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OHIO – Tracking Homeland Security Funds

March 1, 2010

Tracking Homeland Security Funding

By G.W. Schulz | Center for Investigative Reporting | February 16, 2010

Ohio

So-called “needs assessments” are critical for determining how a community might be vulnerable to catastrophe or terrorism. The federal government has required them of states in order to justify how those states planned to utilize homeland security grants. But a needs assessment done in 2003 led Ohio officials to conclude that the state “needed” an eye-popping $6.6 billion for new equipment. So the state abandoned that assessment and instead distributed $142 million in readiness cash in the years following 9/11 based on the amount each county was eligible for – with the rest apportioned according to local population. “It did not attempt to determine if individual counties were using grant funds to meet their identified risks and vulnerabilities to terrorist attacks,” a February 2008 report from Inspector General Richard Skinner of the Department of Homeland Security concluded. State officials say a professional advisory committee now makes recommendations for Ohio’s homeland security strategy, and an independent contractor has been hired to develop an objective yardstick for showing how the state is more secure as a result of the grants. Download more analysis and documents from Ohio.

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