The DHS Directorate of Science and Technology: Key Issues for Congress
Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress
The Directorate of Science and Technology is the primary organization for research and
development (R&D) in the Department of Homeland Security. With an appropriated budget of
$830.3 million in FY2008 and a requested budget of $868.8 million in FY2009, it conducts R&D
in several laboratories of its own; funds R&D conducted by other government agencies, the
Department of Energy national laboratories, industry, and universities; and managed operational
systems. The directorate consists primarily of six divisions: Chemical and Biological; Explosives;
Command, Control, and Interoperability; Borders and Maritime Security; Infrastructure and
Geophysical; and Human Factors. Additional offices have responsibilities, such as laboratory
facilities and university programs, that cut across the divisions. The directorate is headed by the
Under Secretary for Science and Technology, Admiral Jay M. Cohen.
Congress and others have been highly critical of the directorate’s performance. Although
management changes have somewhat muted this criticism, fundamental issues remain. Among
• the allocation of R&D funding within the directorate’s programs, including the
balance among basic research, applied research, and development and the
proportion of funds allocated to government, industry, and academia;
• how the directorate sets priorities, including its use of strategic planning
documents, its system of Integrated Product Teams, and the extent to which it
bases priorities on risk assessment;
• the nature and effectiveness of the directorate’s relationships with other federal
R&D organizations, such as the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, other
organizations inside DHS, the Department of Energy national laboratories, and
• the definition of the directorate’s mission, such as identification of its customers,
the scope of its R&D role within DHS, and the extent of its non-R&D missions;
• the directorate’s budgeting and financial management, including the quality of its
budget documents and the persistence of unobligated balances;
• the directorate’s responsiveness to industry and Congress; and
• the establishment of metrics and goals for evaluating the directorate’s output.
Relevant legislation in the 110th Congress includes the Department of Homeland Security
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (H.R. 1684); the FY2008 appropriations legislation (H.R.
2638, S. 1644, and P.L. 110-161); the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission
Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-53); and several other bills.
Introduc tion ..................................................................................................................................... 1
Mission, Organization, and Assets..................................................................................................1
Miss ion ...................................................................................................................................... 1
Orga niza tion ................................................................................................................... ........... 2
Laboratories and Other Assets..................................................................................................4
Environmental Measurements Laboratory..........................................................................4
Plum Island Animal Disease Center...................................................................................5
Transportation Security Laboratory....................................................................................5
National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center..............................................6
Homeland Security Institute...............................................................................................6
DOE National Laboratories................................................................................................9
Cross-Cutting Policy Issues.............................................................................................................9
Defining the Directorate’s Mission.........................................................................................10
Customers ......................................................................................................................... 10
Scope of R&D Role...........................................................................................................11
Functions Other than R&D................................................................................................11
Prioritization and Strategic Planning.......................................................................................12
Priorities Reflected in Allocation of Funding...................................................................14
Integrated Product Teams..................................................................................................14
Use of External Advice.....................................................................................................15
Analysis of Threat Information.........................................................................................16
Balance of R&D by Type and Performer................................................................................17
Basic Research, Applied Research, and Development......................................................17
Intramural and Extramural................................................................................................22
Difficulty of Tracking Budget Trends.....................................................................................24
Information in the President’s Budget..............................................................................24
Information in DHS Budget Justifications........................................................................25
Relationships with Other R&D Organizations........................................................................27
Consolidation of R&D within DHS..................................................................................27
Role of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office...............................................................29
Relationship with the DOE National Laboratories...........................................................29
Metrics and Goals for Directorate Output...............................................................................32
Responsiveness to Stakeholders..............................................................................................34
Industry ............................................................................................................................. 34
Congress....................................................................................................................... ..... 36
Overview of Legislation in the 110th Congress.............................................................................36
DHS Authorization Act for FY2008........................................................................................37
FY2008 Appropriations Legislation........................................................................................37
Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act..............................................37
Chemical and Biological...................................................................................................45
Explosives ......................................................................................................................... 45
Infrastructure and Geophysical.........................................................................................45
Command, Control, and Interoperability..........................................................................46
Borders and Maritime Security.........................................................................................46
Research (Laboratory Facilities and University Programs)..............................................46
Innovation (HSARPA and SBIR)......................................................................................46
Transition (SAFETY Act and Technology Clearinghouse)...............................................47
Test and Evaluation and Standards...................................................................................47
Agency and International Liaison.....................................................................................47
Management and Administration......................................................................................48
Figure 1. Organization of the S&T Directorate...............................................................................3
Figure 2. FY2008 Funding for the S&T Directorate.......................................................................4
Figure 3. DHS R&D by Character of Work..................................................................................20
Figure 4. S&T Directorate Statistics on R&D Performer Types, FY2008....................................24
Table 1. DHS R&D by Character of Work....................................................................................19
Table 2. S&T Directorate Statistics on Basic Research, Applied Research, and
Table 3. Categories of R&D as Described by the S&T Directorate..............................................22
Table 4. S&T Directorate Unobligated Balances..........................................................................26
Table C-1. S&T Directorate Budget Authority, FY2003-FY2007.................................................42
Table C-2. S&T Directorate Budget Authority, FY2007-FY2009.................................................43
Appendix A. Responsibilities and Authorities of the Under Secretary.........................................39
Appendix B. Previous Organizational Structure of the S&T Directorate......................................41
Appendix C. Funding History of the S&T Directorate..................................................................42
Appendix D. Activities of the S&T Directorate............................................................................45
Author Contact Information..........................................................................................................48
The Directorate of Science and Technology (S&T) is the primary organization for research and
development (R&D) in the Department of Homeland Security. With a budget of $830.3 million in
FY2008, the directorate conducts R&D in several laboratories of its own; funds R&D conducted
by other government agencies, the Department of Energy national laboratories, industry, and
universities; and managed operational systems.
Congress has been highly critical of the directorate’s performance. For example, in 2006, the
House Appropriations Committee said it was “concerned about the ability of [the] S&T
[Directorate] to advance the use of science and technology in battling terrorism and against other
hazards related to homeland security,” and the Senate Appropriations Committee called the
directorate “a rudderless ship without a clear way to get back on course” and said it was 1
“extremely disappointed with the manner in which [the] S&T [Directorate] is being managed.”
Although management changes since that time have somewhat muted this criticism, fundamental
issues remain. This report describes the evolving mission, organization, and assets of the S&T
Directorate and the activities it conducts. It outlines key policy issues, including the balance of
the directorate’s programs, its priorities and how they are set, its relationships with other R&D
organizations, its mission, its budgeting and financial management, and other concerns. Other
R&D organizations in the department (such as the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office and the
R&D activities of the U.S. Coast Guard) are discussed only to the extent that they relate to the
The Homeland Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-296), which established the Department of
Homeland Security (DHS), created within DHS a Directorate of Science and Technology, headed
by an Under Secretary for Science and Technology. The directorate was not given a concise
statutory mission. Instead, the Homeland Security Act gave the Under Secretary a wide-ranging
list of responsibilities and authorities. (For the complete list, see Appendix A.) The current Under
Secretary, Admiral Jay M. Cohen, has summarized his interpretation of the S&T Directorate’s
multifaceted mission as follows: “The S&T Directorate’s mission is to protect the homeland by
providing Federal, State, local, and Tribal officials with state-of-the-art technology and 2
Some of the Under Secretary’s responsibilities and authorities are primarily coordinative. These
1 H.Rept. 109-476, p. 110, and S.Rept. 109-273, p. 88.
2 Under Secretary for Science and Technology Jay M. Cohen, Department of Homeland Security, testimony before the
House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Science, and Technology,
September 7, 2006.
• planning and coordinating the federal civilian effort to develop countermeasures
against terrorist threats;
• collaborating with the Secretary of Agriculture, the Attorney General, and the
Secretary of Health and Human Services in the designation and regulation of
biological “select agents”;
• coordinating with other appropriate executive agencies to reduce R&D
duplication and identify unmet needs; and
• coordinating and integrating the department’s activities in R&D, demonstration,
testing, and evaluation.
All these tasks involve stakeholders who do not report to the Under Secretary, so the Under
Secretary’s ability to perform his duties relies on the cooperation of other agencies.
Another group of responsibilities and authorities are in support of other DHS organizations.
• advising the Secretary on R&D efforts and priorities;
• supporting the Under Secretary for National Protection and Programs (formerly
the Under Secretary for Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection) by
assessing and testing vulnerabilities and threats; and
• overseeing department-wide guidelines for merit review of R&D.
Finally, some of the Under Secretary’s responsibilities and authorities specify functions of the
S&T Directorate itself. These include
• establishing and administering the primary R&D activities of the department;
• conducting basic and applied research, development, demonstration, testing, and
• establishing a system for transferring technologies to federal, state, and local
governments and the private sector; and
• generally supporting U.S. leadership in science and technology.
Under Secretary Cohen reorganized the management structure of the S&T Directorate soon after
his confirmation in August 2006. He previously served as Chief of Naval Research (2000-2006),
and the reorganized structure, described below, is conceptually similar to the one he established
for the Office of Naval Research. For a discussion of the previous structure of the S&T
Directorate, which may be useful in understanding budgets and other documents from before the
transition, see Appendix B.
Figure 1. Organization of the S&T Directorate
Source: CRS based on DHS documents and presentations.
Notes: T&E = Testing and Evaluation. HSARPA = Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency. The
Office of National Laboratories and the Office of University Programs are parts of the Office of Research.
HSARPA is part of the Office of Innovation. As indicated by the dashed lines and shading, the directors of the
Offices of Research, Innovation, and Transition liaise with each of the six divisions.
The organizational structure of the S&T Directorate is shown in Figure 1. The directorate
consists primarily of six divisions: the Chemical and Biological; Explosives; Command, Control,
and Interoperability; Borders and Maritime Security; Infrastructure and Geophysical; and Human
Factors Divisions. These are the directorate’s main performers and funders of R&D in their
respective topical areas. Coordinating the activities of the divisions are the Offices of Research,
Innovation, and Transition; these offices also conduct some activities of their own. Other
functions are performed by the Offices of Test and Evaluation and Standards; Special Programs;
and Agency and International Liaison. Each of these 12 divisions and offices is headed by a
director who reports directly to the Under Secretary. As indicated by the dashed lines and shading
in Figure 1, the directors of the Offices of Research, Innovation, and Transition liaise with each
of the six divisions. For more information on the activities of the various components, see
The total enacted FY2008 funding for the S&T Directorate was $830.3 million. Figure 2 shows
how this figure was allocated to the divisions, offices, and other activities. The Management and
Administration account funds the Office of the Under Secretary as well as salaries and benefits
for headquarters employees who work in the other offices and divisions. The Office of Special
Programs and the Office of Agency and International Liaison receive funds indirectly through
transfers from the other programs. For more information on funding, including the Administration
request for FY2009, see Appendix C.
Figure 2. FY2008 Funding for the S&T Directorate
Source: CRS analysis of the explanatory statement for H.R. 2764, Congressional Record, December 17, 2007.
The S&T Directorate has a variety of R&D assets that support its activities. Some are laboratories
that were transferred into the Department of Homeland Security when it was created in 2002.
(The transfers became effective in early 2003.) Other assets have been established more recently
under the authority of the Homeland Security Act.
The Environmental Measurements Laboratory (EML) in New York City was formerly in the
Department of Energy. It was transferred to the S&T Directorate by Sec. 303 of the Homeland
Security Act. Historically, the focus of EML was detection and monitoring of low-level radiation
releases. The transfer of EML to the S&T Directorate required a realignment of EML’s activities
to meet homeland security goals. According to some experts, this realignment process was 3
contentious. DHS officials reportedly debated whether EML is most appropriately positioned in
the S&T Directorate or the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO, discussed more below);
whether EML should be closed; and whether EML should be reduced in size and the remaining
3 EML realignment and related issues were discussed at a hearing of the House Committee on Science and Technology,
Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, Transitioning the Environmental Measurements Laboratory at the
Department of Homeland Security, held May 3, 2007.
capabilities relocated. In May 2007, Under Secretary Cohen testified that EML will remain in the
S&T Directorate; that it will continue to operate, supporting both DNDO and other DHS 4
organizations; and that it will remain in its current location but in smaller, “right sized” facilities.
The Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC), on Plum Island off the coast of Long Island,
NY, was transferred from the Department of Agriculture to the S&T Directorate by Sec. 310 of
the Homeland Security Act. The PIADC provides a federal facility where R&D can be performed
on animal pathogens that might threaten livestock on a national level. Its research seeks to find
quicker ways to diagnose animal diseases and to develop vaccines and other veterinary treatments
for infected animals. The PIADC has been in service for over 50 years, and questions have been
raised about the state of its laboratory infrastructure and the adequacy of that infrastructure to 5
continue performing necessary R&D for DHS. The department is currently assessing sites and
proposals for a new National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) to expand the
Department’s R&D capabilities. The NBAF might be built on Plum Island or on the mainland.
The PIADC laboratories would be decommissioned once NBAF opened. Some policymakers
have expressed concern regarding the proposed move of foot-and-mouth disease research from an 6
island to the mainland, and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has testified that more
information and analysis should be performed to determine the magnitude of risks associated with 7
moving such research from Plum Island to the mainland. Through the 2008 farm bill, Congress
required the Secretary of Agriculture issue a permit to DHS allowing research on live foot-and-8
mouth disease virus on the mainland at any successor facility to PIADC. For more information
on NBAF, see CRS Report RL34160, The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility: Issues for 9
The Transportation Security Laboratory (TSL) in Atlantic City, NJ, was formerly in the
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and before that in the Federal Aviation
Administration. It became part of DHS along with the rest of TSA under Sec. 403 of the
Homeland Security Act. It was transferred to the S&T Directorate in FY2006 as part of an effort
to consolidate the department’s R&D activities. The TSL performs research, development, and
4 Under Secretary Jay M. Cohen, statement before the House Committee on Science and Technology, Subcommittee on
Investigations and Oversight, Transitioning the Environmental Measurements Laboratory at the Department of
Homeland Security, hearing held May 3, 2007.
