The House and Senate have both approved a final version of the FY 2004 appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security (H.R. 2555). As recommended by House and Senate appropriators, the amount provided within the Science and Technology Directorate for Research, Development, Acquisition, and Operations would be increased by more than 50 percent over the FY 2003 appropriation.
The bill would provide $874.0 million for Research, Development, Acquisition, and Operations. This is $322.1 million (58.4%) greater than the FY 2003 funding level of $551.9 million, and $70.6 million (8.8%) more than President Bush requested for fiscal year 2004. Accompanying the bill is a conference report (H. Rept. 108-280) which provides additional details of the conference committee's recommendations. The report language pertaining to Research, Development, Acquisition, and Operations is provided below. Some paragraphs have been combined in the interest of space.
"RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, ACQUISITION, AND OPERATIONS: The conferees agree to provide $874,000,000 for research, development, acquisition, and operations instead of $900,360,000 as proposed by the House and $866,000,000 as proposed by the Senate. The recommendation includes the use of $68,000,000 of prior year unobligated funds that will remain available for use in fiscal year 2004. All funding for federal salaries and expenses has been moved from the individual programs, as proposed by the House, and is provided in the management and administration account. Funds in this account are available until expended, as proposed by the Senate.
"The conferees are concerned that research and development is being conducted independently by each of the Department's legacy components leading to duplicative research activities, wasted funds, and lack of appropriate management oversight. The Department is directed to consolidate all Departmental research and development funding within the science and technology programs in the fiscal year 2005 budget request.
"BIOLOGICAL COUNTERMEASURES: The conference agreement includes $198,500,000 and the use of $68,000,000 of prior year unobligated funds that will remain available for use in fiscal year 2004. This funding level supports the budget request for the individual programs within biological countermeasures with the following exceptions: $18,500,000 is transferred to management and administration for federal salaries and expenses; an additional $15,000,000 is provided for the urban monitoring program; signatures and bioassays is reduced by $5,000,000; and $88,000,000 for construction of the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center is funded as a separate program.
"NUCLEAR AND RADIOLOGICAL COUNTERMEASURES: The conference agreement includes $127,000,000. This supports the budget request with the following exceptions: $7,000,000 is transferred to management and administration for federal salaries and expenses, and sensor research and development is reduced by $3,000,000.
"CHEMICAL AND HIGH EXPLOSIVES COUNTERMEASURES: The conference agreement includes $52,000,000 for chemical countermeasures and $9,500,000 for high explosives countermeasures, as proposed by the House.
"THREAT AND VULNERABILITY, TESTING AND ASSESSMENT: The conference agreement includes $93,500,000. This supports the budget request with the following exceptions: $4,500,000 is transferred to management and administration for federal salaries and expenses; cybersecurity is increased by $11,000,000; and the remaining programs are reduced by a total of $3,000,000.
"CONVENTIONAL MISSIONS IN SUPPORT OF DHS: The conference agreement includes $34,000,000, allocated as follows: $25,000,000 for border and transportation security; $2,000,000 for the Secret Service; and $10,000,000 for emergency preparedness and response. Funding of $3,000,000 is transferred to management and administration for federal salaries and expenses.
"RAPID PROTOTYPING PROGRAM/TECHNICAL SUPPORT WORKING GROUP: The conference agreement includes $75,000,000, an increase of $45,000,000 over the budget request of $30,000,000. The conferees encourage Science and Technology to evaluate information sharing proposals between the law enforcement and intelligence communities.
"STANDARDS/STATE AND LOCAL PROGRAM: The conference agreement includes $39,000,000, as proposed by the House, which transfers $15,000,000 for development of standards from the Office for Domestic Preparedness (ODP). The conferees expect all standards development in the Department to be done by Science and Technology. Working with the public and private sectors, Science and Technology will develop a network of security certification laboratories to provide a consistent level of assurance in the effectiveness of homeland security technologies, systems, and equipment, and allow state and local governments to make better informed decisions on equipment needs. The conferees direct Science and Technology to continue the standards program established by ODP in coordination with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), consistent with the fiscal year 2003 budget directive and the 5-year plan for development with NIST. The conferees support House language regarding search and rescue robotics certification and expect the Department to develop standards and criteria for search and robotics certification. In preparing the report requested by the House on narrowbanding, Science and Technology is directed to consult with the Department of Commerce, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Department of Justice, the Department of Treasury, and major organizations that support state and local public safety agencies. The conferees support incorporation by SAFECOM of Project 25 technical standards where applicable, and encourage continued involvement of the user community in development and implementation of standards such as those being developed by Project 25 which allow for backward compatibility with existing digital and analog systems and provide for interoperability in future systems.
"EMERGING THREATS: The conferees agree to provide $21,000,000 as proposed by the House.
"CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION: The conferees agree to provide $66,500,000, of which $60,000,000 is provided for research, development, testing, and evaluation of an anti-missile device for commercial aircraft. Funding of $500,000 is transferred to management and administration for federal salaries and expenses.
"UNIVERSITY PROGRAM/HOMELAND SECURITY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAMS: The conferees agree to provide $70,000,000, an increase of $60,000,000 over the budget request of $10,000,000, to establish a university-based system to enhance the nation's homeland security efforts. The conferees encourage the Department to consider all colleges and universities that meet the requirements of 6 U.S.C. 188 in the selection of university-based centers, including historically black colleges and universities, tribal colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions, and Alaskan Native-serving institutions.
"NATIONAL BIODEFENSE ANALYSIS AND COUNTERMEASURES CENTER: The conferees agree to provide $88,000,000 to initiate construction of a National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center that is to be the principal Department of Homeland Security component of the Fort Detrick Interagency Biodefense Campus in Maryland."