of an attack occurring), vulnerability (i.e., the relative exposure to an attack) and consequence (i.e., the relative expected impact of an attack), with the majority of funds going to ports with the greatest risks. However, the GAO found that the vulnerability portion of the equation did not always use the most precise data available.

Prior to 2011, the PSGP risk model held port vulnerability constant rather than accounting for differences among ports. The Department of Homeland Security modified its vulnerability index last year to recognize that different ports can have different levels of vulnerability. However, the new vulnerability index does not capture how new security measures affect a port’s vulnerability.

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