5 Government Accountability Office, Combating Bioterrorism: Actions Needed to Improve Security at Plum Island
Animal Disease Center, GAO-03-847, September 2003; Plum Island Animal Disease Center: DHS and USDA Are
Successfully Coordinating Current Work, but Long-Term Plans Are Being Assessed, GAO-06-132, December 2005;
and Plum Island Animal Disease Center: DHS Has Made Significant Progress Implementing Security
Recommendations, but Several Recommendations Remain Open, GAO-08-306R, December 17, 2007.
6 See, for example, statements by Members during House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on
Oversight and Investigations, Germs, Viruses and Secrets: Government Plans to Move Exotic Disease Research to the
Mainland United States, hearing held May 22, 2008.
7 Government Accountability Office, High-containment Biosafety Laboratories: DHS Lacks Evidence to Conclude
That Foot-and-Mouth Disease Research Can Be Done Safely on the U.S. Mainland, GAO-08-821T, May 22, 2008.
8 P.L. 110-234, Sec. 7524.
9 Further information from DHS on the proposed NBAF is online at http://www.dhs.gov/xres/labs/editorial_0762.shtm.
testing and evaluation activities, primarily in the area of detection and mitigation of explosives 10
and conventional weapons threats.
The Homeland Security Act established a National Bio-Weapons Defense Analysis Center in the
Department of Defense (Sec. 1708) and then transferred it, along with its funding, to the DHS
S&T Directorate (Sec. 303). Subsequently renamed the National Biodefense Analysis and
Countermeasures Center (NBACC), this center exists as both a program office and a laboratory
facility. The facility, currently under construction in Ft. Detrick, MD, will include high-
biocontainment laboratories that can perform homeland security biodefense research and
bioforensics. When construction is complete, it will be operated by a contractor as a federally
funded research and development center (FFRDC). For more information on NBACC, see CRS
Report RL32891, The National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center: Issues for
The Homeland Security Institute (HSI) is an FFRDC established under Sec. 312 of the Homeland 11
Security Act and managed on the S&T Directorate’s behalf by Analytic Services, Inc. It assists
the directorate in addressing homeland security issues that require scientific, technical, and
analytical expertise. Its main focus is systems analysis and evaluation. Most of its funds are
received on a per-project basis from programs that request its assistance; for the first time in
FY2008, the institute also has its own appropriation of $5.0 million. Under a sunset provision in
the Homeland Security Act as originally passed, the institute would have terminated in November
2005. The Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2005 (P.L. 108-334) extended
this termination date to five years after the institute’s establishment, i.e. April 2009. Some in
Congress have doubted the institute’s ability to provide effective, independent analysis of DHS
programs, because DHS provides its funding and because, if Congress extends the 2009
termination date, the current contractor may wish to compete for a continuation of its 12
management contract. On the other hand, Congress established the institute specifically to
provide analysis to DHS, and there has been little congressional criticism of specific Homeland
Security Institute reports.
10 A more detailed discussion of TSL activities can be found in the testimony of Susan J. Hallowell, Director,
Transportation Security Laboratory, Science and Technology Directorate, Department of Homeland Security, before
the House Committee on Science and Technology, Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation, April 24, 2008.
11 The HSI website is online at http://www.homelandsecurity.org.
12 See, for example, questions by Members at House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on
Oversight and Investigations, Nuclear Terrorism Prevention: Status Report on the Federal Government’s Assessment
of New Radiation Detection Monitors, hearing held September 18, 2007. (Hearing transcript not yet published.
Archived webcast: http://energycommerce.house.gov/cmte_mtgs/110-oi-hrg.091807.NuclearTerrorism.shtml.)
Recompeted contracts for FFRDCs are sometimes awarded to another contractor. For example, the Science and
Technology Policy Institute, which provides analytic support to the White House Office of Science and Technology
Policy, was operated by the RAND Corporation until 2003 but is now operated by the Institute for Defense Analyses.
The Homeland Security Act requires the Under Secretary to establish at least one university-13
based center for homeland security (Sec. 308). Eleven university centers of excellence have
been established so far:
• the Center for Border Security and Immigration (COE-BSI), led by the
University of Arizona and the University of Texas at El Paso;
• the Center for Explosives Detection, Mitigation, and Response, led by
Northeastern University and the University of Rhode Island;
• the Center for Maritime, Island and Port Security, led by the University of 14
Hawaii and Stevens Institute of Technology;
• the Center for Natural Disasters, Coastal Infrastructure, and Emergency
Management, led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Jackson
• the Center for Transportation Security, led by Texas Southern University in 15
Houston, Tougaloo College, and the University of Connecticut;
• the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE), led
by the University of Southern California;
• the National Center for Food Protection and Defense (NCFPD), led by the
University of Minnesota;
• the National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense (FAZD),
led by Texas A&M University;
• the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism
(START), led by the University of Maryland;
• the National Center for the Study of Preparedness and Catastrophic Event
Response (PACER), led by Johns Hopkins University; and
• the Center for Advancing Microbial Risk Assessment (CAMRA), led by
Michigan State University (established jointly with the Environmental Protection
These centers are operated by consortia of universities. Some consortia include non-university
partners. Although each consortium contains numerous members, funding and activities are
typically concentrated at the lead institution and a small number of major partners. Funding for
13 University centers are discussed in more detail in a CRS congressional distribution memorandum, “Department of
Homeland Security Centers of Excellence Program,” by John F. Sargent, October 26, 2007.
14 The Center for Maritime, Island and Port Security is divided into two sub-centers, the Center for Island, Maritime,
and Extreme Environment Security (CIMES) at the University of Hawaii and the National Center for Security and
Resilient Maritime Commerce and Coastal Environments (CSR) at the Stevens Institute of Technology.
DHS states that this center will satisfy the requirement in the SAFE Port Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-347) to establish a
Center of Excellence for Maritime Domain Awareness. (Personal communication, DHS Office of University Programs,
October 23, 2007.)
15 This center was mandated by the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-
53) and initially funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 (P.L. 110-161).
these centers is provided through the S&T Directorate’s Office of University Programs. The
research activities of the centers are not managed directly by DHS, but rather by administrative
staff at each center. Each center’s research strategy and plan is provided to DHS for review,
however, and the centers attempt to align their work with the needs of the department. As part of
the reorganization begun in 2006, the S&T Directorate plans to align the topics of the centers
more closely with the new research divisions. Over the next several years, where multiple centers
currently align with a single division, some will be closed or merged, and new ones will be
In addition, several university-affiliated activities are sometimes considered additional centers of
• four University Affiliate Centers (UACs), led by Rutgers University, the
University of Southern California, the University of Illinois at Urbana-
Champaign, and the University of Pittsburgh, that work with the Institute for
Discrete Sciences at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory;
• five Regional Visualization and Analytics Centers (RVACs), led by Penn State
University, Purdue University, Stanford University, the University of North
Carolina at Charlotte, and the University of Washington, that collaborate with the
National Visualization and Analytics Center at Pacific Northwest National
• two centers funded by the Infrastructure and Geophysical Division (not
University Programs): the Southeast Regional Research Initiative (SERRI) and 16
the Kentucky Critical Infrastructure Protection Institute (KCI).
The UACs and RVACs support the Division of Command, Control, and Interoperability. DHS
plans not to fund them after FY2008; it expects to establish the new Center of Excellence for
Command, Control, and Interoperability in FY2009.
The university centers of excellence and the university-affiliated activities provide the main
connection between the S&T Directorate and the academic community. As such, the university
centers of excellence are the primary mechanism for the S&T Directorate and the academic
community to interact on R&D topics. The details of these centers have been an issue of
congressional focus, with special interest given to how research at university centers of
excellence relates to DHS R&D needs and S&T Directorate priorities. In 2007, Congress
considered, but did not impose, limited terms for the university centers of excellence, and it has
since established new university centers of excellence in specific research areas. Stakeholders
resisted congressional efforts to curtail the duration of the university centers of excellence, but 17
response to Under Secretary Cohen’s realignment plans has been more muted.
16 SERRI and KCI are discussed in more detail in a CRS congressional distribution memorandum, “Select Programs
Eliminated or Reduced in the FY2008 Budget Request for the Department of Homeland Security Science and
Technology Directorate,” by Dana A. Shea and Daniel Morgan, February 20, 2007.
17 Francis Busta, Neville Clarke, Lynn R. Goldman, et al., “Cuts in Homeland Security Research,” Letter to the Editor,
Science, Vol. 313, September 15, 2006.
DHS has a special statutory relationship with the national laboratories of the Department of
Notwithstanding any other law governing the administration, mission, use, or operations of
any of the Department of Energy national laboratories and sites, such laboratories and sites
are authorized to accept and perform work for the Secretary, consistent with resources
provided, and perform such work on an equal basis to other missions at the laboratory and 18
not on a noninterference basis with other missions of such laboratory or site.
The S&T Directorate can use this authority to engage the DOE national laboratories to perform
research for DHS as if they were being tasked by DOE. This authority reduces costs for DHS and
gives its tasks equal priority with DOE tasks, unlike the tasks of other agencies that conduct R&D 19
at the national laboratories under the status of “work for others.” Early in its existence, the S&T
Directorate identified a number of DOE national laboratories that perform R&D potentially 20
relevant to homeland security, but it was criticized for having no strategy to use that capability.
DOE and DHS have since entered into a memorandum of agreement regarding the use of DOE 21
assets by DHS, and the S&T Directorate reported in May 2007 that it had aligned its use of the 22
DOE national laboratories with its reorganized division structure. Eleven of the laboratories are
included in this alignment; each division is aligned with between three and seven of them. The 23
goal of the alignment process is to provide an enduring capability for basic research.
The relationship between the S&T Directorate and the DOE national laboratories is discussed
further in the section “Relationships with Other R&D Organizations,” below.
As well as issues associated with the specific organizations and activities of the S&T Directorate
discussed above, the directorate faces a variety of broader policy concerns. These include
• the evolution of its mission;
• its allocation of resources to basic research, applied research, and development;
• its choice of intramural or extramural performers for R&D;
18 Homeland Security Act of 2002, Sec. 309(a)(2).
19 “Work for others” is research or technical assistance done by a DOE laboratory or a DOE technology center for a
non-DOE entity, either private or federal. Such work is fully funded by the non-DOE entity, and national laboratory
eligibility to do such work is described in DOE Order 481.1B. See Work for Others (Non-Department of Energy
Funded Work), Department of Energy Order 481.1B, September 28, 2001. See also 48 C.F.R. 970.1707.
20 Comments of Charles E. McQueary, Under Secretary for Science and Technology, in the minutes of the Homeland
Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee, February 26, 2004; and Government Accountability Office,
Homeland Security: DHS Needs a Strategy to Use DOE’s Laboratories for Research on Nuclear, Biological, and
Chemical Detection and Response Technologies, GAO-04-653, May 2004.
21 See Reimbursable Work for the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Energy Order 484.1, August 17,
22 Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate, Strategic Plan, May 2007, p. 11.
23 Personal communication with DHS Office of National Laboratories, December 10, 2007.
• its process for prioritization and strategic planning;
• its relationships with other R&D organizations, both inside and outside DHS;
• problems with its budget documents and financial management systems;
• its responsiveness to Congress and industry; and
• metrics for evaluating its performance.
The Homeland Security Act did not give the S&T Directorate a concise statutory mission.
Instead, it listed a variety of responsibilities and authorities for the Under Secretary. These were
summarized at the beginning of this report and are reproduced in full in Appendix A. Different
people at different times have had different conceptions of the directorate’s mission. This section
discusses three aspects of that debate: whether the directorate’s “customers” are the other
components of DHS, the ultimate end users, such as state and local first responders, or both; the
scope of the directorate’s R&D mission relative to other DHS components (such as DNDO); and
the extent to which the directorate’s role should include operational and other responsibilities as
well as R&D.
During the tenure of former Under Secretary Charles E. McQueary (2003-2006), customers were
described as being both internal (other directorates and units of the department) and external 24
(state and local homeland security officials and first responders). The needs of such a diverse
group are broad and varied, and identifying and meeting those needs proved to be a challenge. In
May 2006, the House Committee on Appropriations reported that
S&T has failed to adequately convey its role or how it supports missions of DHS component
agencies.... Many DHS components express skepticism or even ignorance about the value of 25
S&T in serving their agencies.
Since the appointment of Under Secretary Cohen, the directorate has identified its immediate
customers as the DHS components, although still in a formulation that recognizes end users. In
congressional testimony in September 2006, the Under Secretary referred to his
vision for and realignment of the Directorate to better meet the mission needs of our
customers—the DHS Components; and the customers of our customers—the first responders 26
and men and women that S&T enables to make the Nation safer.
He emphasized the need for the directorate to be more attuned to the needs of its DHS customers:
24 See, for example, minutes of the Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee, February 23-24,
25 H.Rept. 109-476.
26 Under Secretary for Science and Technology Jay M. Cohen, Department of Homeland Security, testimony before the
House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Science, and Technology,
September 7, 2006.
Our DHS customers need an organization that is easier to access in order to utilize
technologies and solutions that will make their jobs better, more efficient, more cost
effective, and safer. The S&T Directorate needs to be more accessible in order for the DHS
components to leverage the value added of the good work the men and women of S&T are 27
bringing to the fight.
The subject-matter boundaries of the directorate’s R&D role within DHS have expanded and
contracted since its establishment. As discussed above, it has absorbed programs from several
other DHS organizations, but Congress rejected proposals that it take over certain Coast Guard
activities, and the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office is now a separate organization with
responsibility for radiological and nuclear countermeasures. Given that the S&T Directorate is
not the only R&D operation within DHS, questions remain about what principles determine the
types of R&D it should do, and when another organization should take on a particular R&D topic.
