Pledges $1.6 Million for OAS
au Spain, Trinidad (USDHS) — The United States has pledged an
additional $1.6 million to strengthen and expand counter-terrorism
coordination in the Western Hemisphere, officials announced at
a meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) –
bringing the total U.S. contribution to $5 million since the 9/11
was made by Asa Hutchinson, head of the U.S. delegation to the
OAS Fifth Regular Session of the Inter-American Committee Against
Terrorism (CICTE), a three-day conference hosted this year in
Trinidad. The U.S. pledge represents approximately 80 percent
of total hemispheric investments in CICTE.
United States values effective multilateral institutions like
CICTE and believes strongly that this body should continue to
play an instrumental role in the security of the Western Hemisphere,”
said Hutchinson. “This funding demonstrates our firm commitment
to working with free states to defeat an indiscriminate terrorist
threat and ensure the safety, prosperity and well-being of all
Americans. We share so much more than geography; we hold common
beliefs and a promising future.”
CICTE session brings together official delegations from all 34
OAS member states to evaluate existing policies and to develop
new strategies for hemispheric communication, cooperation, and
training in combating the threat of transnational terrorism.
issues addressed at this year’s conference are a number
of key issues such as document security; aviation security (including
potential threats to civilian aircraft posed by Man Portable Air
Defense Systems, or MANPADS); biometrics sharing; and links between
arms/narcotics trafficking and terrorism.
serves as Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security
in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Other senior members
of the U.S. delegation include, Ambassador John Maisto, Permanent
Representative to the OAS, and William F. Pope, Department of
State Acting Coordinator for Counter-terrorism.
Remarks by Under Secretary Asa Hutchinson at The
Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism Regular Session
** Testimony by Deputy
Secretary of Homeland Security Admiral James Loy Before the House
Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security
by Under Secretary Asa Hutchinson at The Inter-American Committee
Against Terrorism Regular Session
au Spain, Trinidad – Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to
thank the Government of Trinidad & Tobago for hosting this
important meeting and for assuming the Chair for 2005. I’m
also grateful for Colombia’s decision to serve as Vice-Chair.
I would like to express our deepest appreciation to Uruguay for
their chairmanship over the past year and for Under Secretary
Bluth’s leadership. Finally, I thank the Honorable Prime
Minister Patrick Manning and other distinguished participants
who have joined us in Port of Spain.
gather not simply as individual nations, but as a unified body
committed to securing our hemisphere from the global threat of
terrorism. We recognize that we are equally vulnerable, but in
unique ways, to the threats of terrorism. Our differences present
opportunities for exploitation by terrorists seeking safe-haven,
financing, recruiting, or fraudulent travel documents.
We know that
terrorists in our hemisphere are increasingly engaged in narcotics
and weapons smuggling, and money laundering, as a means to fund
their criminal agendas. Nearly as many innocent civilians were
murdered last year by three terrorist organizations in Colombia,
as were victims of the September 11th attacks.
We call upon
CICTE members to stand with Colombia and support the Uribe Administration
in the fight to rid their homeland of terror. No single nation
can defeat terrorism on its own. Terrorism is an evolving threat
and it requires a new level of cooperation and coordination among
CICTE members. In our case, the United States undertook a comprehensive
review of counterterrorism efforts following the September 11
attacks. First, we developed a National Strategy for Combating
Terrorism – to defeat terrorist organizations of global
reach, deny them sanctuary, diminish our vulnerabilities, and
defend our citizens and interests.
restructured our government to better secure our homeland. We
knew that improving the integration, analysis, and sharing of
terrorism-related information, as well as coordinating counterterrorism
activity, would be essential to our future security. In response,
the Bush Administration and Congress created the Department of
Homeland Security, the Terrorist Threat Integration Center and
the Terrorist Screening Center. And soon, the United States will
establish the National Counter-Terrorism Center and designate
a National Intelligence Director.
recognized the need to enhance border security. We unified our
frontline border inspection force, increased training and manpower,
utilized new technology, expanded container screening programs,
and implemented programs like US-VISIT – a biometrics driven
system that has processed 20 million visitors and denied entry
to hundreds of criminals, potential terrorists, and immigration
I thank our
Canadian neighbors for hosting an important border symposium in
Vancouver this past September. And, I recognize Mexico for hosting
a Special Summit of the Americas this past January, as well as
for working with us in the Border Partnership Accord. Here in
the Caribbean, the State Department is conducting a needs-assessment
program that focuses on key infrastructure. In Central America,
we are supporting a variety of anti-smuggling initiatives. We
are also working closely with partners in the 3+1 Group on Tri-border
Security to share ideas on improving border security between Argentina,
Brazil, and Paraguay. These important security initiatives are
designed to disrupt terrorist movement. By integrating document
security in CICTE’s work plan, we complement these initiatives.
United States has taken steps to improve transportation security.
