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113th Congress  }                                           {    Report
  2d Session    }        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES           {   113-484

=======================================================================
 
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY INTEROPERABLE COMMUNICATIONS ACT 

                                _______
                                

 June 19, 2014.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

              Mr. McCaul, from the Committee on Homeland 
                   Security, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4289]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Homeland Security, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 4289) to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 
to require the Under Secretary for Management of the Department 
of Homeland Security to take administrative action to achieve 
and maintain interoperable communications capabilities among 
the components of the Department of Homeland Security, and for 
other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     2
Committee Consideration..........................................     3
Committee Votes..................................................     3
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     3
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     3
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     3
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     4
Duplicative Federal Programs.....................................     4
Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
  Benefits.......................................................     4
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     4
Preemption Clarification.........................................     5
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     5
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     5
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     5
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     5
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     6

                          Purpose and Summary

    The purpose of H.R. 4289 is to amend the Homeland Security 
Act of 2002 to require the Under Secretary for Management of 
the Department of Homeland Security to take administrative 
action to achieve and maintain interoperable communications 
capabilities among the Department's components.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    In November 2012, the Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS)'s Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report 
entitled, DHS' Oversight of Interoperable Communications, which 
found that despite $430 million invested in communications 
capabilities, DHS lacks Department-wide interoperability. The 
report observed that the Department lacks effective oversight 
to achieve interoperable communications among the Department's 
components, specifically with radio communications, and that 
DHS component personnel were unaware of how to access the 
common communications channel and radios were improperly 
programmed. Finally, the report found that DHS did not 
establish a sufficient governance structure to ensure 
Department-wide interoperability. The report states that the 
Department believes that its current structure is sufficient to 
achieve interoperability; however, the OIG noted that the 
structure relies on cooperation, not authority, among the 
components, which OIG cautions could hinder future 
interoperability efforts. This legislation would require that 
the Department develop a strategy to achieve interoperability 
and strengthens the governance structure related to 
interoperability policies. Finally, this legislation would 
ensure that the Department informs the Committee about its 
efforts to address the Inspector General's recommendations and 
develop and maintain interoperable communications among its 
components.

                                Hearings

    Although the Committee did not hold specific legislative 
hearings on H.R. 4289, the Committee did hold the following 
hearing where interoperability challenges at the Department 
were discussed.

113th Congress

    On May 7, 2014, Committee on Homeland Security held a 
hearing entitled ``Preventing Waste, Fraud, Abuse and 
Mismanagement in Homeland Security--A GAO High-Risk List 
Review.'' The Committee received testimony from Hon. Alejandro 
N. Mayorkas, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland 
Security; Hon. Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the 
United States, Government Accountability Office; and Hon. John 
Roth, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

112th Congress

    On November 17, 2011, the Subcommittee held a hearing 
entitled ``Ensuring Coordination and Cooperation: A Review of 
the Emergency Communications Offices Within the Department of 
Homeland Security.'' The Subcommittee received testimony from 
Mr.Chris Essid, Director, Office of Emergency Communications, 
Department of Homeland Security; Mr.John O'Connor, Manager, 
National Coordinating Center for Communications, National 
Protection and Programs Directorate, Department of Homeland 
Security; Mr.Damon Penn, Assistant Administrator, National 
Continuity Programs, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 
Department of Homeland Security; Mr.Eric Edwards, Director, 
Disaster Emergency Communications Division, Response 
Directorate, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of 
Homeland Security; and Ms.Linda K. Moore, Specialist in 
Telecommunications and Spectrum Policy, Congressional Research 
Service.

                        Committee Consideration

    The Committee met on June 11, 2014, to consider H.R. 4289, 
and ordered the measure to be reported to the House with a 
favorable recommendation, without amendment by voice vote.
    The Subcommittee on Emergency Preapredness, Response, and 
Communications met on March 27, 2014, to consider H.R. 4289, 
and ordered the measure forwarded to the Full Committee with a 
favorable recommendation, without amendment, by voice vote.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the recorded 
votes on the motion to report legislation and amendments 
thereto.
    No recorded votes were requested during consideration of 
H.R. 4289.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee has held oversight 
hearings and made findings that are reflected in this report.

   New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee finds that H.R. 
4289, the Department of Homeland Security Interoperable 
Communications Act, would result in no new or increased budget 
authority, entitlement authority, or tax expenditures or 
revenues.