The scope of research undertaken by the S&T Directorate through its component entities also has
been questioned. When DHS was established, Congress also created within the S&T Directorate
the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA), which was to administer
a newly developed Acceleration Fund for Research and Development of Homeland Security 28
Technologies. The scope of research undertaken by this agency has evolved since it was created.
Initially, it was unclear how the S&T Directorate would implement HSARPA; given the similarity
of its name to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), some experts in the
scientific community believed it would, as DARPA does, fund high risk/high reward research
endeavors. Instead, the S&T Directorate used HSARPA to conduct its extramural research
activities while funding mainly traditional R&D activities.
Under Secretary Cohen, as part of his reorganization of the S&T Directorate, has redirected the
work of HSARPA. The role of HSARPA is much reduced from past years, when it was
responsible for nearly all of the directorate’s extramural R&D. It is now focused on activities with
high risk and high reward. Through its Homeland Innovative Prototypical Solutions (HIPS) and
High Impact Technology Solutions (HITS) programs, HSARPA now performs research activities
more in the DARPA model.
The best way to use HSARPA and its attendant funding may continue to be a topic of
congressional interest. Supporters of the DARPA model point out that while the risks are high,
successes from such investment may yield great benefits. Few investments in this model will be
categorically successful though, so it may be that many research endeavors will need to be funded
before a success is realized. Thus, such high-risk research may require a sustained financial
commitment be made in order to realize the high reward success.
Although the directorate’s main role is R&D, its programs include a variety of other related
functions. It is currently involved in standards development, technology testing and evaluation,
and technology transfer. Until 2007, it conducted several operational programs, such as
27 Under Secretary Jay M. Cohen, testimony, September 7, 2006.
28 Section 307, P.L. 107-296, Homeland Security Act of 2002.
BioWatch, in which it deployed and operated equipment as well as developing it. It awards
scholarships and fellowships, whose purpose it has sometimes described as “capacity building”
for future R&D—a topic in which Congress has been particularly interested. The Under Secretary
also has several coordinative responsibilities involving other federal agencies. While the shift of
operational programs to other organizations in 2007 suggests an attempt to focus on the main
R&D role, the other activities and responsibilities remain. There has been no definitive
explanation of the factors that determine which non-R&D functions are appropriate for the
directorate and what determines their priority relative to R&D.
Prior to the establishment of DHS, no single agency had the responsibility for homeland security,
and homeland security was not generally considered as an independent field of study. While
academic R&D capability and educational programs in national security and defense existed,
such capacity was lacking in the area of homeland security. As part of the S&T Directorate’s
efforts in “capacity building,” the directorate funded scholarships and fellowships in addition to
establishing university research centers. Some analysts have questioned the effectiveness of this
program, as the scholars and fellows receiving financial assistance from DHS do not necessarily 29
enter into homeland security employment or R&D.
Over the next few years, the S&T Directorate plans to reduce the numbers of scholars and fellows
and align scholarship and fellowship activities with those of the university centers of excellence.
This may lead to greater synergies and effectiveness between the two programs but also may limit
the scale of involvement of universities, students, and scientists interested in homeland security.
Whether DHS, as an R&D funding entity, should continue to attempt to develop an academic
homeland security infrastructure or instead focus on using more federal assets to perform R&D
activities and provide experience and expertise in homeland security may continue to be a topic
of interest to policymakers.
A long-standing congressional criticism of the S&T Directorate is that its planning and
prioritization process is opaque. This perception of opacity has led to concerns about the
accountability of the planning process and the quality of the decisions it produces. Directorate
priorities can be somewhat inferred from the allocation of funding within the directorate, but no
planning and prioritization documents were publicly available. In June 2007, for the first time, the
directorate issued a strategic plan and a five-year R&D plan. As described in these documents,
Under Secretary Cohen has introduced a system of Integrated Product Teams (IPTs) that help
provide end users with more input into the prioritization process.
The 2004 DHS strategic plan enunciates high-level goals for using science and technology to
meet the overall mission of the department. According to this plan, DHS will
29 For the 2008 DHS Scholarship and Fellowship Program, the S&T Directorate has included a one-year, full-time
service requirement in a relevant homeland security science, technology, engineering, or mathematics field for all
fellowship recipients. The work done during this service must be applicable to one of the 16 homeland security
research areas (DHS, DHS Scholarship and Fellowship Program—2008 Competition Guidelines, online at
use, leverage and enhance the vast resources and expertise of the Federal Government,
private sector, academic community, non-governmental organizations and other scientific
bodies. We will develop new capabilities to facilitate the sharing of information and analysis;
test and assess threats and vulnerabilities; counter various threats, including weapons of mass
destruction and illegal drugs; and mitigate the effects of terrorist attacks. We will also focus
our efforts on developing technology to detect and prevent the illicit transport of chemical,
biological, radiological and nuclear materials. We will develop and deploy the capabilities,
equipment and systems needed to anticipate, respond to and recover from attacks on the 30
Although the 2004 DHS strategic plan establishes this list of science and technology priorities, it
provides no guidance about their relative importance.
For the first few years of its existence, the S&T Directorate lacked a publicly available long-term 31
R&D plan. As required by a presidential directive, it worked with the White House Office of
Science and Technology Policy to develop an annual R&D plan for critical infrastructure 32
protection, but there is no similar requirement for other R&D topics. The directorate had an
annual planning process, but the results of that process were internal to the directorate and were 33
not publicly reviewed. Some conclusions about the success of individual program elements
could be drawn from the results of OMB’s Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART). In the
absence of an overall plan, however, it was difficult for those outside of DHS to gain a holistic,
In June 2007, the S&T Directorate released a separate strategic plan that includes a five-year 34
R&D plan. This document and its attachments briefly discuss the directorate’s organizational
structure, R&D goals, prioritization procedures, and workforce, but they focus more on
describing the directorate’s R&D topics and programs and providing milestones, budget
projections, and program mission statements. Although these documents provide proposed future
funding levels, they do not describe the process by which the allocation of these funds among the
different homeland security research areas and projects was determined. They describe a number
of specific choices, such as the topics of the six divisions, the relative emphasis placed on
different threats, the selection of particular R&D projects, and the percentage target for basic
research funding, but they do not clearly explain how these choices were made or how they are
30 Department of Homeland Security, Securing Our Homeland—The DHS Strategic Plan, February 2004.
31 Critical Infrastructure Identification, Prioritization, and Protection, Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7
(HSPD-7), December 17, 2003.
32 The Executive Office of the President, Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Department of Homeland
Security, Science and Technology Directorate, The National Plan for Research and Development in Support of Critical
Infrastructure Protection, 2004, April 8, 2005. An update for 2007 was included as a classified Appendix C to the
annual National Infrastructure Protection Plan. (Personal communication with DHS Legislative Affairs, January 16,
33 Internal reviews of the annual budgeting and planning process are referred to in Department of Homeland Security,
Performance and Accountability Report—Fiscal Year 2006, November 15, 2006.
34 Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate, Strategic Plan with Attachments, May
2007. Attachment 1 to the strategic plan is the five year research and development plan (Department of Homeland
Security, Science and Technology Directorate, Five Year Research and Development Plan, Fiscal Years 2007-2011,
May 2007). Available online at
linked to a set of high-level strategic goals. In this sense, the S&T Directorate strategic plan is 35
more an operational business plan than a strategic plan.
Independent of any explicit strategy, the S&T Directorate’s funding allocations give insight into
its priorities. Most notably, they reveal a strong focus on developing countermeasures to weapons
of mass destruction. Countermeasures to biological agents have always constituted the largest
single component in the directorate’s R&D portfolio. The establishment of DNDO and its
growing share of the department’s R&D expenditures imply a decision to increase the priority of
nuclear and radiological countermeasures. (This may affect the S&T Directorate, even though it is
no longer involved in nuclear and radiological R&D, because such a decision implicitly reduces
the relative priority of other R&D topics that remain in the directorate.) In part, this focus on
unconventional, low-likelihood, high-consequence threats may reflect the programs transferred to
the directorate at its inception, which were heavily focused on biological, chemical, and nuclear 36
weapons. The rapid increase in budget emphasis on radiological and nuclear threats starting in
FY2006 appears to be a strategic choice, however. Although the White House has explained its 37
rationale for establishing DNDO, DHS has given no public explanation of its decision to
increase DNDO’s funding.
In the past, the directorate’s focus on unconventional threats has drawn into question its ability to
meet the conventional needs of other DHS component agencies. In the directorate’s old budget
structure, funding for support of other DHS agencies was consistently less than for either
biological or radiological and nuclear countermeasures. (See Appendix C.) The new budget
structure integrates support for other DHS agencies into each of the research divisions, so this
issue has become difficult to track through budget trends. The new IPT process includes
representatives of the DHS operational agencies, however, which may help ensure that future
R&D efforts meet the department’s conventional needs.
The S&T Directorate has instituted new procedures to solicit input from the operational
components of DHS, to work with the components in identifying technology gaps and needs, and
to develop mechanisms to meet those gaps and needs. The foundation of these new procedures is
a set of Integrated Product Teams (IPTs). Ten IPTs, each focused on a different topic, bring
together decision-makers from DHS operational components and the S&T Directorate, as well as
35 This criticism and others were made by Members of Congress at a hearing on the strategic plan held by the House
Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology,
on June 27, 2007. See, for example, the Chairman’s opening statement available online at http://hsc.house.gov/
36 Programs transferred to the S&T Directorate in the Homeland Security Act of 2002 included the DOE Chemical and
Biological National Security program, activities of the DOE Life Sciences program related to genomic sequencing of
microbial pathogens, the USDA Plum Island Animal Disease Center, the DOD National Bio-Weapons Defense
Analysis Center, which were all related to biological and chemical threats, as well as part of the DOE Proliferation
Detection program, the DOE Nuclear Assessment program, the DOE Environmental Measurements Laboratory, and
part of the DOE Office of Science Advanced Scientific Computing Research program, which were all related to
radiological and nuclear threats.
37 Executive Office of the President, The White House, Domestic Nuclear Detection, National Security Presidential
Directive 43 (NSPD-43) and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 14 (HSPD-14), April 15, 2005.
select end-users.38 Each IPT consists of customer representatives, whose role is to identify gaps in
capability; providers from the S&T Directorate, whose role is to provide technical solutions;
acquisition officials and/or financial officers, whose role is to validate and execute future
acquisition plans; and end user representatives, whose role is to provide the end users’ 39
perspectives. The intent is to help the operational units make informed decisions about
technology investments, based on the S&T Directorate’s understanding of technology and the
state of applicable technology solutions. The specific goal is to identify technology solutions that
can be developed and delivered to the acquisition programs of operational units within three 40
years. Congress and other observers have generally taken a positive view of the IPT process
compared with the directorate’s previous priority-setting efforts.
One past criticism of the S&T Directorate has been that it has difficulty meeting the needs of end
users. The IPT process explicitly makes the other DHS components the consumers of the S&T
Directorate’s R&D efforts. It identifies requirements and capability gaps at the federal level.
Although there can be input from the state and local level, the IPT structure does not encourage
end users outside DHS, such as state and local first responders, to communicate their needs
directly to the S&T Directorate. The expectation is that the DHS operational components that
work with state and local agencies will understand their needs and represent their interests.
To provide a direct route for first responders to communicate with S&T, the directorate has 41
established the TechSolutions program. The goal of this program is to integrate first responder
needs into the R&D pipeline and provide solutions through rapid prototyping or identification of
existing technologies. It is unclear, however, how these needs are prioritized relative to each other
or how TechSolutions interacts with the IPT process.
When DHS was established, the Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory
Committee (HSSTAC), an advisory committee for the S&T Directorate, was also created. While
this body met and attempted to provide the S&T Under Secretary with advice relating to priorities 42
and effective use of the S&T Directorate assets, its service has been sporadic. The statutory
authority for the HSSTAC originally lapsed in 2005, but in 2006 was reauthorized and the charter 43
extended until the end of 2008. The HSSTAC has been reformed but has not been used to
develop or provide a publicly available strategic overview or to review of the S&T Directorate’s
research investment plan.
38 The ten IPT topics are Information Sharing/Management, Cyber Security, People Screening, Border Security,
Chemical/Biological Defense, Maritime Security, Explosive Prevention, Cargo Security, Infrastructure Protection, and
Incident Management (including first responder interoperability).
39 Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate, Strategic Plan with Attachments, May
2007, p. 7.
40 Under Secretary for Science and Technology Jay M. Cohen, Department of Homeland Security, testimony before the
House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and
Technology, February 14, 2007.
41 An email address for first responders to communicate with the S&T Directorate through the Tech Solutions program
has been created at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on the TechSolutions program is online at
42 For a record of the meeting minutes of the HSSTAC, see online at http://www.dhs.gov/xres/committees/
43 Sec. 302, P.L. 109-347, SAFE Port Act.
The DHS also, through the S&T Directorate, relies on the Homeland Security Institute (HSI), the
agency’s FFRDC, for external advice and analysis. The HSI has contributed in areas such as
strategic policy and planning, investment alternatives, the identification of DOE National
Laboratories’ capabilities, chemical and biological warfare, critical infrastructure protection, 44
threat scenarios, standards integration, operational analysis, and lessons learned analysis. As the
HSI provides its reports directly to DHS, the contents of these reports and the extent to which
their recommendations are implemented are unknown.