We urge CICTE members to work with us in this critical area. After
September 11th, we instituted a multi-layered strategy for aviation
security, including 100 percent screening of passengers and baggage
on commercial flights, a dramatic expansion of our Federal Air
Marshal Program, and hardening of cockpit doors. We encourage
all CICTE members to meet the International Civil Aviation Organization
standards, including 100 percent baggage screening, and travel
document issuance and handling. We ask CICTE members to partner
with the G-8’s Secure and Facilitated International Travel
Initiative, which includes guidelines for strict national controls
of MANPADS, or shoulder-fired missiles. Further, we encourage
CICTE members to enhance coordination on maritime security and
to meet the International Maritime Organization’s International
Ship and Port Facility Security Code requirements.
must cut off terrorist financing. The United States has designated
40 Foreign Terrorist Organizations and 397 terrorists –
freezing their assets and criminalizing acts that constitute material
support of terrorism. International cooperation has led to 700
terrorist-related accounts blocked around the world, including
106 in the United States and nearly $140 million in frozen assets.
We have conducted training and assessments in Brazil, Panama,
Paraguay, and Venezuela. And, we have funded a $5 million regional
training program to combat money laundering in the Caribbean.
recognize that the ultimate success of the global counterterrorism
campaign hinges, in large part, on two factors: sustaining and
enhancing the political will of states to fight terrorism and
enhancing the capacity of all states to fight terrorism. We must
continue to expand cooperation; speak out against terrorism; defend
our critical infrastructure, cyber-systems, and international
commerce; and marshal our resources to raise our counterterrorism
the voluntary contributions that member states have given to CICTE
and we strongly encourage all members to make contributions, whether
financially, through personnel, or with in-kind technical assistance.
I am pleased to announce that we will contribute $1.6 million
to CICTE in 2005, bringing total U.S. cash contributions to more
than $5 million since September 11.
I am reminded of President Bush’s description of terrorists.
He said, “They can incite men to murder and suicide, but
they cannot inspire men to live, and hope, and add to the progress
of their country. We did not seek this war on terror, but this
is the world as we find it.”
Hemisphere is more secure because of CICTE. Let us each, as member
states, recommit ourselves to greater cooperation, partnership,
and the strengthening of our shared values.
by Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Admiral James Loy Before
the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security
— Mr. Chairman, Representative Sabo, and Members of the subcommittee,
I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today and discuss
the management accomplishments and challenges for the Department
of Homeland Security. We’re grateful for the support we
have received from this Committee as we continue to build a Department
fully equipped and capable to lead the national effort to protect
the American people from all manner of threats, whether natural
has reaffirmed his staunch commitment to this most pressing of
tasks. Through the allocation of $41.1 billion in new resources,
a 7 percent increase over the current year, we will expand and
improve existing programs as well as put in place new initiatives
that will further strengthen and safeguard our homeland. Turning
specifically to the focus of today’s hearing, one of our
key priorities is to support the ongoing creation, development
and transformation of a formerly disparate group of agencies into
one cohesive 21st century Department.
As all of
you know, in standing up the Department of Homeland Security nearly
two years ago, we faced the dual challenges of meeting our mission
of securing the nation, while at the same time integrating into
a single Department 22 different agencies, each with their own
employees, cultures, legacies, duties, and support system. An
enormous amount has been accomplished and the Department continues
to evolve and mature. And as we gain further knowledge and insight,
we learn of new opportunities where we can become more efficient,
or where structural changes can improve security or simply add
to efficiency and effectiveness. Our challenge is to be both methodical
and determined to see the work through to the end state we envision.
The budget proposal includes several important initiatives that
demonstrate how we are continuing to tear down stove-pipes and
coordinate issues across DHS and government wide.
we propose the creation of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office,
which will develop, acquire and support the deployment of a domestic
system to improve security against terrorist use of a nuclear
device in the United States. This effort will pull together experts
from across DHS, as well as the Departments of Defense, Energy,
Justice, and State; the Intelligence Community; and elsewhere.
In many ways, this is a statement about trust and confidence.
A year ago, DHS was not ready to host an initiative of this import.
Today we are.
of our evolution and unification is our proposal for the creation
of an Office of Screening Coordination and Operations. The SCO
would consolidate several similar screening programs, such as
US VISIT, Secure Flight, and the Transportation Worker Identification
Credential program into a single office to substantially improve
internal coordination and efficiency and potentially reinvest
the savings from integrated overhead costs into mission strength.
We also continue
to progress with our efforts to functionally integrate various
support activities across the Department. This task has been an
overriding objective of our work in building this Department.
had to ensure that everyday processes such as information technology
support and financial management are as efficient and effective
as possible, so that our employees are free to focus on the business
of protecting our country, and so that we can maximize the dollars
we push into our mission activities. It was and continues to be
an enormous challenge, but one that the employees of this Department
have not faltered in meeting. And as a result of much hard work
and effort, today 22 different human resource servicing offices
are down to 7; 8 payroll systems are pared to 2; 22 personal property
management systems to 3; and the list goes on and on.
integration efforts are leading to increased efficiencies in human
resources, procurement and acquisitions, information technology,
administrative services and financial management. Major mergers
in the private sector of just two companies are considered well
done if pulled off in 3 – 5 years. I have challenged our
teams at DHS to merge 22 entities in 3 years. We have done well
this past year and will continue to do so. In each one of these
significant functional areas, I have insisted on a 5-year end
state vision and the FY05 steps, projects, activities or process
changes necessary to take steps toward that end state.
