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                                                        Calendar No. 95
114th Congress     }                                     {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session       }                                     {       114-53
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                                                        Calendar No. 95


                  DHS INTEROPERABLE COMMUNICATIONS ACT

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                                H.R. 615

    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.

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


                  May 21, 2015.--Ordered to be printed
                                   ______

                         U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

                               WASHINGTON : 2015                 
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                    RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin Chairman
JOHN McCAIN, Arizona                 THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
ROB PORTMAN, Ohio                    CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri
RAND PAUL, Kentucky                  JON TESTER, Montana
JAMES LANKFORD, Oklahoma             TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming             HEIDI HEITKAMP, North Dakota
KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire          CORY A. BOOKER, New Jersey
JONI ERNST, Iowa                     GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
BEN SASSE, Nebraska

                    Keith B. Ashdown, Staff Director
                  Christopher R. Hixon, Chief Counsel
             David S. Luckey, Director of Homeland Security
       William H.W. McKenna, Chief Counsel for Homeland Security
     Brooke N. Ericson, Deputy Chief Counsel for Homeland Security
              Gabrielle A. Batkin, Minority Staff Director
           John P. Kilvington, Minority Deputy Staff Director
               Mary Beth Schultz, Minority Chief Counsel
                Robert H. Bradley, Legislative Assistant
                     Laura W. Kilbride, Chief Clerk
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                            C O N T E N T S

                              ----------                              
                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background and Need for the Legislation..........................1
III. Legislative History..............................................2
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................3
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................4
 VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................4
VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Act, as Reported.............5












                                                        Calendar No. 95
114th Congress     }                                     {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session       }                                     {       114-53

======================================================================



 
                  DHS INTEROPERABLE COMMUNICATIONS ACT

                                _______
                                

                  May 21, 2015.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Johnson,  from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 615]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (H.R. 615) 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, reports favorably thereon with an 
amendment in the nature of a substitute and recommends that the 
bill as amended do pass.

                         I. Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 615, the Department of Homeland Security Interoperable 
Communications Act, requires the Under Secretary for Management 
(USM) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS or ``the 
Department'') to develop a strategy for achieving and 
maintaining interoperable communications capabilities among the 
components of the Department of Homeland Security, as well as 
to report on the status of the strategy's implementation.

              II. Background and the Need for Legislation

    In 2012, the Department of Homeland Security Office of 
Inspector General issued a report entitled, DHS's Oversight of 
Interoperable Communications.\1\ In the report, the Inspector 
General noted that since 2003, DHS components have spent $430 
million on equipment, infrastructure, and resources to meet the 
Department's communications requirements.\2\ Yet, the Inspector 
General also concluded that DHS ``personnel do not have 
reliable interoperable communications for daily operations, 
planned events, and emergencies.''\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Office of Inspector General, Department of Homeland Security, 
OIG-13-06, DHS' Oversight of Interoperable Communications (2012).
    \2\Id. at 2.
    \3\Id. at 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Inspector General found the primary reason for the lack 
of reliable interoperable communications was that DHS did not 
provide effective oversight of its components.\4\ The report 
concluded that DHS had not established a sufficient 
authoritative governance structure to ensure Department-wide 
interoperability, instead relying on a voluntary structure and 
individual memoranda of agreements between components.\5\ As a 
result, DHS personnel were unaware of how to access the common 
radio channel, radios were improperly programmed, and only one 
of the 479 field radios users reviewed in the audit could 
access and use the common channel.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Id. at 3-4.
    \5\Id. at 6-7.
    \6\Id. at 3-4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This legislation is designed to address the 
interoperability issues identified in the Inspector General's 
report. H.R. 615 requires the Department to develop a strategy 
to achieve interoperability and strengthens the governance 
structure related to interoperability policies. The Department 
must also report every other year to the Committee on its 
efforts to implement the strategy and develop and maintain 
interoperable communications among its components. In 
developing and implementing the strategy, the Committee expects 
that the USM will collaborate with DHS offices for which 
interoperable communications is a primary mission, including 
leveraging existing interoperability planning documents 
provided by such offices.