DHS Secretary Chertoff has stated that DHS should make decisions based on risk (in this context, 45
the risk that different threats pose to homeland security). While risk methodologies are under
exploration in the S&T Directorate, the extent to which they are incorporated into decision
making is unclear. For example, a presidential directive tasks DHS with completing a biennial 46
biological risk assessment. Although the content of that assessment has not been made public,
many observers expect that it provides sufficient analysis and detail to identify priority areas for
short-, medium-, and long-term R&D investments. For example, its results are being used by the
Department of Health and Human Services to help prioritize biological countermeasure 47
procurement through Project Bioshield. Another presidential directive requires DHS to develop 48
an integrated risk assessment for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats. The
connection of these two risk assessments to the directorate’s R&D budgeting process is not
apparent, however, nor is it clear whether the directorate applies or plans to apply a similar risk
assessment methodology to priority-setting in other threat areas or across all its activities. It
should be noted that these risk assessments may contain information relating to national or
homeland security vulnerabilities and, as such, might be incorporated into the directorate’s
planning processes through a nonpublic mechanism.
Interagency and intra-agency coordination plays an important role in ensuring that R&D plans
and strategies are informed by threat information. The techniques used and considered by
terrorists adapt and evolve. Technological countermeasures may be available that provide
protection against these modified techniques, but they will be ineffective if they are not deployed
prior to the techniques’ use. Transfer of pertinent threat information from the intelligence
community to DHS, and then to the S&T Directorate, may provide an advantage in developing
counterterrorism technologies and enhancing preparedness.
44 Homeland Security Institute, Homeland Security Institute Annual Report to Congress 2006/2007, 2007.
45 For example, in a speech at the Woodrow Wilson Institute on December 12, 2007, he said that “spending decisions
have to be made based on what’s risk-appropriate and what is most cost-effective.” See http://www.dhs.gov/xnews/
46 Executive Office of the President, White House, Biodefense for the 21st Century, Homeland Security Presidential
Directive 10 (HSPD-10), April 28, 2004.
47 See CRS Report RL33907, Project BioShield: Appropriations, Acquisitions, and Policy Implementation Issues for
48 Executive Office of the President, White House, Medical Countermeasures against Weapons of Mass Destruction,
Homeland Security Presidential Directive 18 (HSPD-18), January 31, 2007, Sec. 14(c).
The scope of the S&T Directorate’s activities is broad. Its R&D activities address the whole range
of threats to homeland security (with the exception, since 2005, of most nuclear and radiological
threats, which are addressed by the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, discussed more below). It
spans the spectrum from basic research to operational systems (though most operational functions
have now been transferred to other DHS organizations). It conducts some activities directly in its
own facilities and others indirectly through arrangements with the national laboratories, industry,
universities, and other government agencies. This section discusses the balance among basic
research, applied research, and development; the balance between R&D performed within the
federal government (intramural) and R&D performed by industry, academia, and others
(extramural); and the directorate’s role in operational activities. The next section discusses how
the directorate’s planning and prioritization processes balance the many R&D topics that it
How the S&T Directorate allocates its resources between research and development is of interest
to both policymakers and other stakeholders. The extent to which the S&T Directorate invests in 49
basic research in particular is an issue of continuing congressional interest. Investment in basic
research is generally believed to address long-term needs, provide a basis for future applied
research and development, and lead to advances in knowledge across disciplines. Investment in
development focuses more on the near term, with results that are typically narrower in scope but
more immediately applicable. The directorate’s R&D portfolio has been criticized as being 50
skewed too much toward development, with not enough expenditure on basic research. As noted
below, the directorate’s stated goal is to increase basic research to 20% of its budget. This goal 51
was not reached in the directorate’s FY2008 budget request, which included 13% basic research.
In contrast, the FY2009 budget request, the first budget request developed entirely during Under 52
Secretary Cohen’s tenure, meets this goal, including 20% basic research funding.
In the Administration’s annual budget documents, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
provides an agency-by-agency analysis of federal R&D budget authority in four categories: basic
research, applied research, development, and facilities and equipment. For this purpose, OMB
defines the first three of these categories as follows:
49 See, for example, questioning of Under Secretary McQueary at hearings of the House Committee on Homeland
Security, Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Science, and Research and Development, February 25, 2004, and the House
Committee on Science, February 15, 2006; and of Under Secretary Cohen at a hearing of the House Committee on
Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology, February 14,
50 See, for example, James Jay Carafano, and Richard Weitz, “Rethinking Research, Development, and Acquisition for
Homeland Security,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 2000, January 22, 2007; and Rachael King, “Is
Homeland Security Too Focused on Now?” Business Week, December 20, 2007.
51 Under Secretary for Science and Technology Jay M. Cohen, Department of Homeland Security, testimony before the
House Committee on Science and Technology, March 8, 2007.
52 Under Secretary for Science and Technology Jay M. Cohen, Department of Homeland Security, testimony before the
House Committee on Science and Technology, Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation, March 6, 2008.
• basic research: “systematic study directed toward a fuller knowledge or
understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts
without specific applications towards processes or products in mind.”
• applied research: “systematic study to gain knowledge or understanding
necessary to determine the means by which a recognized and specific need may
• development: “systematic application of knowledge or understanding, directed
toward the production of useful materials, devices, and systems or methods,
including design, development, and improvement of prototypes and new 53
processes to meet specific requirements.”
The DHS portion of OMB’s analysis is summarized in the upper portion of Table 1. Note that
these figures do not distinguish between the S&T Directorate and other DHS organizations. They
therefore include R&D activities in the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, the U.S. Coast 54
Guard, and perhaps other organizations, as well as in the S&T Directorate.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) also produces annual statistics on federal R&D
spending. The NSF figures describe obligations and outlays, which reflect how budget authority 55
was actually spent, and therefore they are only available after a fiscal year is complete. Like
OMB, NSF uses four categories: basic research, applied research, development, and R&D plant.
It uses the same definitions as OMB does for basic research, applied research, and development,
and its R&D plant category appears to be equivalent to OMB’s facilities and equipment 56
category. The lower portion of Table 1 shows the NSF obligation figures for DHS as a whole
and for just the S&T Directorate.
There appear to be discrepancies between these two sets of figures. See Figure 3. In the NSF
figures for the S&T Directorate, basic research is 11% of the non-plant total each year, applied
research 25%, and development 64%. These proportions are identical (within rounding) in each
of the three years for which data are available. The OMB figures show much more variation,
particularly in the balance between applied research and development. They also show a much
smaller proportion of basic research. The NSF figures are obligations, whereas the OMB figures
are budget authority, so some of the differences may be explained by unobligated balances carried
over from year to year. (The issue of unobligated balances is discussed more below.) Some of the
NSF figures are preliminary. However, CRS has been unable to determine the cause of the
53 Office of Management and Budget, Analytical Perspectives, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year
54 Because of consolidation and deconsolidation of R&D activities, the proportion of DHS R&D budget authority
located within the S&T Directorate varies. Dividing the R&D appropriation for the S&T Directorate by the total DHS
R&D budget authority reported by OMB yields a S&T Directorate contribution that ranges from 58% in FY2007 to
89% in FY2005.
55 For more explanation of how budget authority, obligations, and outlays differ, see CRS Report 98-721, Introduction
to the Federal Budget Process.
56 For the NSF definitions, see National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, Federal Funds
for Research and Development: Fiscal Years 2004-06, NSF 07-323, June 2007, pp. 339-340.
Table 1. DHS R&D by Character of Work
($ in millions)
FY2003 FY2004 FY2005 FY2006 FY2007 FY2008 FY2009
All DHS (OMB)—Budget Authority
Basic Research 47 68 55 85 247 248 376
Applied Research 92 247 842 662 434 382 381
Development 549 481 133 659 434 365 380
Facilities/ 49 257 152 49 131 148 2,250a
Total 737 1,053 1,182 1,455 1,246 1,143 3,287a
All DHS (NSF)—Obligations
Basic Research — 166 239 268 — —
Applied Research — 247 372 349 — —
Development — 533 840 830 — —
R&D Plant — 117 182 181 — —
Total — 1,063 1,632 1,628 — —
DHS S&T Directorate only (NSF)—Obligations
Basic Research — 85 132 133 — —
Applied Research — 199 310 311 — —
Development — 507 789 792 — —
R&D Plant — 116 181 181 — —
Total — 908 1,412 1,418 — —
Sources: Office of Management and Budget, Analytical Perspectives, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal
Year 2005 and subsequent years. (FY2003-FY2007 are actual from the budget two years after the year
concerned. FY2008 is estimated and FY2009 is requested, both from the FY2009 budget.) National Science
Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, Federal Funds for Research and Development: Fiscal Years
2004-06, NSF 07-323, June 2007. (FY2005 and FY2006 are preliminary. FY2007 and FY2008 are not yet available.
Comparable FY2003 data do not exist “because DHS was unable to determine adequate estimates” [Federal
Funds for Research and Development: Fiscal Years 2003-05, NSF 06-313].)
a. In the FY2009 budget, OMB categorized an advance appropriation of $2.175 billion for Project BioShield as
R&D Facilities/Equipment. This funding is located in the Office of Health Affairs, not the Science and
Technology Directorate. Additionally, questions have been raised about its categorization, as Project
BioShield is a program for procuring medical countermeasures, not for building R&D facilities or purchasing
R&D capital equipment. For more information, see CRS Report RS21507, Project BioShield: Purposes and
Authorities, by Frank Gottron, and CRS Report RL34448, Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2009,
by John F. Sargent Jr. et al.
Figure 3. DHS R&D by Character of Work
FY03 FY 04 F Y0 5 F Y06 FY0 7 FY 0 8 F Y09 FY04 FY 05 F Y06
OM B N S F
Basic ResearchApplied ResearchDevelopmentFacilities/Equipment
Source: DHS R&D budget authority as categorized by OMB, FY2003-FY2009. DHS R&D obligations as
categorized by NSF, FY2004-FY2006. See Table 1 for detailed data. If Project BioShield funding is removed from
the OMB figures for FY2009, the percentages for that year become basic research 31%, applied research 31%,
development 31%, and facilities/equipment 6%.
From time to time, the S&T Directorate has provided its own breakdown of its activities into
basic research, applied research, and development. Two examples are shown in Table 2. It has not
always provided this information on a regular basis, however, or in a consistent format. While its
figures typically give a general picture similar to those of OMB and NSF, such as a smaller share
for basic research than for the other categories, the details vary and sometimes appear
Table 2. S&T Directorate Statistics on Basic Research, Applied Research, and
($ in millions)
From S&T Directorate Testimony in February 2005
FY2004 FY2005 FY2006
(actual) (estimate) (proposed)
Basic Research 68 85 112
Applied Research 243 340 399
Development 470 587 746
Total 781 1,012 1,257
From S&T Directorate Testimony in February 2006
FY2005 FY2006 FY2007
(actual) (estimate) (proposed)
Basic Research 21 40 15
Applied Research 659 780 671
Development 157 273 120
Total 836 1,092 806
Source: Under Secretary for Science and Technology Charles E. McQueary, Department of Homeland Security,
answers to post-hearing questions, House Committee on Science, An Overview of the Federal R&D Budget for Fiscal
Year 2006, hearing held February 16, 2005, and An Overview of the Federal R&D Budget for Fiscal Year 2007, hearing
held February 15, 2006.
Note: Estimated and proposed funding are reported in budget authority, while actual funding is reported in
obligations. It is unclear whether actual funding refers only to new budget authority received in the stated fiscal
year or if it includes unexpired previous year budget authority.
The S&T Directorate currently prefers to use a somewhat different set of categories, as shown in
Table 2, although it has not provided a detailed breakdown of current or past expenditures
according to these categories. The correspondence between the directorate’s categories and the
ones used by OMB and NSF is only partial. The definitions of basic research appear similar.
OMB’s facilities and equipment category and NSF’s R&D plant category seem to correspond to
the laboratory operations and construction portion of “other spending.” The “product transition”
category may be similar to development. The “innovative capabilities” category, however, seems
quite different from applied research.
Table 3. Categories of R&D as Described by the S&T Directorate
Category Description Investment Target Years to Delivery
Basic research - Enables future paradigm changes 20% >8
- University fundamental research
- Government lab discovery and invention
Innovative - High risk / high payoff 10% 2-5
capabilities - Game changer / leap ahead
- Prototype, test, and deploy
Product - Focused on delivering near-term products and 50% 0-3
transition enhancements to acquisition
- Customer IPT controlled
- Cost, schedule, capability metrics
Other spending - Test and evaluation and standards 20% 0-8+
- Laboratory operations and construction
- Management and administration
Source: Under Secretary for Science and Technology Jay M. Cohen, Department of Homeland Security,
testimony before the House Committee on Science and Technology, March 8, 2007. Investment targets from
S&T Directorate briefing charts.
The R&D categories shown in Table 3 fall into two time frames. Basic research is described as
long-term, with products expected more than eight years in the future. Innovative capabilities and
product transition are described as short-term, with results expected within five years. According
to these descriptions, the S&T Directorate’s investment portfolio does not include mid-term R&D
with a time horizon of five to eight years. This situation may be a barrier to bringing the results of
basic research to fruition in deployable systems.
Just as Congress is interested in the breakdown of the S&T Directorate’s activities into basic
research, applied research, and development, it is also interested in the balance between 5758
intramural and extramural activities. Under Secretary Cohen has said that “we don’t do S&T, 59
we resource and we manage S&T.” Nevertheless, the S&T Directorate funds both extramural
57 Intramural R&D refers to research and development carried out by and within a federal agency (Division of Science
Resources Statistics, Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences, National Science Foundation, Federal
Funds for Research and Development Fiscal Years 2000, 2001, and 2002—Detailed Statistical Tables, Volume 50,
58 Extramural R&D is research and development performed under contract, grant, or cooperative agreement by
organizations outside the federal sector but with federal funds (Division of Science Resources Statistics, Directorate for
Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences, National Science Foundation, Federal Funds for Research and
Development Fiscal Years 2000, 2001, and 2002—Detailed Statistical Tables, Volume 50, May 2002).
