Richard Spires: Leveraging IT to Enhance DHS Mission Effectiveness

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued its first-ever Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR) that delineates a strategy focusing on five mission priority areas for the homeland security enterprise. “Mission one is preventing terrorism and enhancing the security of the country.

Analytics and Risk Management: Tools for Making Better Decisions

Decisions based on bad information can lead to poor results and be quite costly to organizations. This may culminate in the squandering of opportunities, taking on unnecessary risk, misallocating resources, and ultimately not achieving strategic goals or objectives.

The Open Government Dialogue

With little fanfare, the While House announced that 29 agencies launched their Open Government weblinks on schedule (per an OMB directive), on Saturday, February 6th. Virtually all of them also invited citizens to participate in a dialogue on how they could improve their approaches to transparency, participation, collaboration, and innovation.

Governing by Suggestion Box

The Obama Administration is stepping up its efforts to solicit ideas from employees. In its first big effort, the SAVE Award (Securing Americans Value and Efficiency), the Office of Management and Budget encouraged employees to submit cost savings ideas. As of the end of the 6-week long contest period, OMB said it had received 38,400 ideas.

Five Methods for Measuring Unobserved Events: A Case Study of Federal Law Enforcement

Measuring program performance is relatively straightforward in many areas of government, such as social services, visa processing, and air traffic control.  But there are instances where assessing performance and success is much harder.  One particularly difficult area involves law enforcement, where a key goal is to prevent or deter bad outcomes – which can often happen without the knowledge of law enforcement officials.

Strategic Risk Management in Government: A Look at Homeland Security

This report includes two papers describing how the federal government can increase its capability to undertake strategic risk management in safeguarding the nation. In recent years, the government has devoted increased attention to the use of strategic risk management. The challenge now facing government is to begin to link strategic risk management to resource allocation.

From Forest Fires to Hurricane Katrina: Case Studies of Incident Command Systems

The success of the Incident Command System (ICS) as a hierarchical-network organizational model in emergencies such as forest fires led to its being designated by the federal government as the preferred approach for responding to emergencies. However, it seemingly failed in the response to Hurricane Katrina. Professor Moynihan examines the Katrina case, as well as others, and identifies the conditions under which the ICS approach can be successful.

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