The Senate Appropriations Committee has completed work on the FY 2004 Department of Homeland Security Bill. The House passed its version of this funding legislation on June 24 (see FYI #81.). Both bills provide more funding for the Science and Technology account than requested by the White House. The Bush Administration requested $803.4 million for the department's Science and Technology - Research, Development, Acquisition and Operations account (there are other S&T programs within the department.) The current budget for this account is $551.9 million. The full House approved $900.4 million for the next fiscal year, an increase of 63.1%. The Senate Appropriations Committee has recommended $866.0 million, an increase of $314.1 million or 56.9% over this year.
A table in Senate Report 108-086 provides specific funding recommendations for various programs within this account. What follows is the report language in this section of the report:
"The Science and Technology Directorate was established by Congress by Public Law 107-296, the Homeland Security Act of 2002, to support the advance of homeland security through basic and applied research; fabrication of prototypes and full-scale preproduction hardware; and procurement of products, systems and other capital equipment necessary for the provision and upgrading of capabilities to detect, destroy, dispose, and mitigate the effects of weapons of mass destruction. The Science and Technology Directorate also supports other directorates and activities of the Department in developing, acquiring and fielding equipment and procedures necessary for performing their missions."
"The Homeland Security Act of 2002 established the Science and Technology Directorate to coordinate and integrate all research, development, demonstration, testing, and evaluation activities of the Department of Homeland Security to reduce the possibility of duplication and redundancy. The Committee provides $64,000,000 for research and development for activities supporting conventional missions of the Department and directs the Under Secretary for Science and Technology to coordinate research priorities with other directorates of the Department. Research and development support activities shall be distributed as follows: $30,000,000 for Border and Transportation Security; $15,000,000 for the United States Coast Guard; $4,000,000 for the United States Secret Service; and $15,000,000 for Emergency Preparedness and Response.
"The Committee recognizes the need for a strong cyber security research and development program and provides $18,000,000 for threat and vulnerability testing assessments to develop the most appropriate technologies for next generation cyber threat characterization, cyber threat detection, and cyber threat origination. The Committee expects the Under Secretary for Science and Technology to coordinate these activities with the Under Secretary for Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection.
"The Committee provides $55,000,000 for the establishment of a university-based system to enhance the Nation's homeland security efforts.
"The Committee provides $70,000,000 for the rapid development and prototyping of technologies in support of homeland security and the continuation of the partnership with the Technical Support Working Group [TSWG] as a technology clearinghouse. The Committee directs the Under Secretary for Science and Technology to coordinate with other Directorates to determine the best technologies available and to develop better lines of communication with other directorates to determine procedures for review and approval of technologies.
"The Committee recommends $72,000,000 for the critical infrastructure protection portfolio to utilize consistent methodologies and criteria to address uncertain and evolving threats for the assurance of infrastructure security. Of this amount, up to $60,000,000 for systems development, aircraft integration analysis, and modeling and simulation performance assessment of an antimissile device for commercial aircraft may be made available. This is the amount recommended by the Under Secretary for Science and Technology in the 'Program Plan for the Development of an Antimissile Device for Commercial Aircraft' provided to the Committees on Appropriations on May 22, 2003.
"The Committee provides $20,000,000 for the construction of the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center. This appropriation, in addition to unobligated balances of funds appropriated for biological research and defense activities by Public Law 107-248, will provide the full $90,000,000 requested for fiscal year 2004 to construct the Center. The Committee encourages the Under Secretary to coordinate construction activities with the Secretary of the Department of Defense and the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services in the development of the Fort Detrick Biodefense Campus.
"Currently, there is a lack of standards within the field of biometrics. While the National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST] has developed fingerprint image data exchange guidelines, it has not addressed other technologies such as facial recognition. The International Committee for Information Technology Standards is attempting to define biometric standards for data interchange formats, common file formats, application program interfaces, profiles, and performance testing and reporting, but has not yet completed its work. The biometrics community still lacks complete standards for accuracy (false non-match rate, real-world performance goals) and interoperability. There are a number of major technology systems within the Department, and across the government, which capture or use biometric data that would benefit from the development of standards for these images and systems. The Committee encourages the Under Secretary to consider, in coordination with NIST, the development of standards in the field of biometrics.
"The Homeland Security Act of 2002 authorizes the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate to 'analyze law enforcement information, intelligence information, and other information from agencies of the Federal Government' and 'to identify and assess the nature of terrorist threats'. The Committee is concerned that the intelligence operations of the Department of Homeland Security have experienced inadequacies in collecting threat information from other agencies of the Federal Government while at the same time separate, individual intelligence centers are being established and diminishing the original intent of centralizing intelligence gathering. The Committee expects the Secretary to work with other Federal agencies in the coordination of information sharing for the protection of the Nation's critical infrastructures."