59 Quoted in Tom Michael, “The Search for Security,” Innovation: America’s Journal of Technology
Commercialization, February/March 2007.
R&D, through contracts, grants, and other arrangements with industry, academia, and others, and
intramural R&D, conducted by government employees at DHS and other federal facilities. Before
the 2006 reorganization, most extramural R&D was managed by HSARPA; that is no longer true.
Categorization of the directorate’s activities as extramural or intramural is complicated by its
sponsorship of FFRDCs and university centers and its use of the DOE national laboratories. The
FFRDCs and university centers are established and overseen by DHS but operated by outside
organizations and funded by contracts and grants. The DOE national laboratories, while
government-owned, are also managed and operated by contractors. The extramural or intramural
status of R&D performed at these facilities is therefore potentially ambiguous.
Annual budget documents typically do not provide a breakdown of funding between intramural
and extramural activities; among industrial, academic, and non-profit organizations; or between
public-sector and private-sector performers. This type of information is sometimes provided in
hearing testimony or in briefings by directorate staff, however. An example is given in Figure 4.
Until 2007, the S&T Directorate contained several operational programs. The department’s
FY2008 budget request announced plans to transfer the BioWatch, Biological Warning and
Incident Characterization, and Rapidly Deployable Chemical Detection System programs from
the S&T Directorate’s Chemical and Biological Division to the DHS Office of Health Affairs, and
the SAFECOM program from the S&T Directorate’s Command, Control, and Interoperability
Division to the DHS Directorate of National Protection and Programs. In March 2007, Under
Secretary Cohen noted that the four programs to be transferred “pre-date the IPT process” 60
(discussed above) and “have reached technical maturity.” The moves were also driven by the
general reorganization of the S&T Directorate in 2006 and by the Department of Homeland
Security Appropriations Act, 2007 (P.L. 109-295), which codified the position of DHS Chief
Medical Officer (CMO), gave him primary responsibility for coordinating the department’s
biodefense activities, and led the department to create an Office of Health Affairs, headed by the
60 Under Secretary for Science and Technology Jay M. Cohen, Department of Homeland Security, testimony before the
House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and
Technology, hearing held February 14, 2007.
Figure 4. S&T Directorate Statistics on R&D Performer Types, FY2008
Industry, 40%Federal, 20%
Source: S&T Directorate briefing charts, February 14, 2008, based on FY2008 spending plans as of that date.
Annual budget documents, including the Analytical Perspectives volume of the President’s
budget and the S&T Directorate’s own congressional budget justifications, are the most detailed
published sources of information on the directorate’s activities. It is difficult, however, to use
these documents to track certain types of budget trends.
The Analytical Perspectives volume is a key source of department-wide data on the funding
balance among basic research, applied research, and development (see Table 1 above). Budget
analysts have several causes for concern, however, about the quality of these data for DHS. One
issue is the consistency of how activities are categorized. Another is the scope of the activities
included: sometimes the figures include expenditures that are not R&D, and sometimes they omit
expenditures that are R&D.
The data include wide variations from year to year, particularly in the balance between applied
research and development. For example, they indicate that the share of the department’s R&D
budget authority devoted to applied research went from 23% in FY2004, up to 71% in FY2005,
and then back down to 45% in FY2006. Over the same period, the share devoted to development
went from 46% to 11% to 45%. While such swings may reflect annual changes in the nature of
the department’s R&D activities, they may also indicate that in some years development activities
have been recategorized as applied research, or vice versa, as the result of unexplained changes in
accounting or definition.
In addition, the Analytical Perspectives R&D data include some DHS activities that are not R&D.
For example, the FY2006 edition shows total requested DHS R&D funding of $1.467 billion,
even though the FY2006 request for the entire S&T Directorate including salaries and expenses
was only $1.368 billion. The difference of $99 million is not accounted for by R&D programs in
other DHS organizations.61 The department’s R&D total should be less than the S&T Directorate 62
request, not more, because not all the directorate’s expenditures are for R&D. Similarly, the
FY2009 edition includes $2.175 billion of advance appropriation for Project BioShield, a medical 63
countermeasure procurement program, as R&D facilities construction funding. As a
consequence, the apparent funding for R&D activities for FY2009 is several times greater than
the requested budgets for all R&D programs combined.
Conversely, the Analytical Perspectives data sometimes appear to omit DHS R&D activities that
should be included. For example, in the FY2006 edition, the estimate of total DHS R&D for
FY2005 is $1.185 billion. In the DHS FY2006 congressional budget justification, the total
FY2005 funding for the S&T Directorate (excluding salaries and expenses) and the R&D
programs of the Transportation Security Administration, Coast Guard, and Customs is $1.244
billion. The difference of $59 million is not accounted for by non-R&D activities in the S&T
Directorate. Instead, it appears to reflect the omission of the Transportation Security
Administration and Customs programs from the Analytical Perspectives data.
The directorate’s congressional budget justifications are the key source of information on the
budgets of individual programs (see Appendix C). The main difficulty in using this information
to track trends from year to year is the changing organization of the directorate. In many cases,
the major reorganization in 2006 makes it impossible to compare program-level budgets before 64
and after FY2007.
Smaller organizational changes also present challenges for specific programs before that date. For
example, when the Transportation Security Laboratory was transferred to the directorate from
elsewhere in the department, its funding was first pooled with some smaller unrelated programs
in a category called R&D Consolidation (FY2006) and then merged into the existing Explosives
Countermeasures category (FY2007). Starting in FY2008 it became part of the Laboratory
Facilities category. The budget justifications for these years do not allow the laboratory’s funding
to be tracked across the organizational transition. Another challenge is that the figures reported in
the directorate’s budget justifications have sometimes appeared inconsistent. For example, past-
year data is sometimes reported as budget authority and sometimes as obligations, without clear
When the S&T Directorate was formed, it had to establish an entirely new financial and
budgeting system, because although it incorporated some existing programs from other agencies,
61 The directorate’s request for FY2006 included funding for DNDO, which was not yet a separate organization; the
former TSA and Customs R&D activities, which were being consolidated into the directorate for the first time; and the
Coast Guard R&D activity, which was proposed for consolidation, even though it was ultimately kept separate.
62 These non-R&D expenditures include, for example, the directorate’s operational activities, its program of
scholarships and fellowships, and under some definitions, the salaries and expenses of its management.
63 Office of Management and Budget, The White House, Analytical Perspectives, Budget of the United States
Government, Fiscal Year 2009, February 2008.
64 While DHS provided a crosswalk between the old and new budget structure for FY2007, the information is not
sufficient to recalculate prior year allotments into the new budget structure.
its mission and activities overall were largely new. In 2004, GAO reported that DHS as a whole
faced a “daunting task” in bringing together the financial management systems of the agencies 65
from which it was formed. Establishing new systems from the ground up may have been an
even greater challenge. Difficulties the S&T Directorate has encountered in this effort range from 66
insufficient ethics-related management controls to unclear determinations of administrative 67
overhead costs. According to the DHS annual financial report for FY2007, internal financial
controls in the S&T Directorate no longer have material weaknesses (factors that might make
financial reporting inaccurate), but tests of the effectiveness of those controls remain to be
completed in the areas of financial system security, grants management, and payment 68
Table 4. S&T Directorate Unobligated Balances
($ in millions)
FY2002 FY2003 FY2004 FY2005 FY2006 FY2007
Start of Year 0 0 359 381 276 401
End of Year 40 353 381 277 404 291
Source: DHS congressional budget justifications for the fiscal year two years after the one stated. For example,
the figure of $40 million at the end of FY2002 was obtained from the FY2004 congressional budget justification.
Note: Ending amounts do not always match starting amounts for the next year because of subsequent budget
corrections, such as recoveries of obligated funds and rescission of prior year unobligated balances.
One aspect that has drawn the attention of Congress is the persistence of unobligated balances
from prior fiscal years. The S&T Directorate has not always obligated the full amount of its
annual appropriation. In the first few years after its establishment, possible reasons for this
included appropriations that were consistently higher than the directorate had requested and the
directorate’s inability to spend funds rapidly because of its slow progress in hiring program 69
managers. Because funds appropriated to the S&T Directorate do not expire, a significant
unobligated balance accumulated (see Table 4). In response, Congress rescinded $20 million in
unobligated prior-year funds in the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2006
(P.L. 109-90) and an additional $125 million in the Department of Homeland Security
Appropriations Act, 2007 (P.L. 109-295).
It should be noted that because Congress places no expiration date on funds it appropriates to the
S&T Directorate, it may be that Congress intends for some unobligated balance to persist in S&T
Directorate accounts. Even if that is the case, the magnitude of the existing unobligated balance
may mean that it will take several fiscal years to reach the level of carryover desired by Congress.
65 Government Accountability Office, Financial Management: Department of Homeland Security Faces Significant
Financial Management Challenges, GAO-04-774, July 2004.
66 Government Accountability Office, DHS Needs to Improve Ethics-Related Management Controls for the Science and
Technology Directorate, GAO-06-206, December 22, 2005.
67 See, for example, H.Rept. 109-476.
68 Department of Homeland Security, DHS Annual Financial Report Fiscal Year 2007, November 15, 2007, p. 33.
Similar information for previous years is in the performance and accountability reports at http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/
69 In many other agencies, funds that are unspent at the end of the year return to the Treasury. This is not the case for
the S&T Directorate, except for its management and administration account, because its annual appropriations language
includes the phrase “to remain available until expended.”
Under Secretary Cohen has testified that the S&T Directorate is attempting to reduce its
unobligated balance and intends to spend funds in the year for which they are appropriated. In
February 2007, comparing the FY2007 obligation rate to the FY2006 obligation rate, he said,
I believe you’ll see we’ve made significant progress in getting the books right, and in terms
of our obligations, we have committed as of today 47 percent of our FY2007 budget. That 70
compares with six percent at the same time last year....
By the end of FY2007, the directorate had reduced its prior-year unobligated balance to $74 71
million, but it had only obligated 75% of its FY2007 appropriation. As a result, an unobligated 72
balance of $291 million was carried forward into FY2008. In testimony in April 2008, the
Under Secretary noted that the S&T Directorate does not control the DHS acquisition process and
referred to “challenges” with getting committed funds obligated; he suggested a need to consider 73
“refinement” of processes in the department that may currently be “suboptimized.”
Among the statutory responsibilities of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology are
coordinating and integrating the R&D activities of other DHS components with those of the S&T
Directorate, entering into agreements with the Department of Energy regarding DHS use of its
national laboratories, and coordinating DHS science and technology activities with other federal
agencies. These relationships have raised a variety of issues.
When DHS was created, several components with R&D activities were transferred into the new
department in their entirety, without merging their R&D activities into the S&T Directorate. The
largest of these were the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Customs Service, and
the Coast Guard. Some of these transfers were statutorily protected from subsequent
reorganization. The TSA was to remain intact for two years following the enactment of the 7475
Homeland Security Act. The Coast Guard is to be maintained as a distinct entity within DHS.
Although the Homeland Security Act charges the Under Secretary with “establishing and
administering the primary research and development activities of the Department” (Sec. 302(11)),
it also states that
70 Under Secretary for Science and Technology Jay M. Cohen, Department of Homeland Security, testimony before the
House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism, February 14,
71 Personal communication with DHS Legislative Affairs, January 16, 2008.
72 DHS congressional budget justification for FY2009. (See Table 4.)
73 Under Secretary for Science and Technology Jay M. Cohen, Department of Homeland Security, testimony before the
House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and
Technology, April 1, 2008.
74 6 U.S.C. 234.
75 6 U.S.C. 468.
nothing in this title shall be construed to preclude any Under Secretary of the Department
from carrying out research, development, demonstration, or deployment activities, as long as 76
such activities are coordinated through the Under Secretary for Science and Technology.
For the first few years of the department’s existence, a trend toward consolidation of its R&D
activities tended to simplify this coordination role. The conference report (H.Rept. 108-280)
accompanying the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2004 (P.L. 108-90)
gave this trend explicit direction. The R&D activities of the former Customs Service were
transferred to the S&T Directorate in FY2005. The R&D activities of TSA, including its
Transportation Security Laboratory, followed in FY2006. In both years, however, Congress
disapproved the department’s proposals to transfer the Coast Guard’s R&D program. The Coast
Guard program continues to operate independently.
Consolidation was seen by its advocates as having the potential to foster collaboration, increase
synergy between programs, reduce duplication, streamline processes and procedures, and
improve budgeting and oversight. Critics, however, expressed doubt about the S&T Directorate’s
ability to balance R&D priorities across a growing spectrum of responsibilities. One concern was
whether the directorate would effectively support the department’s non-homeland security
missions. (The fact that the Coast Guard has both homeland security and non-homeland security 77
responsibilities was a key factor in Congress’s decision to keep its R&D efforts intact.) Another
concern was whether the directorate’s heavy emphasis on countering weapons of mass destruction
would result in the neglect of other, smaller programs.
The directorate’s experiences with consolidation have been mixed. The integration of the
Customs Service R&D program and several other smaller activities seems to have gone smoothly.
In contrast, absorbing TSA’s R&D program was perceived as being so difficult that in 2006, the
Senate Committee on Appropriations proposed transferring the Transportation Security
Laboratory back to TSA:
The Committee is also aware S&T and TSA have not come to agreement on the research
priorities for this portfolio. Given these issues, the Committee believes TSL would be better 78
managed by TSA.
This proposal was abandoned after the S&T Directorate and TSA signed a memorandum of 79
understanding in August 2006.
The establishment of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) in 2005 was the first 80
dispersal of R&D activities away from the S&T Directorate. Created by presidential directive
and subsequently given statutory authority by Title V of the SAFE Port Act (P.L. 109-347),
DNDO took over the S&T Directorate’s radiological and nuclear countermeasures portfolio.
Although it became a separate organization under the direct authority of the Secretary in FY2006,
it received its funding through the S&T Directorate until FY2007.
