Executive Order Establishes Federal Committee on Emergency Communications (9/14/12)
Friday, September 14, 2012 | Comments

Under a presidential executive order released July 11, the federal government formed an executive committee for national security/emergency preparedness (NS/EP) communications matters.

The committee has eight members, including representatives from the departments of State, Defense, Justice, Commerce and Homeland Security, as well as the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the General Services Administration (GSA) and the FCC. The committee has held one meeting, a federal official said.

The committee is directed to advise and make policy recommendations to the president on enhancing the survivability, resilience and future architecture of NS/EP communications.

Roberta Stempfly, deputy assistant secretary for DHS Office of Cybersecurity and Communications (CS&C), said in written testimony that the new executive order “eliminates the National Communications Systems (NCS).”

Stempfly said during the House Homeland Security Committee’s emergency, preparedness, responsiveness and communications subcommittee hearing Sept. 12 that her office is conducting a comprehensive review to develop a plan, analyzing the functions and services of the DHS Office of Emergency Communications (OEC), NCS, the National Cyber Security Division and the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC).

The executive order also establishes an executive committee joint program office (JPO) to support the executive committee. DHS is establishing the office within the CS&C, Stempfly said.

Subcommittee Chairman Gus Bilirakis voiced concerned about the order and its implications for OEC and NCS. “We must ensure that any reorganization, or consolidation, of offices does not impair the ability of OEC and NCS to achieve their vital missions or erode any of the advancements in our communications capabilities made to date,” he said in his opening statement.

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