                        III. Legislative History

    Representative Payne, along with Representatives McCaul, 
Brooks, and Thompson, introduced H.R. 615 on January 28, 2015, 
which was referred to the House Committee on Homeland Security. 
The act was discharged and passed the House under suspension 
with a vote of 379-0 on February 2, 2015. The act was received 
in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Homeland 
Security and Governmental Affairs on February 3, 2015. The 
Committee considered H.R. 615 at a business meeting on March 4, 
2015.
    Chairman Johnson and Ranking Minority Member Carper offered 
one amendment in the nature of a substitute, changing the 
definition of interoperability to conform with the definition 
laid out in 6 U.S.C. Section 194(g)(1); requiring the strategy 
outlined in the act to be submitted to Congress no later than 
180 days after enactment instead of 120 days; making the report 
required in Section 5 of the act to be required 100 days after 
the strategy is submitted, instead of 220 days after the act's 
enactment; requiring the report to be submitted every other 
year following the submission of the first report, and ending 
the report after six years; and clarifying that the strategy 
and required reports pertain only to DHS and its components.
    The Committee adopted the amendment and ordered the act, as 
amended, reported favorably, both by voice vote. Senators 
present for both the vote on the amendment and the vote on the 
act were Senators Johnson, Portman, Lankford, Ayotte, Ernst, 
Carper, McCaskill, Baldwin, Heitkamp, and Peters.

        IV. Section-by-Section Analysis of the Act, as Reported


Section 1. Short title

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

Section 2. Definitions

    This section defines several terms, including 
``interoperable communications.''

Section 3. Inclusion of interoperable communications capabilities in 
        responsibilities of Under Secretary for Management

    This section amends section 701 of the Homeland Security 
Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-296) to task the USM with 
overseeing policies and directives to achieve and maintain 
interoperable communications among the components of DHS.
    This section also defines ``interoperable communications'' 
for the purposes of section 701 as the ability of emergency 
response providers and relevant Federal, State, and local 
government agencies to communicate with each other as 
necessary, through a dedicated public safety network utilizing 
information technology systems and radio communications 
systems, and to exchange voice, data, and video with one 
another on demand, in real time, as necessary.

Section 4. Strategy

    Subsection (a) requires that within 180 days of the act's 
enactment, the USM submit a strategy for achieving and 
maintaining interoperable communications among the components 
of DHS to the House Homeland Security Committee and the Senate 
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The 
strategy must include: an assessment of interoperability gaps 
in radio communications among the components of the Department; 
information on efforts, including current and planned policies, 
directives, and training to achieve and maintain interoperable 
communications since November 1, 2012; an assessment of 
obstacles and challenges to achieve and maintain interoperable 
communications among the components of the Department; 
information on, and an assessment of, the adequacy of 
mechanisms available to the USM to enforce and compel 
compliance with interoperable communications policies and 
directives; guidance provided to implement interoperable 
communications polices and directives; total funds expended 
since November 1, 2012, and projected future expenditures to 
achieve interoperable communications in the form of equipment, 
infrastructure, and maintenance; and dates upon which 
interoperability is projected to be achieved, along with 
interim milestones.
    Subsection (b) requires that the USM submit to the House 
Homeland Security Committee and the Senate Homeland Security 
and Governmental Affairs Committee information on any intra-
agency effort or task force that has been delegated certain 
responsibilities by the USM relating to achieving and 
maintaining interoperable communications among the components 
of the Department, and designate who within each component is 
responsible for implementing interoperable communications.

Section 5. Report

    This section requires, within 100 days of submitting its 
interoperability strategy, and once every other year for the 
following six years, for a total of four reports, the USM to 
report to Congress on the status of its efforts. The report 
must include: progress on each interim milestone toward 
achieving and maintaining interoperable communications; 
information on policies, directives, guidance, and training 
established by the USM; assessment of compliance, adoption, and 
participation among components of DHS with the USM's policies, 
directives, guidance, and training; and information on any 
additional resources or authorities needed by the USM.

Section 6. Applicability

    This section clarifies that the strategy and reports for 
interoperable communications capabilities required by this act 
apply only to DHS and components thereof for inter- or intra-
organizational communications.

                   V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this act and determined 
that the act will have no regulatory impact within the meaning 
of the rules. The Committee agrees with the Congressional 
Budget Office's statement that the act contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs 
on state, local, or tribal governments.

             VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                                    March 17, 2015.
Hon. Ron Johnson,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. 
        Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 615, 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. 615--DHS Interoperable Communications Act

    H.R. 615 would require the Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS), within 180 days of the legislation's enactment, to 
submit to the Congress a strategy to improve communications 
among DHS agencies. Within 100 days of that submission, and 
biannually thereafter for a period of six years, DHS would have 
to prepare a report on the implementation of the strategy. 
There are ongoing activities within the department to improve 
communications, so CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 615 
would not significantly affect spending by DHS.
    Enacting the legislation would not affect direct spending 
or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    H.R. 615 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.

       VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Act, as Reported

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
H.R. 615 as reported are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in brackets, 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' has the meaning given 
that term in section 7303(g) of the Intelligence Reform and 
Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (6 U.S.C. 194(g)).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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