76 6 U.S.C. 186.
77 See, for example, Greta Wodele, “Lawmakers Aim to Keep Coast Guard R&D within Agency,” Technology Daily,
June 23, 2004.
78 S.Rept. 109-273.
79 H.Rept. 109-699.
80 Executive Office of the President, The White House, Domestic Nuclear Detection, National Security Presidential
Directive 43 (NSPD-43) and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 14 (HSPD-14), April 15, 2005.
Whether the establishment of DNDO was a singular event or the beginning of a more general
trend toward deconsolidation remains to be seen. One apparent motivation for its establishment as
a separate organization was Congress’s displeasure with the management of the S&T Directorate.
For example, the House Committee on Appropriations expressed its dissatisfaction with removing
DNDO from the S&T Directorate but nevertheless approved the move because of “the liability it
would face” otherwise (H.Rept. 109-476). Since the appointment of Under Secretary Cohen, 81
Congress has appeared more confident in the S&T Directorate’s competence. If that confidence
continues, further deconsolidation may be less likely.
The establishment of DNDO as a free-standing office outside the S&T Directorate (like the
continued existence of a small R&D activity in the Coast Guard) raises questions about how
effectively the Under Secretary for S&T will be able to carry out his responsibility of
“coordinating and integrating all research, development, demonstration, testing, and evaluation 82
activities of the Department.” In providing statutory authority for DNDO, the SAFE Port Act
required that the Under Secretary and the director of DNDO provide joint notifications to
Congress regarding nuclear and radiological detection and directed DNDO to coordinate with the
Under Secretary on “basic and advanced or transformational research and development efforts 83
relevant to the mission of both organizations.” It is unclear how effective this coordination has
been. The rapid growth of DNDO, both in absolute terms and relative to the S&T Directorate,
arguably represents a shift of R&D authority away from the Under Secretary. If S&T Directorate
budgets decline or remain constant while DNDO budgets increase, the DHS R&D budget may
become increasingly weighted towards DNDO efforts. Although much of DNDO’s activity is
operational, and operational activities have been transferred out of the S&T Directorate with little
objection, DNDO also funds a substantial amount of R&D. It also conducts substantial testing 84
and evaluation, some of which has been heavily criticized. Finally, as noted above, the
establishment of DNDO appears to reflect an increase in the priority DHS places on countering
radiological and nuclear threats. If that priority should shift, the separation of DNDO from the
S&T Directorate may make it more difficult to rebalance the department’s R&D activities.
The close relationship between DHS and the DOE national laboratories has raised issues about
the role of national laboratory personnel in the directorate’s planning and how that role may
interact with the directorate’s decisions about awarding R&D contracts.
81 For example, in its report on the Senate’s FY2008 homeland security appropriations bill (Department of Homeland
Security Appropriations Act, 2008; S. 1644), the Senate Committee on Appropriations stated that “The Committee is
pleased with the rapid progress S&T appears to be making toward resolving past difficulties. The new Under Secretary
has restructured the directorate’s programs, worked to obligate resources in a timely fashion, and instituted a capable
budget office able to deliver timely, accurate, and comprehensible documents.” (S.Rept. 110-84)
82 Homeland Security Act, Sec. 302(12).
83 Homeland Security Act, Sec. 1802(a)(6), as amended by the SAFE Port Act (P.L. 109-347), Sec. 510(a).
84 See, for example, Government Accountability Office, Combating Nuclear Smuggling: DHS’s Cost-Benefit Analysis
to Support the Purchase of New Radiation Detection Portal Monitors Was Not Based on Available Performance Data
and Did Not Fully Evaluate All the Monitors’ Costs and Benefits, GAO-07-133R, October 17, 2006.
As well as performing R&D on behalf of the S&T Directorate, under the terms of the special
statutory arrangement previously mentioned, the DOE national laboratories also frequently
provide the directorate with technical experts for program planning and oversight. In some cases,
these experts work for the directorate for a limited period under the Intergovernmental Personnel
Act (IPA, 5 U.S.C. 3371-76) with the expectation of subsequently returning to their original
laboratories. The directorate’s extensive use of national laboratory employees, including IPA
employees, has been an issue of congressional interest, especially with respect to the influence 85
these employees have on the choice of contractors and the formulation of funding opportunities.
In addition, the national laboratories can compete for the directorate’s R&D funding. Each year,
the directorate issues several Broad Agency Announcements soliciting R&D proposals from
outside the department. Proposals submitted in response to these announcements have largely
come from industry, but because the Broad Agency Announcement process is an open,
competitive solicitation, national laboratories may also participate, unless specifically excluded.
Questions have been raised about whether this situation is appropriate and sound; whether the
national laboratories have an undue advantage over industry (for example, because of their long
history of conducting classified and sensitive R&D for the federal government); and whether the
department has an explicit or implicit policy about the balance between awards to industry and
awards to the national laboratories.
Soon after its establishment, the directorate tried to resolve these issues by designating some of
the DOE national laboratories as intramural and others as extramural. The intramural laboratories
would have had a closer relationship with the directorate but would have been ineligible for
competitively awarded contracts, such as funds awarded through Broad Agency Announcements.
The extramural laboratories would have been eligible for competitive awards, but not for other
funding from the directorate. This plan was soon abandoned when it encountered congressional 86
As well as requiring coordination with other DHS components, the Homeland Security Act
requires the S&T Directorate to interact with a variety of other executive branch agencies. The
Under Secretary is required by Sec. 302 of the Homeland Security Act to develop, in consultation
with other agencies, a national policy and strategic plan for federal civilian efforts to identify and
develop countermeasures against terrorism; to coordinate those efforts; and to identify priorities,
goals, objectives, and policies for them. He or she has specific responsibility to collaborate with
the Secretary of Agriculture, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Health and Human
Services in the designation and regulation of biological “select agents.” The directorate makes
extensive use of the DOE national laboratories and relies on Department of Defense facilities to
house bioforensics laboratories, while the Department of Agriculture uses the directorate’s Plum
Island laboratory for research not directly related to homeland security. In these and other areas,
the effectiveness of interagency coordination is of continuing importance.
85 See Government Accountability Office, DHS Needs to Improve Ethics-Related Management Controls for the Science
and Technology Directorate, GAO-06-206, December 22, 2005.
86 For a summary of this episode, see Caitlin Harrington, “DHS Drops Contracting Plan for National Laboratories,” CQ
Homeland Security, March 4, 2004.
The national policy and strategic plan has not yet been released, and the obstacles its development
has encountered illustrate the challenges of working with other agencies. As of March 2007,
according to Under Secretary Cohen, a draft existed that had been in preparation for about two
years, but it was “perceived by the other departments and agencies as mandat[ing] what they
would do for Homeland Security ... how they, through their efforts, could contribute to Homeland 87
Security.” As a result, he said, “it had a very difficult time coming to fruition.” A few months
later, he explained that the directorate had originally interpreted the requirement to work in
consultation with other agencies as requiring the concurrence of those agencies, a process that he
described as “tortuous.” He stated that he would reinterpret consultation as giving other agencies
an opportunity to comment, and under that interpretation, he would “work to get this through 88
OMB ... to the best of my ability before the end of [FY2007].” In December 2007, the S&T 89
Directorate released Coordination of Homeland Security Science and Technology. According to
the foreword of this document, it is a “descriptive baseline for homeland security research and
development measures across the federal government ... developed with the cooperation of
[other] federal agencies” and is a “first step in developing a more prescriptive plan.”
The coordination document states that it will be updated annually to report on performance
measures and progress toward homeland security goals. The first update will take place in 90
FY2009 as part of the first Quadrennial Homeland Security Review. Under Secretary Cohen has
testified that the document’s continued development “will play an important role in helping align 91
strategies and missions to adapt to a fast changing world and an ever evolving enemy.” Even
though the 2007 document is not prescriptive, it may, by establishing a common framework, help
agencies to identify synergies and unmet needs. If agencies indeed align their strategies, that
consensus may lower barriers to achieving a more prescriptive homeland security R&D strategy.
The S&T Directorate uses a variety of mechanisms for interagency coordination. These include
memoranda of understanding, participation in interagency committees and working groups,
sponsorship of interagency meetings and conferences, joint management of programs, and joint 92
strategy development. Formal coordination takes place at a high level through several White
House groups, including the Homeland Security Council, National Security Council, National
Science and Technology Council (NSTC), and Office of Science and Technology Policy. The
Under Secretary for Science and Technology cochairs the NSTC Committee on Homeland and
National Security. On specific R&D topics, coordination sometimes takes place through the
multiagency Technical Support Working Group (TSWG), overseen by the Departments of State
87 Under Secretary for Science and Technology Jay M. Cohen, Department of Homeland Security, testimony before the
House Committee on Science and Technology, Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation, March 8, 2007.
88 Under Secretary for Science and Technology Jay M. Cohen, Department of Homeland Security, testimony before the
House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and
Technology, June 27, 2007.
89 Department of Homeland Security, Coordination of Homeland Security Science and Technology, December 2007.
90 The Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (FY2009 budget request: $1.65 million) will recommend a long-term
homeland security strategy, establish national homeland security priorities, and comprehensively examine homeland
security programs, assets, budget, policies, and authorities. Secretary Michael Chertoff, Department of Homeland
Security, testimony before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, February 15, 2008.
91 Under Secretary for Science and Technology Jay M. Cohen, Department of Homeland Security, testimony before the
House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and
Technology, April 1, 2008.
92 For some examples, see Appendix C, “S&T Directorate Interagency Interactions,” in the prepared testimony of
Under Secretary Charles E. McQueary, hearing of the House Committee on Science, February 16, 2005.
and Defense. The S&T Directorate and several other DHS organizations participate in TSWG.
The S&T Directorate’s strategic plan notes that within the directorate, the Interagency Programs
Division facilitates government-wide coordination, and the Office of National Laboratories
coordinates with DOE regarding the national laboratories. The R&D plan accompanying the
strategic plan does not explicitly identify areas of overlap or synergy with other federal agencies.
One prominent program for which interagency coordination has been an issue is Project
BioShield. Under this program, the Secretary of Homeland Security is responsible for assessing
whether a particular biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agent poses a “material threat”
to national security. In practice, the analysis that underpins this assessment is performed by the
S&T Directorate. (The Office of Health Affairs also participates.) Once the Secretary makes a
material threat determination, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) may procure
countermeasures for that agent using a 10-year block of funds that were appropriated to DHS in
FY2004. Congress and other stakeholders have criticized DHS for making material threat
determinations too slowly and thereby slowing the pace of countermeasure procurement by HHS.
Management and oversight of the program are complicated by discrepancies between DHS and
HHS about the amount of funds that remain available. For more details, see CRS Report
RL33907, Project BioShield: Appropriations, Acquisitions, and Policy Implementation Issues for
When the S&T Directorate was established, its optimal investment strategy was unclear. The
range of threats and vulnerabilities was broad, and the directorate initially placed a premium on
identifying technologies in an advanced stage of development, transitioning them into deployable
equipment, and providing this equipment to end users. One DHS official believed, “there’s a lot
of low-hanging fruit out there, capability that already exists, either commercially or in laboratory 93
As the directorate matures and its R&D results are implemented and deployed, this focus on
“low-hanging fruit” may need to evolve into a more diverse strategy that also includes more
fundamental research and riskier investments. Fundamental or basic research is often identified as
a key source of future technologies, and research with innately higher risk, but also higher
reward, may have more potential for significant breakthroughs. Some experts advocate more S&T
Directorate investment in these types of research:
Failure to invest in longer-term research limits the prospects for future breakthroughs that
could dramatically improve DHS’s ability to fulfill its mission. As the S&T Directorate
matures, so must its S&T portfolio—which means investing in a portfolio of both near-term
and long-term research. I understand that the S&T Directorate’s leadership now shares this
view. I particularly welcome Admiral Cohen’s plans to fund some high-risk but potentially
very high payoff projects. A serious pathology that can overtake a technology development
program is to become failure intolerant, forcing it to settle on safe bets that are less ambitious
than its mission requires. Admiral Cohen will need your support if he hopes to avoid this—
93 Comments of Penrose Albright, Assistant Under Secretary for Science and Technology, Department of Homeland
Security, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting “Overview of the FY 2006 Research &
Development Budget,” March 10, 2005.
you will have to make sure he fails often enough, and to hold him accountable if he 94
A key component of such a strategy is assessing the progress of funded research projects. Without
effective assessment, it may be difficult to sustain investment in long-term research activities that
appear to be progressing slowly, or conversely, it may be difficult to terminate projects that
appear productive but are not leading toward an appropriate goal. Depending on the stage and
purpose of the research activity, criteria for success (and thus for continued investment by the
directorate) may vary. Substantial investments in planning may be needed to establish appropriate
criteria and assess programs effectively.
The difficulty of establishing quantitative goals and metrics for R&D effectiveness is a well 95
known challenge for the evaluation of R&D programs. The impact of longer-range research may
not be evident for years after its completion. Even if success can be measured, success rates may
vary widely between comparably effective programs, depending on the character of the R&D
undertaken. For example, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) funds high-
risk, high-reward R&D. The likelihood of success for any individual DARPA activity is low, but
that is expected. The success of the program overall is judged by the impact of the activities that
are successful. In contrast, an R&D program engaged mainly in incremental end-stage
development, where there is lower risk of failure, might be expected to have a higher individual
success rate but less impact for each individual result.
The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA, P.L. 103-62) attempted to address
metrics and goals for federal agencies, creating greater efficiency, effectiveness, and
accountability in federal spending, and requiring agencies to set goals and to use performance 96
measures for management and, ultimately, for budgeting. Although the outcome of GPRA has
been a foundation of performance-based planning for federal agencies, evaluation of strategic 97
planning continues to be a weakness.
