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Department Six-point Agenda

A six-point agenda for the Department of Homeland Security was developed and announced in July 2005, by Secretary Chertoff to ensure that the Department's policies, operations, and structures are aligned in the best way to address the potential threats – both present and future – that face our nation. The six-point agenda is structured to guide the department in the near term and result in changes that will:

  1. Increase overall preparedness, particularly for catastrophic events
  2. Create better transportation security systems to move people and cargo more securely and efficiently
  3. Strengthen border security and interior enforcement and reform immigration processes;
  4. Enhance information sharing with our partners
  5. Improve DHS financial management, human resource development, procurement and information technology
  6. Realign the DHS organization to maximize mission performance.

Organizational Initiatives: Structural Adjustments

Supporting the agenda, the department proposed to realign the Department of Homeland Security to increase its ability to prepare, prevent, and respond to terrorist attacks and other emergencies. These changes are to better integrate the Department and give department employees better tools to accomplish their mission.

Centralize and Improve Policy Development and Coordination

A new Office of Policy was created to:

  • be the primary Department-wide coordinator for policies, regulations, and other initiatives
  • ensure consistency of policy and regulatory development across the department
  • perform long-range strategic policy planning
  • assume the policy coordination functions previously performed by the Border and Transportation Security (BTS) Directorate
  • include Office of International Affairs, Office of Private Sector Liaison, Homeland Security Advisory Council, Office of Immigration Statistics, and the Senior Asylum Officer.

Strengthen Intelligence Functions and Information Sharing

A new Office of Intelligence and Analysis was developed ensure that information is:

  • gathered from all relevant field operations and other parts of the intelligence community
  • analyzed with a mission-oriented focus
  • informative to senior decision-makers
  • disseminated to the appropriate federal, state, local, and private sector partners
  • led by a Chief Intelligence Officer reporting directly to the Secretary, this office will be comprised of analysts within the former Information Analysis directorate and draw on expertise of other department components with intelligence collection and analysis operations.

Improve Coordination and Efficiency of Operations

A new Director of Operations Coordination was created to:

  • conduct joint operations across all organizational elements
  • coordinate incident management activities
  • use all resources within the Department to translate intelligence and policy into immediate action
  • The Homeland Security Operations Center, which serves as the nation’s nerve center for information sharing and domestic incident management on a 24/7/365 basis, will be a critical part of this new office.

Enhance Coordination and Deployment of Preparedness Assets

The Directorate for Preparedness was created to

  • consolidate preparedness assets from across the Department
  • facilitate grants and oversee nationwide preparedness efforts supporting first responder training, citizen awareness, public health, infrastructure and cyber security and ensure proper steps are taken to protect high-risk targets
  • focus on cyber security and telecommunications
  • include a new Chief Medical Officer, responsible for carrying out the Department’s responsibilities to coordinate the response to biological attacks
  • Managed by an Under Secretary this Directorate will include infrastructure protection, assets of the Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness responsible for grants, training and exercises, the U.S. Fire Administration, and the Office of National Capitol Region Coordination.

Other Department Realignments

  • Improve National Response and Recovery Efforts by Focusing FEMA on Its Core Functions. FEMA reports directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security. In order to strengthen and enhance our Nation’s ability to respond to and recover from manmade or natural disasters, FEMA will  focus on its historic and vital mission of response and recovery.
  • Integrate Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) into Broader Aviation Security Efforts. The Federal Air Marshal Service was moved from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) bureau to the Transportation Security Administration to increase operational coordination and strengthen efforts to meet this common goal of aviation security.
  • Merge Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs. This new Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs merged certain functions among the Office of Legislative Affairs and the Office of State and Local Government Coordination in order to streamline intergovernmental relations efforts and better share homeland security information with members of Congress as well as state and local officials.
  • Assign Office of Security to Management Directorate. The Office of Security was moved to return oversight of that office to the Under Secretary for Management in order to better manage information systems, contractual activities, security accreditation, training and resources.


The Homeland Security Act of 2002 (HSA) provides certain flexibility for the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish, consolidate, alter or discontinue organizational units within the Department. The mechanism for implementing these changes is a notification to Congress, required under section 872 of the HSA, allowing for the changes to take effect after 60 days.

Other proposed changes will require Congressional action. The Department will work with Congress to accomplish these shared goals.


The agenda is based on conclusions drawn as a result of the Second Stage Review. The review, initiated by the Secretary, examined nearly every element of the Department of Homeland Security in order to recommend ways that DHS could better

  • manage risk in terms of threat, vulnerability and consequence
  • prioritize policies and operational missions according to this risk-based approach
  • establish a series of preventive and protective steps that would increase security at multiple levels.

Eighteen action teams composed of 10-12 subject matter experts and  hundreds of public and private partners at the federal, state, local, tribal and international levels examined a wide range of issues, including:

  • Risk/Readiness
  • Information and Intelligence Sharing
  • Performance Metrics
  • Law Enforcement Activities
  • Listening to External Partners
  • Supply Chain Security
  • Internal Communications and DHS Culture
  • Research, Technology & Detection
Last Published Date: September 23, 2015

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