The House of Representatives has passed the FY 2004 Department of Homeland
Security Appropriations Bill. This measure, H.R. 2555, was passed on
June 24, and includes higher funding for the Science and Technology
budget than that requested by the Bush Administration.
The current budget for Science and Technology - Research,
Development, Acquisition, and Operations is $551.9 million. The
Administration requested $803.4 million for FY 2004. The House
approved $900.4 million, an increase of $348.4 million or 63.1%.
There is fairly extensive language regarding science and technology
programs in the accompanying House appropriations committee report,
H. Report 108-169. In addition to the selections below, the report contains
language regarding Deployment of Radiation Detection Technologies, Interoperable
Public Safety Communications, Coordination with Other Federal Agencies,
Biological Countermeasures, Nuclear and Radiological Countermeasures,
Chemical and High Explosives Countermeasures, Threat and Vulnerability
- Testing and Assessment, Conventional Missions in Support of the Department,
Standards/State and Local Program, Emerging Threats, and Critical Infrastructure
Protection. The committee report, available at http://thomas.loc.gov/
details recommended funding levels for each of these programs. Selections
from the committee's report follows:
"MISSION: The mission of Science and Technology is to develop
and deploy cutting edge technologies and new capabilities to secure
our homeland. The program will conduct, stimulate and enable research,
development, test, evaluation, and timely transition of homeland security
capabilities to federal, state, and local operational end-users. This
includes investments in both evolutionary and revolutionary capabilities
with high payoff potential, early deployment of off-the-shelf technologies
to provide initial defense capability and near-term utilization of emerging
technologies to counter today's terrorist threats, and development of
new capabilities to thwart future and emerging threats."
"As part of the Science and Technology program, the Homeland Security
Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) will have an essential
role in engaging the private sector, the academic community, and
others in innovative technology development, rapid prototyping, and
prototype systems engineering and development of new homeland
security technologies. A Homeland Security Institute will also be
established for studies and analysis."
"SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ACTIVITIES: The Department is directed
to provide a report to the Committee by December 15, 2003, identifying
all research, development, test and evaluation, and standards development
work being performed by Departmental elements other than the Office
of Science and Technology. The report should provide a brief description
of the work being performed, the total estimated cost, the annual cost,
the schedule for completion; and an explanation of why this work is
not being funded in the Science and Technology program."
"PUBLIC SAFETY TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER CENTERS: The Committee
is aware that a critical mission of the Office of Science and Technology
is to identify, research, develop, test and evaluate, and facilitate
the transfer of technologies to enhance the nation's security. To accomplish
this, Science and Technology will establish a number of centers and
institutes to provide these services. The Committee is also aware there
are numerous organizations, agencies, universities, and others that
have the capability to provide a variety of these services. The Committee
encourages Science and Technology to work with a public safety institute
with experience in establishing and working with public safety-oriented
technology centers to serve as a `hub' for this network and to assist
the Department in establishing the architecture and coordination of
the Department's network of centers."
"RAPID PROTOTYPING PROGRAM/TECHNICAL SUPPORT WORKING GROUP:
The Committee recommends $80,000,000, an increase of $50,000,000 over
the budget request of $30,000,000, for the Rapid Prototyping Program.
Working in partnership with the Technical Support Working Group, the
Department will access the capabilities of private industry for rapid
development and prototyping of technologies. The Committee strongly
supports this effort and has provided an additional $50,000,000 to encourage
and support innovative solutions to enhance homeland security and engage
the private sector in rapid prototyping of homeland security technologies.
"The Committee has received numerous requests for funding homeland
security research projects and technologies proposed by universities,
national laboratories, not-for-profit institutions, and private
companies. The Committee expects the Department to identify areas of
importance for new homeland security products and technologies and
issue competitive solicitations to provide additional opportunities
for participation by a wide variety of interested participants.
"The Committee believes that distance learning technologies can
great benefit to local first responders, especially rural communities
that may otherwise have difficulties receiving important information
and training. The Committee is aware that the department is already
using distance learning technologies in its agency field offices and
encourages the Department to use this important tool."
"UNIVERSITY PROGRAMS/FELLOWSHIP PROGRAMS: The Committee
recommends $35,000,000, an increase of $25,000,000 over the budget request,
for University Program/Fellowship Programs. The Committee has provided
an additional $25,000,000 for university-based centers of excellence.
There has been intense interest from universities with proposals to
perform homeland security activities. This additional funding will allow
the Department to evaluate and fund more university proposals in fiscal
year 2004. In addition to this program, universities will also have
access to specific project funding in each of the other program areas
on a competitive basis.
"Not all funding for universities is included in this account.
Funding for the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium and the
Centers for Emergency Preparedness is provided in the Office for
Domestic Preparedness. The Committee expects the Department to
coordinate the university activities conducted by the Office for
Domestic Preparedness with the university centers of excellence in
the Science and Technology program. The Department should report to
the Committee on how these university programs will be coordinated
within the Department to prevent duplication, leverage existing
academic resources, and provide maximum benefit to meet homeland