DHS Annual Performance Plan
In the U.S, all agencies of the government are required to submit financial records and statements annually as a way of complying with The Government Performance and Results Act of 19931. The expenditures of the government projects and programs that are executed every financial year are summarized by these financial records and statements. Among the government agencies that are required to submit their yearly expenditures and budgets is the Department of Homeland Security or the DHS.
The focus of this paper is on the Annual Performance Plan of DHS. It examines the report of the progress of different sectors of DHS. Nevertheless, for analysis purposes, the concentration of the paper will be on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This lies within the DHS. FEMA’s reports of two consecutive years will be compared and analyzed in this paper.
DHS reports on FEMA
Among the similarities of this and last year’s reports by FEMA are the planned and ongoing projects. Nevertheless, the report of FEMA for this year’s projects presents more comprehensive details than the last year’s report. Additionally, this year’s budget is higher than last year’s budget. A comprehensive reporting method has also been adopted by DHS in different sectors. Each sector has an independent budget. Office of Inspector General: Department of Homeland Security. Annual Performance Plan for Fiscal Year 2013. (2013), 1
During the past years, there were general reports submitted by DHS for all sectors. The reports did not consider differences and dynamism of the sectors. For instance, the report of DHS this year provides a summarized budget, the objectives as well as the descriptions of the projects that different sectors will execute this year. All programs were classified in the report of last year. Last year, the report adapted a general format which did not consider the involved sectors. As such, analyzing the report by evaluating each sector at a time is difficult because it uses a general classification. Nevertheless, it should be noted that even with these differences the programs and projects carried out or planned by different sectors have increased in this year’s DHS report.
Reasons for the Differences
Predicting the future expenses is hard for the Federal Emergency Management Agency because it deals with dynamic processes. Emergency/disaster management entails the use of past experiences in developing means of preventing fatalities in the future. This causes a variation in the reports that DHS presented in the two years that have been analyzed. For instance, the DHS report of this year includes the program that will establish recovery and disaster offices. This is due to the fact that FEMA noticed that avenues are required to assist individuals who disasters affect even after they have recovered. FEMA realized the essence of having this aspect incorporated in the federal programs following different emergency response events. These are some of the new developments that cause differences between the presented annual reports of DHS.
2 Office of Inspector General: Department of Homeland Security. Annual Performance Plan for Fiscal Year 2013. (2013), 6
There are also other differences that can be observed in the annual reports of FEMA in regards to its budgeted expenditure. This is attributable to reasons. For instance, DHS opted to audit financial records of each sector independently this year.
Therefore, extra expenses were incurred while paying the auditors. Actually, several projects that are new in the report presented this year entail the audit processes that FEMA should carry out. The need for modern disaster management and response methods combined with the involved dynamics are some of the observable differences. For example FEMA noticed that damaged property should be reconstructed or repaired during an emergency.
Office of Inspector General: Department of Homeland Security. “Annual Performance Plan for Fiscal Year.” 2013.