Report: Federal security not being helped enough by private sector
The nonpartisan Council on Foreign Relations has released a report finding that the federal government has failed to mobilize the private sector on Homeland security.
The report, written by “America is Vulnerable” author Stephen E. Flynn, and the director of the Homeland Security Center at the Reform Institute, Daniel B. Prieto, says that “the federal government is not doing enough to harness the capabilities, assets and goodwill of the private sector to bolster our nation’s state of preparedness,” The Hill reports.
“The White House and Congress wrongly presume that market mechanisms on their own will provide sufficient incentives to provide the necessary level of security,” the report says. “Security and safety are public goods whose provision is a core responsibility of government at all levels.”
The report, entitled “Neglected Defense,” finds that the reorganization of the federal government since the Sept. 11 attacks has made communication between the public and private sector more difficult and that the private sector has not been effectively integrated into response and recovery planning, as shown by the response to Hurricane Katrina.
Flynn and Prieto suggest that Congress work with the private sector to establish security standards and enforcement regulations and to create tax incentives to promote investment in industries that pose the highest risk. They also say that the White House and Congress “need to stop talking about improving information sharing and hold government officials accountable for actually doing so” and that the Department of Homeland Security “must strengthen the quality and experience of its personnel,” The Hill reports.
“The private sector can and must play an indispensable role in addressing the many problems that have plagued the nation’s Homeland security efforts,” the report says. “But the federal government must be willing and able to enlist the private sector and provide leadership for its efforts.”