In July, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report assessing the effectiveness of emergency communications after the implementation of the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 (PKEMRA). The PKEMRA was enacted to improve the federal government’s preparation for and response to disasters, including emergency communications.
GAO-16-681 examines federal efforts to implement PKEMRA emergency communications provisions related to planning and federal coordination, and how states’ emergency communications planning has changed since PKEMRA. During the investigation, GAO reviewed relevant reports and documentation from DHS and other agencies, surveyed Statewide Interoperability Coordinators, and interviewed federal and state officials selected for their emergency communications experience. GAO also assessed collaborative efforts of the Emergency Communications Preparedness Center’s (ECPC), an interagency group focused on improving coordination and information sharing among federal emergency communications programs.
GAO found that the implementation of the PKEMRA provisions related to emergency communications planning and federal coordination has enhanced federal support for state and local efforts. However, federal coordination could be improved. GAO also found that the EPCP’s efforts, while consistent with the key features identified for collaborative mechanisms, could benefit from clearly defining goals and tracking their progress.
For more information on GAO-16-681, please follow the link below.
GAO-16-681, Emergency Communications: Effectiveness of the Post-Katrina Interagency Coordination Group Could Be Enhanced