The Administration has also set a priority on performance measures as part of the budgetary
process, establishing the program assessment rating tool (PART) as part of the performance 98
assessment methodology used under the President’s Management Agenda. Some of the S&T 99
Directorate’s research portfolios have undergone PART assessments, with a range of results.
Some programs, such as the biological countermeasures program, were assessed as effective,
while others, such as the chemical and explosive countermeasures program, were not. The PART
94 Testimony of Gerald L. Epstein, Center for Strategic and International Studies, before the House Committee on
Science and Technology, Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation, March 8, 2007.
95 See, for example, General Accounting Office, Measuring Performance: Strengths and Limitations of Research
Indicators, GAO/RCED-97-91, March 1997, which states that “the very nature of the innovative process makes
measuring the performance of science-related projects difficult. For example, a wide range of factors determine if and
when a particular R&D project will result in commercial or other benefits. It can also take many years for a research
project to achieve results.”
96 For more information, see CRS Report RL32671, Federal Program Performance Review: Program Assessment and
Results Act and Other Developments.
97 Government Accountability Office, Results-Oriented Government: GPRA Has Established a Solid Foundation for
Achieving Greater Results, GAO-04-38, March 2004.
98 For more information on the President’s Management Agenda, see online at http://www.whitehouse.gov/results/
99 Detailed results from PART assessments can be found online at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/expectmore/.
assessment process highlights the series of factors that complicates assessment of the S&T
Directorate programs. Existing programs transferred in whole or in part into the S&T Directorate
may have lacked an initial homeland security focus, blunting their efficacy. New programs
developed by the S&T Directorate with the necessary homeland security focus lack a history of
operation and management, challenging the smooth and efficient implementation of the
programs’ stated goals.
Measuring outcomes from programs with long time scales, where results are not expected to be
seen for several years, may pose a challenge to the PART technique. As stated by the White
House Office of Management and Budget, “the Administration is aware that predicting and 100
assessing the outcomes of basic research in particular is never easy.” At a minimum though, the
PART documentation for S&T Directorate programs aims to provide clearer information about
program goals and performance, R&D management, and effective practices. To the extent that 101
this is successful, this information helps to inform outside analysts of the directorate’s plans.
Some observers had hoped that the directorate’s strategic planning process would identify
quantitative metrics and goals. This was not the case, however. The program work statements in
the 2007 R&D plan mostly describe qualitative increase, improvement, and development, rather
than quantitative criteria.
Another, similar approach would be to use the Homeland Security Science and Technology
Advisory Committee or an outside body, such as the National Academy of Sciences, to
independently validate the directorate’s strategic planning documents, with goals and metrics for
the short, medium, and long terms. Statute has mandated comparable requirements in other S&T 102
fields. While the S&T Directorate uses committees of the National Academies for advice on an
ad hoc basis, it has not engaged the National Academies or any other organization to perform a
rigorous, end-to-end assessment of the directorate’s research activities.
The inability of industry and others to obtain information from the S&T Directorate is a recurring 103
criticism. Entrepreneurs with technologies potentially applicable to homeland security
problems have sometimes had difficulty identifying appropriate contacts at the S&T Directorate. 104
The directorate makes its Broad Agency Announcements (BAA) available on a website and via
an e-mail mailing list, and it announces R&D solicitations targeted at small businesses on another
100 Office of Management and Budget, The White House, “Guidance for Completing 2007 PARTs,” Program
Assessment Rating Tool Guidance No. 2007-02, January 29, 2007.
101 For a discussion on criticisms of PART, see CRS Report RL32663, The Bush Administration's Program Assessment
Rating Tool (PART), by Clinton T. Brass; and Government Accountability Office, Performance Budgeting—PART
Focuses Attention on Program Performance, but More Can Be Done to Engage Congress, GAO-06-28, October, 2005.
102 See, for example, the National Defense Authorization Act for 2004 (P.L. 108-136), in which Congress required the
Department of Defense to develop a space science and technology strategy that included goals and a process for
achieving those goals.
103 See, for example, Spencer S. Hsu, “DHS Terror Research Agency Struggling,” The Washington Post, August 20,
website.105 All funding opportunities are also listed on the government-wide website 106
FedBizOpps. The preferred mechanism for submission of unsolicited proposals is through the 107
Office of Procurement Operations. Such submissions are sent to the Headquarters Office of
Procurement Operations rather than directly to the S&T Directorate. The S&T Directorate itself 108
maintains an email address for submissions of concepts and ideas. In May 2007, the directorate
held a stakeholder conference for which Under Secretary Cohen described the message as “we are 109
open for business, and we know how to do business.” Announcements of subsequent
stakeholder conferences have listed goals such as
describ[ing] the business opportunities for private sector organizations and universities, ...
demonstrating business partnership opportunities in S&T research, ... [and] explaining how 110
to do business with the DHS S&T research enterprise.
In November 2007, the directorate released a “DHS S&T Long Range Broad Agency
Announcement.” This BAA was partly a response to concerns that entrepreneurs and researchers
might be unable to bring their ideas to the directorate if there is no open request for proposals or
BAA. The long-range BAA is open through December 31, 2008, and provides a vehicle for
submission of a broad range of homeland security R&D ideas and proposals. It states, “Readers
should note that this is an announcement to declare S&T’s broad role in competitive funding of 111
meritorious research across a spectrum of science and engineering disciplines.”
Under Secretary Cohen has also identified continued outreach efforts on the part of the directorate 112
and the components of the directorate as efforts to encourage greater industry participation. The
directorate has held or partnered with other groups to hold conferences in the United States and
the United Kingdom to engage stakeholders and provide attendees with access and contact.
Emphasizing the importance of maintaining good contacts with industry and others, Under
Secretary Cohen testified, “As I have often said, no one knows where good ideas come from and
for that reason I have been personally proactive in both seeking out and receiving technology
briefs and opportunities from all sources. This is a culture I am working to instill throughout the 113
DHS S&T Directorate.”
107 For more information on how unsolicited proposals are received and handled by the Office of Procurement
Operations, see online at http://www.dhs.gov/xopnbiz/opportunities/editorial_0617.shtm.
108 This e-mail address is S&T-Transition@dhs.gov. Personal communication with DHS Legislative Affairs, January
109 Under Secretary for Science and Technology Jay M. Cohen, Department of Homeland Security, testimony before
the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and
Technology, June 27, 2007.
110 Email announcement of “Putting First Responders First,” the 2008 Homeland Security S&T Stakeholders
Conference—West, held January 14-17, 2008.
111 Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate, “DHS S&T Long Range Broad Agency
Announcement,” BAA 08-01, November 8, 2007.
112 See, for example, Under Secretary for Science and Technology Jay M. Cohen, Department of Homeland Security,
testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Science,
and Technology, April 1, 2008.
113 Under Secretary for Science and Technology Jay M. Cohen, Department of Homeland Security, testimony before
the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Science, and Technology,
April 1, 2008.
Difficulties in obtaining information have sometimes extended to Congress as well. Congress has
criticized the directorate, along with DHS as a whole, for not providing it with information in a
timely manner. For example, the House committee report accompanying the Department of
Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2007 bill stated that
the Committee is very disappointed by S&T’s poor response to Congressional requests for
information, including a failure to provide congressionally directed reports. After three years, 114
there has been no measurable improvement in this area, which is unacceptable.
Under Secretary Cohen responded to such congressional concerns. The month after he was
confirmed, he stated that
the S&T Directorate will execute appropriations as intended by Congress. We will also be
fiscally accountable to our DHS Customers, the Congress and the American people.
The S&T Directorate CFO ... [will] help put in place the systems and protocols to enable
S&T Directorate to be fully responsive and transparent in the development, presentation and 115
execution of the budget.
Several statutory authorities related to the S&T Directorate will expire in the coming months.
Authority for the Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee will expire on
December 31, 2008 (6 U.S.C. 191(j)). Authority for the Homeland Security Institute will expire in
April 2009, five years after its establishment (6 U.S.C. 192(g)). The authority for DHS to enter
into “other transaction agreements” for R&D projects expires on September 30, 2008 (6 U.S.C.
authorities, including holding hearings specifically on such topics.
In contrast to other federal departments and agencies, the DHS lacks budget authorization th
legislation. Several attempts have been made, in the 110 and previous Congresses, but none have
been passed into law. Instead, changes to particular programs have been made in the annual
appropriations bills and their accompanying reports, in stand-alone bills devoted to specific
topics, and in specific provisions within broader legislation. As a result, changes to the
responsibilities, components, and activities of the S&T Directorate occur outside of a holistic
context, with the focus of the change usually coinciding with the focus of the particular topic of
the stand-alone bill. Examples of such legislation are provided below.
114 H.Rept. 109-476.
115 Under Secretary for Science and Technology Jay M. Cohen, Department of Homeland Security, testimony before
the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Science, and Technology,
September 7, 2006.
116 House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and
Technology, Other Transaction Authority: Flexibility at the Expense of Accountability? hearing held February 7, 2008.
The Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (H.R. 1684)
contains provisions relating to several aspects of the S&T Directorate. It would authorize and
expand cybersecurity R&D activities; require submission of a homeland security R&D strategic
plan; and reform the University Centers of Excellence program by extending its authorized
funding, increasing the inclusion of minority serving institutions, and commissioning a National
Academies study of the Centers. Additionally, the act aims to streamline the SAFETY Act
procedures currently in place at the S&T Directorate, increase international cooperation through
establishing an international cooperation office, and establish a fee-driven process by which
testing and evaluation facilities owned or operated by DHS could be used by the private sector to
test equipment to further secure the homeland. Finally, the act increases federal, state, and local
information sharing by making available to state and local officials computer simulations of terror
attacks to improve preparedness and response.
The S&T Directorate is funded, along with the rest of the Department of Homeland Security, in
the annual homeland security appropriations bill. For FY2008, the House and Senate versions of
this bill were H.R. 2638 and S. 1644; the final appropriation was made by an omnibus bill (P.L.
Homeland Security Department: FY2008 Appropriations, and CRS Report RL34048, Federal
Research and Development Funding: FY2008.
The Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-53) directs
DHS to establish a National Biosurveillance Integration Center; authorizes R&D programs to
improve the security of public transportation, railroads, and over-the-road buses; and directs the
Under Secretary for Science and Technology to establish a Science and Technology Homeland
Security International Cooperative Programs Office.
The 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-234) addressed permitting requirements for foot-and-mouth disease
research at a successor facility to PIADC, such as the proposed National Bio- and Agro-defense
Facility (NBAF). A free-standing bill, H.R. 1717, would provide statutory authority for the
NBAF. For more information, see CRS Report RL34160, The National Bio- and Agro-Defense
Facility: Issues for Congress.
The Homeland Security Technology Advancement Act (H.R. 4290) would extend DHS’s R&D
other transactions authority and allow others to use S&T Directorate facilities, for an appropriate
fee, for the testing of items designed to advance the homeland security mission.
The National Bombing Prevention Act of 2007 (S. 2292) would direct the Under Secretary for
Science and Technology to establish a technology transfer program for countermeasures to
terrorist attacks using explosives within the United States. The National Bombing Prevention Act
of 2008 (H.R. 4749) contains similar provisions.
H.R. 3916 would extend by four years the authorization of the Homeland Security Science and
Technology Advisory Committee; mandate a National Research Council study of basic research
needs for border and maritime security; and direct the Under Secretary for Science and
Technology to establish new R&D programs in tunnel detection and anti-counterfeit technologies.
H.R. 130 would direct the Under Secretary for Science and Technology to study whether
additional electromagnetic spectrum should be allocated for emergency use by state and local first
The responsibilities and authorities of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology were
established by Sec. 302 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-296). References to
radiological and nuclear threats were deleted from paragraphs (2) and (5)(A) by Sec. 501 of the
SAFE Port Act (P.L. 109-347). The full text as amended (6 U.S.C. 182) is quoted here for
Responsibilities and Authorities of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology.
The Secretary, acting through the Under Secretary for Science and Technology, shall have
the responsibility for—
(1) advising the Secretary regarding research and development efforts and priorities in
support of the Department’s missions;
(2) developing, in consultation with other appropriate executive agencies, a national policy
and strategic plan for, identifying priorities, goals, objectives and policies for, and
coordinating the Federal Government’s civilian efforts to identify and develop
countermeasures to chemical, biological, and other emerging terrorist threats, including the
development of comprehensive, research-based definable goals for such efforts and
development of annual measurable objectives and specific targets to accomplish and evaluate
the goals for such efforts;
(3) supporting the Under Secretary for Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection, by
assessing and testing homeland security vulnerabilities and possible threats;
(4) conducting basic and applied research, development, demonstration, testing, and
evaluation activities that are relevant to any or all elements of the Department, through both
intramural and extramural programs, except that such responsibility does not extend to
human health-related research and development activities;
(5) establishing priorities for, directing, funding, and conducting national research,
development, test and evaluation, and procurement of technology and systems for—
(A) preventing the importation of chemical, biological, and related weapons and
(B) detecting, preventing, protecting against, and responding to terrorist attacks;
(6) establishing a system for transferring homeland security developments or technologies to
Federal, State, local government, and private sector entities;
(7) entering into work agreements, joint sponsorships, contracts, or any other agreements
with the Department of Energy regarding the use of the national laboratories or sites and
support of the science and technology base at those facilities;
(8) collaborating with the Secretary of Agriculture and the Attorney General as provided in
[7 U.S.C. 8401];
(9) collaborating with the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General
in determining any new biological agents and toxins that shall be listed as ‘select agents’ in
Appendix A of [42 C.F.R. 72], pursuant to [42 U.S.C. 262a];
(10) supporting United States leadership in science and technology;
(11) establishing and administering the primary research and development activities of the
Department, including the long-term research and development needs and capabilities for all
elements of the Department;
(12) coordinating and integrating all research, development, demonstration, testing, and
evaluation activities of the Department;
(13) coordinating with other appropriate executive agencies in developing and carrying out
the science and technology agenda of the Department to reduce duplication and identify
unmet needs; and
(14) developing and overseeing the administration of guidelines for merit review of research
and development projects throughout the Department, and for the dissemination of research
conducted or sponsored by the Department.