                  Congressional Budget Office Estimate

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate prepared 
by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 19, 2014.
Hon. Michael McCaul,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4289, the DHS 
Interoperable Communications Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark 
Grabowicz.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 4289--DHS Interoperable Communications Act

    H.R. 4289 would require the Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS), within 120 days of the bill's enactment, to devise a 
strategy to improve communications among DHS agencies. Within 
220 days of enactment and biannually thereafter, DHS would have 
to prepare a report on the implementation of that strategy. 
There are ongoing activities within the department to improve 
communications, so CBO estimates that implementing the bill 
would not significantly affect spending by DHS in any year. 
Enacting the legislation would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    H.R. 4289 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz. 
The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H.R. 4289 contains the following 
general performance goals and objectives, including outcome 
related goals and objectives authorized.
    H.R. 4289 directs the Under Secretary for Management to 
submit a strategy to the Committee on Homeland Security of the 
House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security 
and Governmental Affairs of the Senate within 120 days of 
enactment on how the Department of Homeland Security will 
achieve and maintain interoperable communications among its 
components.

                      Duplicative Federal Programs

    The Committee finds that H.R. 4289 does not contain any 
provision that establishes or reauthorizes a program known to 
be duplicative of another Federal program.

   Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
                                Benefits

    In compliance with rule XXI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, this bill, as reported, contains no 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of the rule 
XXI.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act.

                        Preemption Clarification

    In compliance with section 423 of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974, requiring the report of any Committee on a bill or 
joint resolution to include a statement on the extent to which 
the bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt State, 
local, or Tribal law, the Committee finds that H.R. 4289 does 
not preempt any State, local, or Tribal law.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    The Committee estimates that H.R. 4289 would require no 
directed rule makings.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1.   Short title

    This section provides that this bill may be cited as the 
``Department of Homeland Security Interoperable Communications 
Act''.

Sec. 2.   Inclusion of interoperable communications capabilities in 
        responsibilities of Under Secretary for Management

    This section amends section 701 of the Homeland Security 
Act of 2002 (Pub. L. 107-296) to include, among the 
responsibilities of the Under Secretary for Management (USM), 
developing policies and directives to achieve and maintain 
interoperable communications among the components of the 
Department. With respect to section 701, the bill defines 
interoperable communications to mean the ability of 
departmental components to communicate with one another, as 
necessary, to exchange voice, data, and video for daily 
operations, planned events, and emergencies.

Sec. 3.   Strategy

    This section requires the USM, within 120 days of 
enactment, to develop and submit to the Committee on Homeland 
Security of the House of Representatives and the Committee on 
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate (the 
Committees), a strategy for achieving and maintaining 
interoperable communications among the components including:
     Information on efforts and activities, including 
current and planned policies and directives, and training to 
achieve and maintain interoperable communications among the 
components;
     An assessment of obstacles and challenges to 
achieving and maintaining interoperable communications;
     An assessment on the adequacy of mechanisms 
available to the USM to enforce and compel compliance with 
interoperable communications policies and directives;
     Guidance provided to the components to implement 
Departmental communications policies and directives;
     The total amount of funding expended by the 
Department since November 1, 2012, and projected future 
expenditures, to achieve interoperable communications; and
     Dates upon which Department-wide interoperability 
is projected to be achieved.
    When transmitting the strategy to the Committees, the USM 
must also share information on any intra-agency efforts or 
taskforce to which the USM has delegated responsibility for 
achieving and maintaining interoperable communications, along 
with the individual responsible for implementing the policies 
and directives at the component level.
    The Committee is disappointed that the Department has spent 
$430 million on communications capabilities without 
effectuating the changes within practices in the components to 
achieve interoperability. The Committee believes that to 
advance interoperability goals at the Department, there needs 
to be leadership at the highest level and that implementation 
of interoperability-related directives by components should be 
mandatory, not voluntary. The Committee intends for this 
section to require the Department to establish a governance 
structure with the necessary authority to ensure that the 
components achieve interoperability and that the necessary 
policies are developed and disseminated.

Sec. 4.   Report

    This section requires the USM to submit, within 220 days of 
enactment and biannually thereafter, a report to the Committees 
detailing the status of efforts to implement the strategy 
required under section three.
    In recognition of the importance of this undertaking, the 
Committee requires the Department to report, on an ongoing 
basis, about progress on achieving interoperability within the 
Department.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



                         TITLE VII--MANAGEMENT

SEC. 701. UNDER SECRETARY FOR MANAGEMENT.

  (a) In General.--The Under Secretary for Management shall 
serve as the Chief Management Officer and principal advisor to 
the Secretary on matters related to the management of the 
Department, including management integration and transformation 
in support of homeland security operations and programs. The 
Secretary, acting through the Under Secretary for Management, 
shall be responsible for the management and administration of 
the Department, including the following:
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (4) Information technology and communications 
        systems, including policies and directives to achieve 
        and maintain interoperable communications among the 
        components of the Department.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d) Interoperable Communications Defined.--In this section, 
the term ``interoperable communications'' means the ability of 
components of the Department to communicate with each other as 
necessary, utilizing information technology systems and radio 
communications systems to exchange voice, data, and video in 
real time, as necessary, for acts of terrorism, daily 
operations, planned events, and emergencies.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *