2007 Homeland security funding review: Old habits die hard

Possibly the most striking element of homeland security funding in federal fiscal year 2007 has been the contrast between newly emerging trends and practices in distributing grant funds and the more traditional methods of grantmaking we have seen in homeland security since 2002.

The Homeland Security Grants Program and the Infrastructure Protection Program both continued to follow a trend that began in 2006—making the distribution of funding more competitive. By making such programs as the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) and Transit Security Grants Program competitive, and by carving off available dollars for competition from the historically formulaic State Homeland Security Program, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has brought more accountability to the process. The PATRIOT Act still requires a small percent to be distributed to each state, but the trend is certainly toward more competitiveness and, by extension, greater responsibility among applicants to justify their projects. Even the UASI nonprofit grants were part of a national competition for the first time this year.

Once again, the stalwart Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program delivered a responsible, transparent, competitive $500 million program, which provided funding to meet the most basic needs of the nation’s firefighters and emergency medical services agencies.


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About the author

Michael Paddock serves both as Chief Executive Officer of Grants Office, a national grant development services firm, and as Grants Columnist for the award-winning HSToday magazine. In his role at Grants Office, Mr. Paddock consults with dozens of state and local governments and international agencies on homeland security funding. He contributes regularly to a wide range of publications, and he is a featured speaker at many national conferences specializing in homeland security. Mr. Paddock served from 1996-2001 on the US Interagency Electronic Grants Committee and co-founded the New York State E-grants Project in 1999. His article “Funding the First 72 Hours” was recently accepted as a reference within the National Blueprint for Secure Communities, a joint project of the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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