Date: 02/02/2009

Briefing from the Governor's Office of Homeland Security


Votes: View--> Action Taken:

03:45 PM -- Briefing from the Governor's Office of Homeland Security

General Mason Whitney, Director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security, briefed the committee on the duties of his office. He provided the committee with a handout (Attachment D). He discussed the mission of the Office of Homeland Security which covers terrorist attacks and natural disasters. Therefore, he noted that the office partners with many state agencies. In 2002, General Whitney explained that Colorado began developing a homeland security system, but the system was quite fractured and not coordinated. In August 2007, the governor asked General Whitney to become the state homeland security coordinator. By March 2008, the office had completed a new homeland security strategy which was signed by the governor. General Whitney also discussed the program adjustments made to the federal homeland security grants that the state receives.


03:54 PM

General Whitney explained that the Department of Local Affairs was the original agency responsible for administering homeland security and the Department of Public Safety was responsible for the homeland security advisors. He discussed the Colorado Information and Analysis Center (CAIC) which was also in the Department of Public Safety. Today, according to General Whitney, the Governor's Office of Homeland Security administers all of the federal grants and the Department of Public Safety still maintains the CAIC. General Whitney provided an overview of the staffing structure today. He explained their risk management structure which assesses threats and determines the vulnerabilities. General Whitney discussed the office priorities which are to complete phase two of the state homeland security strategy, ensure timely and quality grant applications, ensure management of existing grant programs, and implement the new grant monitoring program. He discussed the budget for the office and the federal funding that they receive. General Whitney indicated that the state will receive approximately $21 million in federal grants in 2009.

04:03 PM

General Whitney explained the performance measures used by the office. He noted that the office also is audited by both the state and federal government. According to General Whitney, their biggest challenge is complacency because events do not happen all the time. He explained that they need to cultivate a culture of preparedness.