within the procurement and acquisitions area, as a result of this
integration, a close collaboration between the Chief Information
Office and Procurement Office has produced an Information Technology
Acquisition Center that will steer the acquisition of the billions
of dollars of information technology goods and services that the
also established benchmark staffing targets for procurement professionals
across all organizational elements of DHS. This will enable the
Department to not only allocate resources more effectively, but
also to gain a greater understanding of the types of commodities
and services purchased. In addition, the Department has consolidated
acquisition support into eight major procurement offices within
DHS. These eight offices provide acquisition support to the 22
legacy agencies that formed DHS as well as 35 new customers, such
as S&T, IAIP, USCIS, the Office of State and Local Government
Coordination and Preparedness, Office of the Secretary and Under
Secretary for Management that were created when DHS was formed.
also made great progress in the integration and transformation
of our information technology infrastructure. In this area also,
we have laid down clear markers to strive toward over the next
five years. One of which was complete email and network consolidation,
a goal we are very close to realizing. Modernizing and strengthening
our IT backbone is essential because it drives our all important
need to share information more adeptly with those who need it
most. Our Homeland Security Data Network has proven effective
in sharing information not only across our Department and with
our field offices, but also across other federal agencies, with
state and local governments, law enforcement, and first responders.
Our work to
functionally integrate the financial management of the Department
has enabled the consolidation of 27 travel and purchase card programs
down to 3 and a reduction in the number of accounting providers
from18 to 8. Most importantly, we are developing Department-wide
standards and procedures to ensure effective decision-making and
use of our financial resources. DHS continues to execute its three-year
strategic audit plan, and implement improvements in Department-wide
internal controls. Timely, reliable financial information is essential
for Department managers in their decision-making and for our reporting
to Congress and others.
DHS made progress
in 2004 regarding its financial statement by providing information
to the auditors almost three months faster than in 2003. Our audit
results were disappointing in that we didn’t hold the qualified
status of 03. However, the books audited for 04 were dramatically
more complete, available three months earlier and the audit offers
us great clarity on what to concentrate on this year. Critical
to our financial management success in 2005 will be the execution
of our very detailed corrective action plan that addresses each
of our weaknesses. Our goal is to regain qualified status this
year, to focus separate audits on several large agencies whose
status underpins the Department, and to gain an unqualified audit
in FY 06. We’ve also looked for ways to consolidate and
share services across different agencies to eliminate duplication
of effort and streamline administrative support systems to better
also requested additional funds to continue the implementation
of our emerge2 initiative which, when complete will be the backbone
of dramatically improved financial and resource management. Emerge2
is a program that will ensure our decision makers have the information
they need to properly support those who are on the frontlines
of homeland security…those manning a border checkpoint,
screening high-risk cargo, delivering disaster relief. We are
continuing our efforts to design and deploy our innovative new
human resource system Max HR, which will replace more than 140
legacy human resource systems. This modern personnel tool will
ensure both flexibility and accountability within the workforce.
Through realignment of staff from existing offices and a small
number of new staff, we will create a long overdue Policy, Planning
and International Affairs (PPIA) office – one that will
do long range strategic planning, coordinate and develop major
policy initiatives and connect the U.S. plans and programs to
our international agenda.
coordination and operational direction among all operational components,
we ask you to support the creation of a permanent operational
integration staff at DHS headquarters. Formally establishing this
team will provide the type of high-level operational planning
and coordination necessary to complete the demanding assignment
of coalescing and connecting the wide range of Departmental operations
both at headquarters and in the field. This is crucial to putting
leadership to the mandated collaboration role this Department
has in countless areas. The staff established last year out of
clear need has produced extraordinary products such as the National
Response Plan (NRP) and National Incident Management System (NIMS),
and the Interagency Security Plan which keeps us attentive to
the prevention, protection, response and recovery activities of
The task before
us, as a nation – not just a Department – will continue
to be challenging, but meeting these challenges with solid performance
and outcomes is the mission and mandate of the 180,000-plus people
who have taken on that mission as a personal cause since 9/11.
Early on, in transforming our government to respond to the threat
of terrorism, we set high expectations for ourselves – expectations
that this Department would serve as a model agency for the new
century. Our goal was and continues to be to craft an organization
that is flexible, innovative, efficient, and bold in confronting
the dangers terrorism pose.
that just as this Department was created to execute a mission
unlike any other agency in government, the delivery of service
in supporting this critical charge should be equally progressive.
Every day we rise to execute the great trust that has been placed
in this Department. The work of our management team and the support
of this Congress will enable us to build and sustain a Department
that is capable of upholding that trust and securing our nation
for many years to come.
this is likely my last appearance before the Congress. I would
like to publicly thank you for your many years of support. We
have worked together through what seems like an endless list of
important challenges for America. You and this committee have
been constant sources of ideas, good counsel, firm direction and
by the way…dollars. I thank you for all those things, but
perhaps mostly for your friendship and commitment to what’s
best for our country.
be happy to take your questions at this time.