Good Example Of Current Strategies Applied By The Department Of Homeland Security Critical Thinking
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Analysis of the Strategy of the Department of Homeland Security
Operational strategy is an important tool for both profit and non-profit organizations. Organizations in various parts of the world articulate and mainstream their operational strategies within their plans in order to act as a point of reference. For successful implementation of organizational strategies, resources and facilities are required; the process of selecting such resources and facilities is guided by the needs of the organization and its capacity to afford them. On the other hand, global security has become an imperative social issue and has attracted the concern of different stakeholders. The need for promote national security has also compelled government departments to formulate strategies that could enhance their efforts towards security provision (Kindt, 2009). This paper will focus on an analysis of the strategies applied by the Department of Homeland Security, taking into consideration, core competencies, strengths and weaknesses.
Key words: Strategies; Department of Homeland Security, core competencies, security
Planning is an essential aspect of organizational management; it has been associated with benefits such as enhanced operational efficiency and proper resource management (Grieco, 2013). The Department of Homeland Security engages in annual plans regarding its anticipated activities and operations as an operational strategy. Currently, the department operates through its strategic plan for fiscal year 2014- 2016 (www.dhs.gov). This plan highlights and elaborates goals and objectives as well as key performance indicators that are pertinent for the implementation and the execution of the responsibilities of the Department.
Additionally, these plans are meant to highlight and explicate the core principles that will be used as guidelines in achieving the objectives of the Department. Within these plans, the DHS indicates its fiscal year budgets and how other resources will be used to achieve the desired outcomes. On the other hand, the Department of Homeland Security, through its fiscal plans, articulates its performance measures and their relevance in the process of the performing its responsibilities. The essence of articulating performance measures emerges from the Department’s commitment towards ensuring accountability and quality service provision. This is achieved through linking the performance measures to the goals and mission outcomes set forth by the department.
Planning as an operational strategy applied by the DHS is a management tool for achieving the goals and missions of the department. In addition, these plans are meant to meet the requirements of Government Performance and Results Modernization Act. There are various dimensions of planning used by the Department of Homeland Security. One of these dimensions is strategic planning. Basically, this dimension of plan entails defining the department’s strategy or anticipated direction, followed by decision making and resource allocation in order to pursue the strategy. Additionally, the department currently engages in capabilities-based planning: The use of the capabilities-based planning by the Department of Homeland Security emerges from its commitment to enhance domestic preparedness in relation to management of domestic hazard management. This is a type of plan adopted from the Department of Defense. Strategic Workforce Planning is also another dimension of planning that is currently applied by DHS as an operational strategy. In this type of planning, the department focuses on how its workforce should implement defined objectives. It entails detailed description of the resources and steps that are taken by the departmental workforce to ensure that the objectives and goals are achieved as planned.
United States Department of Homeland Security recognizes the pertinence of engaging different stakeholder in provision of national security (Sullivan, 2014). This involves the engagement of local communities, local government and state government in planning and implementation of its objectives. The department acknowledges the pertinent role local communities play in relation to prevention and control of terrorist activities. In this regard, community participation is mainstreamed in its 2014-2016 Strategic Plan. Additionally, key leaders from various government departments for instance Federal Emergency Management Authority are engaged in implementation of its strategic plans.
Prevention of domestic and national hazards is also another key role played by the Department of Homeland Security. Through its strategic plan, the department has engaged in a community-based emergency management approach. Department of Homeland Security acknowledges the fact that engaging local communities through hazard preparedness awareness enhances their level of security and resiliency to national and local hazards. This strategy is also considered appropriate as it facilitates sustainable use of resources in the process of emergency and hazard management.
Intelligence Gathering and Information Sharing
Information and intelligence plays a key role in provision of local, state and national security. Intelligence and information sharing is a crucial strategy applied by the Department of Homeland Security to achieve its goals and objectives. In order to improve intelligence gathering, the department focuses on implementation of policies, standards, processes, procures and guidelines geared towards enhancing gathering of intelligence concerning anticipated terrorism activities and other incidences of organized crime that might jeopardize national security. Additionally, the department focuses on identification and resolution of structural barriers that might hinder the process of gathering and sharing intelligence. Through its integrated departmental operations, the department focuses on enhancing its counter-intelligence capacities, thus enhancing national security.
Moreover, the Department of Homeland Security recognizes the pertinence of information sharing among its stakeholders. In this regard, it has formulated and implemented operational procedures that ensure that the right information is shared among its stakeholders at the right time. One of these procedures is the ICAM (Identity, Credential and Access Management) services facilitate the process of information sharing among concerned stakeholders. This system also ensures that information is shared at the right time, leading to high quality service provision. The other strategy that has been applied by the department to enhance information sharing within its workforce is the implementation of the CHISE program, that is, Create the Controlled Homeland Information Sharing Environment. This program entails automating and advancing the capabilities of its workforce to utilize optimized information for purposes of achieving the missions of the department.
Creating Cyber-Security Awareness and Innovation
The internet is one of the platforms that have been used to jeopardize the security and privacy of the current global populace. Department of Homeland Security has indicated commitment in increasing knowledge as well as expertise and public awareness on the pertinence of cyber-security. The department believes that the application of this strategy is not only appropriate for improving individual security, but also national security. This strategy has been applied through campaigns such as the ‘Stop. Think. Connect.’ This campaign was meant to increase public awareness and understanding on current dimensions of cyber-threats and procedures that can be taken to avoid or prevent such threats.
Innovation and knowledge development is also another significant strategy that has been applied by the department to achieve its goals and objectives. It focuses on creation and enhancing science as well as technology that are deemed necessary to create and sustain a safe and secure environment. Technological innovation is also considered a pertinent approach that could effectively prevent potential cyber threats. Knowledge creation and personal development is also another strategy applied by the department to achieve its mission. This has been achieved through education, training and provision of certification programs among its employees to enhance their capacities in handling cyber-security issues.
Provision of Essential Support to Economic and National Security
Homeland Security is an important and integral element of the United States national security as well as domestic policies (DHS, 2010). However, it is not the only element within this security policy; there are other elements such as economic security and national defense. In this regard, the Department of Homeland Security has taken a lead in supporting several activities geared towards provision of fundamental support to the economic and national security. Its participation has been implemented through; collection of custom revenues, promoting and maintaining the security of the marine transport sector, prevention of child exploitation, provision of enforcement training as well as coordinating the efforts of the Federal Government directed towards control of global intellectual property theft. The department ensures that it fulfils this role while also focusing on its core mission.
In order to enhance national security, the department also engages in law enforcement activities. This is performed through investigation, disruption, dismantling international criminal organizations as well as the prosecution of persons found guilty of certain offenses i.e. child exploitation. The department also ensures that it provides forensic support when conducting investigation by following the guidelines of the Violent Crime Reduction Trust Fund (VCRTF).
Cross-Department Management and Integration
This is another operational strategy that has been mainstreamed in the department’s fiscal plans. It is aimed at enhancing the maturity of the Homeland security and strengthening the department. The concept of integration in this strategy basically entails performing duties through a collective approach. This approach involves engaging all relevant departments and stakeholders in the management and control of Homeland Security. On the other hand, cross-departmental management strategy involves a unified decision-making approach as well as unified planning in regard to matters affecting all the departments.
Internal Resources Critical to the Implementation of DHS Operational Strategy
The Department of Homeland Security is made of various departments, characterized by a cultural background (DHS, 2010). Additionally, DHS workforce is also composed of a team of personnel with varying skills and ideas. This has enabled the department to successfully participate in different roles that enhance national security for instance: Its taskforce with appropriate knowledge on communication technologies have played a major role in enhancing national security by protecting incidences of national threat and creating public awareness regarding the importance of national security. The availability of a diverse taskforce has also enabled the department to facilitate activities geared towards formulation of national strategic plans, thus leading to efficiency of service provision.
Existence of a diverse team is one of the strengths of the Department of Homeland Security. A diverse taskforce plays a significant role in generation of varying ideas and knowledge that can be used to implement the department’s operational strategy. Diversity in the implementation of the department’s strategy has also been achieved by engaging different stakeholders within the department in planning and implementation of plans. On the other hand, the department has a platform that enables its taskforce to engage in knowledge development. This platform majorly focuses on technological innovation and knowledge development in order to enhance efforts directed towards the management of cyber-threats.
However, the major weakness of the department in relation to unification of its departments and engagement of stakeholders to implement its strategies in a collaborative manner is conflict of ideas. The department acknowledges the fact that in the recent years, this has been a major problem, especially during policy formulation. Such conflicts occur in the sense that engagement of different stakeholders during policy formulation leads to generation of different and conflicting ideas that might delay decision-making processes. The Department of Homeland Security relies on financial resources provided by the Federal government. This means that any economic crisis or financial situation that might affect the governments capacity to provide such funds, also affects the operation of the department. In most cases, governments tend to react to economic crises by cutting-off funds directed to its affiliate departments.
Core and Distinct Competencies of the Department of Homeland Security
Performance Monitoring and Reporting
The department has indicated it level of competency through enhancing accountability and performance measures. This is also an indication to high quality service provision through improved performance. In addition, the essence of conducting performance measures and reporting is an indication of a high level of accountability in relation to implementation of its objectives. This has been successfully achieved by the efforts of the department to produce annual financial and performance reports, which are published for critical reviews among concerned stakeholders and the general public.
Knowledge Development, Innovation and Capacity Building
Efficiency of service provision has been considered one of the most important elements of both profit and non-profit making organizational strategies. The department has indicated a high level of competence in relation to quality and efficient service provision. This has been achieved by the fact that it focuses on knowledge development and technological innovation as a means to enhance certain aspects of security provision. The department has also taken into consideration the fact that the United States populace is susceptible to certain natural disasters. In this case, it has implemented programs geared towards enhancing the capacity of local communities on how to prepare and control such disasters. On the other hand, through its public awareness campaigns, it has enhanced public awareness on issues ascribed to cyber-security, thus improving the overall national security. Training and education is recognized as a crucial channel for skill development within the department. Therefore, the department offers training and education to its taskforce as a means to enhancing their performance. Taking these factors into consideration, it is apparent that the department appreciates a holistic approach towards provision of national security, thus indicating a high level of competence in the implementation of its activities.
Evaluation of Resource Availability within DHS to Meet its Goals
Relationship between DHS’s Core Activities and its Goals and Strategies
As aforementioned, the overall vision of the Department of Homeland Security is to enhance homeland security, through prevention of terrorist activities and disaster management. The department strives to achieve this vision by engaging in various activities. One of these activities involves performing border patrols and surveillance. In addition, the department engages in activities that entail intelligence security intelligence gathering as well as protection of cyber-threats through creating public awareness and education. These activities are indicators that the Department of Homeland Security operates in accordance to the stipulations of its vision and goals.
The essence of engaging in public awareness campaigns as means of enhancing national security, through improved public capacity to manage cyber-security threat is an indication that the department aligns itself to stakeholder engagement as one its operational strategy. It has also indicated its alignment to this strategy through its initiative that entails cross-department management and planning. This ensures that its overall managerial activities as well as planning are performed in a collaborative approach, thus enhancing efficiency and high quality service provision.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Dawson, J. (2013). Science and Technology Are a Focus of Debate on New Homeland Security Department. Physics Today, 22-22.
Grieco, N. (2013). Contemporary Organizational Strategies. Milan: Springer ;.
Homeland Security. (n.d.). Retrieved March 5, 2015, from http://www.dhs.gov/strategic-plan-fiscal-years-fy-2014-2018
Kindt, M. (2009). The world's most threatening terrorist networks and criminal gangs. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Sullivan, T. (2014). Department of Homeland Security Intelligence Enterprise overview and issues. New York: Nova Science Publisher's.
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