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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.