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Bipartisan Committee Leaders Call On Government Watchdog to Review Office of Emergency Communications’ Funds

Jun 16, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Bipartisan committee leaders today sent a letter to the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office requesting a review of the Office of Emergency Communications’ (OEC) handling of funds. The OEC, part of the Department of Homeland Security, is tasked with supporting various programs and organizations aimed at improving public safety communications and interoperability.

Members write, “The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reviewed some of the issues surrounding emergency communications and the longstanding interoperability challenges with LMR [Land Mobile Radio] networks. Given the limited amount of funding available, and the ongoing unresolved priority of ensuring interoperability for LMR, we are interested in making sure that funding is correctly focused.”

Members request that GAO determine:

(1)  What organizations or programs OEC funds with missions focused on promoting interoperability of emergency communications;

(2)  The current funding levels for those organizations or programs;

(3)  The extent to which, if at all, that those organizations and programs overlap in membership or duplicate efforts being undertaken by other organizations, such as private associations and FirstNet’s Public Safety Advisory Committee or other organizations; and

(4)  Stakeholders’ views on the effectiveness of the efforts of those organizations and programs.

The letter was signed by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ).

To read the letter, click here.