The present organizational structure of the S&T Directorate was announced by Under Secretary
Cohen soon after his confirmation in August 2006. The restructuring changed both the
directorate’s functional organization and its operating policies. An understanding of the previous
structure may be helpful when considering budgets and other documents from the period before
Then, as now, the directorate had a matrix organization. Research areas known as portfolios were
established in the Office of Programs, Planning, and Budget (PPB, subsequently the Office of
Programs, Planning, and Requirements). The directorate’s budgeting aligned with these portfolio
topics. Actual management of R&D projects, however, was the responsibility of three other
offices, depending on the nature of the work. Intramural R&D was managed by the Office of
Research and Development (ORD), extramural R&D by the Homeland Security Advanced
Research Projects Agency (HSARPA), and systems engineering and prototype transition by the
Office of Systems Engineering and Development (SED). The heads of PPB, ORD, HSARPA, and
SED each reported directly to the Under Secretary. Only the congressionally authorized HSARPA
survives in the current structure, and its scope is greatly reduced.
This matrix structure had some potential advantages. The manager of each portfolio could
allocate funds flexibly either within the government or outside it. Portfolio managers could
facilitate information flow in their research topic between federal researchers and the private
sector. Meanwhile, because ORD, HSARPA, and SED each managed parts of multiple portfolios,
they could identify and act upon synergies between research areas.
On the other hand, the matrix structure created management challenges and complicated reporting
and oversight. The manager of any given R&D project reported to the head of either ORD,
HSARPA, or SED but was funded by a portfolio manager in PPB. Conversely, the manager of a
portfolio in PPB had only indirect authority over the project managers who executed the R&D he
or she was funding. Management reporting chains and lines of budget responsibility met only in
the office of the Under Secretary. In addition to its inherent difficulties, this situation was
unfamiliar and confusing to outside observers, including many in Congress.
For reference, Table C-1 and Table C-2 present historical funding data for the S&T Directorate
from its inception in FY2003 through the request for FY2009. This report does not attempt to
track the appropriations process. For more detailed information on FY2009 funding, see CRS
Report RL34482, Homeland Security Department: FY2009 Appropriations, and CRS Report
RL34448, Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2009.
Table C-1 is in the directorate’s old portfolio structure, as explained in Appendix B. Table C-2 is
in the present division structure, as explained in the body of this report. Note that funding for
FY2007 appears in both tables: FY2007 funds were appropriated in the old structure, but DHS
provided a crosswalk into the new structure for comparison purposes (for FY2007 only).
Funding for DNDO is shown in Table C-1 in order to allow historical comparisons. Even though
DNDO is not part of the S&T Directorate, it evolved from the directorate’s radiological and
nuclear countermeasures portfolio before FY2006, and its funding was appropriated together with
the directorate’s funding in FY2006.
Table C-1. S&T Directorate Budget Authority, FY2003-FY2007
(old portfolio structure, $ in millions)
FY2003 FY2004 FY2005 FY2006 FY2007 a
Enacted Enacted Enacted Enacted Enacted
Biological Countermeasures 362.6 286.5 397.7 380.0 350.2
Chemical Countermeasures 52.0 53.0 95.0 60.0
Explosives Countermeasures }7.0b 9.5 19.7 44.0 86.6
Radiological and Nuclear 75.0 127.0 122.6 19.1 —
Domestic Nuclear Detection — — — 318.0 481.0
Threat and Vulnerability, d36.1 93.5 65.8 43.0 35.0
Testing and Assessments
Standards 20.0 39.0 39.7 35.0 22.1
University and Fellowship 3.0 70.0 70.0 63.0 50.0
Emerging Threats 16.8 21.0 10.8 8.0
Rapid Prototyping 33.0 75.0 76.0 35.0 }19.5
Support to the Components / — 34.0 54.7 80.0 85.6
Counter MANPADS — 60.0 61.0 110.0 40.0
Critical Infrastructure — 6.0 27.0 40.8 35.4
SAFETY Act — — 10.0 7.0 4.7
Office of Interoperability and — — 21.0 26.5 27.0
FY2003 FY2004 FY2005 FY2006 FY2007
Enacted Enacted Enacted Enacted Enacteda
Cyber Security — — 18.0 16.7 20.0
R&D Consolidation — — — 99.9 —
Pacific Northwest National — — — — 2.0
Management and — 44.7 68.6 81.1 135.0
Subtotal (including DNDO) 553.5 918.2 1,115.5 1,502.1 1,454.1
Subtotal (excluding DNDO) 553.5 918.2 1,115.5 1,184.1 973.1
Prior-Year Rescission — — — (20.0) (126.2)
Supplemental (S&T) — — — — 5.0
Supplemental (DNDO) — — — — 135.0
Total (including DNDO) 553.5 918.2 1,115.5 1,482.1 1,467.9
Total (excluding DNDO) 553.5 918.2 1,115.5 1,164.1 986.9
Source: FY2005 congressional budget justification, H.Rept. 108-280, H.Rept. 108-774, H.Rept. 109-241, H.Rept.
109-699, and P.L. 110-28.
a. Figures for FY2007 are not adjusted for transfers. See note to Table C-2.
b. In FY2003, Chemical Countermeasures and Explosives Countermeasures were treated as a single Chemical
and Explosives Countermeasures portfolio.
c. DNDO is not part of the S&T Directorate but was funded through S&T in FY2006. Its funds were
appropriated in a separate account starting in FY2007.
d. This portfolio was renamed Threat Awareness starting in FY2006.
e. In FY2007, the Emerging Threats and Rapid Prototyping portfolios were treated as a single Emergent and
Prototypical Technologies portfolio.
Table C-2. S&T Directorate Budget Authority, FY2007-FY2009
(new division structure, $ in millions)
FY2007 aFY2008 FY2009
Enacted Enacted Request
Chemical and Biological 229.5 208.0 200.4
Explosives 105.2 77.7 96.1
Infrastructure and Geophysical 74.8 64.5 37.8
Command, Control, and Interoperability 57.6 57.0 62.4
Borders and Maritime Security 33.4 25.5 35.3
Human Factors 6.8 14.2 12.5
Laboratory Facilities 105.6 103.8 146.9
University Programs 48.8 49.3 43.8
Innovation 38.0 33.0 45.0
Transition 24.0 25.3 31.8
FY2007 FY2008 FY2009
Enacteda Enacted Request
Test and Evaluation and Standards 25.4 28.5 24.7
Homeland Security Institute — 5.0 —
Management and Administration 134.0 138.6 132.1
Subtotal 883.0 830.3 868.8
Rescission of Prior-Year Funds (126.2) (0.2) —
Emergency Supplemental Appropriation 5.0 — —
Total 761.8 830.1 868.8
Source: H.Rept. 110-181; P.L. 110-161 and accompanying explanatory statement in the Congressional Record,
December 17, 2007; and FY2009 DHS congressional budget justification http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/budget/.
Totals may not add due to rounding.
a. Enacted FY2007 amounts are adjusted for the following transfers that were announced in the budget
request for FY2008: $84.1 million from Chemical and Biological to the Office of Health Affairs; $5 million
from Command, Control, and Interoperability to the Directorate of National Preparedness and Protection;
and $1 million from Management and Administration to the Office of Health Affairs.
A description of the directorate’s activities follows. The six divisions are discussed first, followed
by the various offices, and finally activities funded by the directorate’s management and
administration account. This aligns with the categories now used in the directorate’s
congressional budget justifications and in the committee and conference reports on the annual
homeland security appropriations bill.117 (In the appropriations bill itself, all the activities except
for management and administration are combined into a single account for research,
development, acquisition, and operations.)
The Chemical and Biological Division (FY2008 funding: $208.0 million) is the largest of the six
research divisions. It works to increase preparedness against agricultural, biological, and chemical
threats through improved threat awareness, advanced surveillance and detection, and protective
countermeasures. The agriculture component develops veterinary vaccines and other animal
disease countermeasures and models the spread of animal diseases. The biological
countermeasures component includes programs in systems studies and decision support tools,
threat awareness, surveillance and detection R&D, surveillance and detection operations,
forensics, and response and restoration, but not R&D related to human medical countermeasures,
which are the responsibility of the Department of Health and Human Services. The chemical
countermeasures component includes chemical threat analysis, development of forensic tools,
R&D on chemical detection technologies, and development of technologies for response and
The Explosives Division (FY2008 funding: $77.7 million) develops technologies to detect,
interdict, and lessen the impacts of nonnuclear explosives used in terrorist attacks against mass
transit, civil aviation, and critical infrastructure. The bulk of its effort is devoted to explosives
detection, largely through R&D programs that were transferred from the Transportation Security
Administration in FY2006. It also includes R&D on protecting commercial aircraft against
shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missiles (known as MANPADS, for MAN-Portable Air Defense
The Infrastructure and Geophysical Division (FY2008 funding: $64.5 million) carries out
activities in two main areas: critical infrastructure protection and preparedness and response. The
infrastructure protection component includes technology development for specific infrastructure
sectors and geographical regions, modeling and simulation for decision support, and preparation
of the National Plan for Research and Development in Support of Critical Infrastructure
Protection. The preparedness and response component develops technologies such as protective
117 The Homeland Security Institute, which was a separate funding category for the first time in the Consolidated
Appropriations Act, 2008 (P.L. 110-161), is not discussed in this appendix. See the main text in the section
“Laboratories and Other Assets.”
equipment for first responders and information-management, decision-making, and training tools
for incident commanders.
The Command, Control, and Interoperability Division (FY2008 funding: $57.0 million) is
focused on communications for emergency responders, the security and integrity of the Internet,
and other information-related topics. Its conducts R&D on the interoperability and compatibility
of communications equipment; cyber security; knowledge management tools; reconnaissance,
surveillance, and investigative technologies; and threat assessment.
The Borders and Maritime Security Division (FY2008 funding: $25.5 million) researches,
develops, and transitions technologies to improve the security of U.S. borders and waterways. It
has two focus areas, border protection and cargo security. The border protection component
(known as Border Watch) develops tools for border security law enforcement officers and
technologies for detection, identification, apprehension, and enforcement at land and maritime
borders. The cargo security component develops sensor and communications technologies to
improve the integrity of cargo container shipments.
The Human Factors Division (FY2008 funding: $14.2 million) focuses primarily on the social
and behavioral sciences. Its R&D activities include developing biometric technologies for
identifying known terrorists and criminals; understanding user acceptance and application of new
technologies; improving the integration of human operators and technology for transportation
security screening; understanding terrorist motivation, intent, and behavior; making risk
communications more effective; and better identifying public needs during emergencies.
The Office of Research includes the directorate’s Laboratory Facilities (FY2008 funding: $103.8
million) and University Programs (FY2008 funding: $49.3 million). Its director also liaises with
the six research divisions as discussed above. Laboratory Facilities funds operation and
construction of the S&T Directorate’s own laboratories. The activities of the Laboratory Facilities
program are executed by the Office of National Laboratories, one of a handful of organizational
components of the S&T Directorate that were established by statute.118 University Programs
manages the directorate’s university centers and a program of scholarships and fellowships.
The Office of Innovation (FY2008 funding: $33.0 million) includes the Homeland Security
Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA), another component that was established by
118 Homeland Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-296), Sec. 309(g).
statute.119 HSARPA has two main programs. The Homeland Innovative Prototypical Solutions
program is designed to demonstrate prototypes of high-payoff technologies in two to five years
with moderate to high risk. The High Impact Technology Solutions program is designed to
conduct high-risk basic research that provides proofs of concept for potential breakthroughs.
HSARPA also manages the S&T Directorate’s program of Small Business Innovation Research
(SBIR), which is funded through a mandated set-aside from each of the directorate’s R&D
programs. The director of the Office of Innovation also liaises with the six research divisions as
The Office of Transition (FY2008 funding: $25.3 million) oversees interactions with DHS
components outside the S&T Directorate to expedite technology transition. It also manages the
Office of SAFETY Act Implementation, which evaluates and qualifies technologies for liability
protection in accordance with the SAFETY Act,120 and the statutorily mandated Technology
Clearinghouse.121 Its director also liaises with the six research divisions as discussed above.
The Office of Test and Evaluation and Standards (FY2008 funding: $28.5 million) provides
technical support and coordination to help emergency responders assess the safety, reliability, and
effectiveness of equipment and procedures. It also aids in establishing test and evaluation
methodology for the directorate and acts as the test and evaluation executive for the Department
as a whole.
The Department of Homeland Security has original classification authority and funds some R&D
projects that are classified (although Sec. 306(a) of the Homeland Security Act directs that “to the
greatest extent practicable, research conducted or supported by the department shall be
unclassified”). The Office of Special Programs oversees the directorate’s classified projects. Its
FY2008 funding, drawn from the other programs listed above, is $5.8 million.
The Office of Agency and International Liaison oversees the directorate’s international outreach
activities and interagency coordination responsibilities. Its FY2008 funding, drawn from the other
programs listed above, is $4.0 million.
119 Homeland Security Act of 2002, Sec. 307(b).
120 Homeland Security Act of 2002, Title VIII, Subtitle G.
121 Homeland Security Act of 2002, Sec. 313.
Other activities of the directorate, including the Office of the Under Secretary, are funded by a
separate appropriation for management and administration (FY2008 funding: $138.6 million).
This account also pays the salaries and expenses of all the directorate’s federal employees.
Dana A. Shea Daniel Morgan
Specialist in Science and Technology Policy Analyst in Science and Technology Policy
email@example.com, 7-6844 firstname.lastname@example.org, 7-5849