Establishment of the Governor’s Office Of Homeland Security
WHEREAS, It is the responsibility of Government to plan and provide for public safety, protection of public and private institutions and infrastructure, and continuity of governance;
WHEREAS, On September 11, 2001, terrorists with the intent of weakening our national infrastructure attacked the United States of America and its institutions and compromised the peace and security of our nation;
WHEREAS, In the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks upon our nation, the President, Congress, and our intelligence communities predict continuing terrorist activities against American interests, citizens, and symbols; it is thus clear that Maryland must be vigilant and focused in addressing the threat that terrorism poses to the safety and health of our populace and visitors;
WHEREAS, Maryland’s proximity to the U.S. capital, our many points of entry into the United States, and the high-profile targets within the Washington-Baltimore region mandate that homeland security be a top priority for the Governor of Maryland;
WHEREAS, There is a continuing need to assess the homeland security of the State of Maryland, to direct and coordinate policy and actions relating to the security of the State, and to coordinate the activities of the various State agencies and political subdivisions relating to homeland security; and
WHEREAS, There is an ongoing need to identify funding for state and local homeland security and to advise the Governor on measures to detect, prepare for, prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from man-made emergencies or disasters including terrorist attacks.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, ROBERT L. EHRLICH, JR., GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND, BY VIRTUE OF THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME BY THE CONSTITUTION AND THE LAWS OF MARYLAND, HEREBY PROCLAIM THE FOLLOWING EXECUTIVE ORDER, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY:
A. Establishment. The Governor's Office of Homeland Security is hereby established. The Office shall be managed by a Director, who shall be primarily responsible for directing and coordinating homeland security activities throughout the State, and will be the State’s principal interface with local, regional, and federal counterpart organizations. The Director will advise the Governor on homeland security issues, and shall represent the Governor on boards, forums, and councils as appropriate. The Director shall serve at the will of the Governor.
B. Authority. The Director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security will direct homeland security efforts across State Government and coordinate with federal and local government, private sector, academia, and the public to find solutions that ensure public safety which protecting individual freedoms; the Director will ensure that Maryland is a full and active partner in federal homeland security and will work to leverage federal initiatives and innovations to enhance public safety and security within the State and its subdivisions.
C. Staffing. The Governor's Office of Homeland Security shall be comprised of limited professional staff appointed by the Governor and by professional staff on rotational assignment from State agencies. The Maryland Emergency Management Administration (MEMA) shall provide logistical and infrastructure support. Contract employees may also be used to augment the office staff as required.
D. Duties. The Director shall be responsible for the following activities:
(1) Direct and coordinate homeland security activities within the State, paying special attention to key linkages between federal, State, regional, subdivision, metropolitan, and purely local activities;
(2) Advise the Governor on policies, strategies, and measures to enhance and improve the ability to detect, prevent, prepare for, protect against, respond to, and recover from, man-made emergencies or disasters, including terrorist attacks;
(3) Assess the homeland security of the State of Maryland on a continuing basis and ensure the development and updating of plans as appropriate;
(4) Serve as the principal liaison to the White House Office of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as well as other federal entities within Maryland responsible for homeland security and emergency preparedness;
(5) Direct and coordinate policy and actions relating to homeland security across State agencies and political subdivisions; emphasize communication and cooperation with subdivision agencies and their first responders on all homeland security concerns; provide executive and legislative recommendations to streamline existing committees, commissions, agencies or departments to prevent redundancy or enhance efficiency; and
(6) Coordinate investment decisions to avoid conflicts, redundancies and misallocation of resources; work to obtain and allocate federal funds for State and subdivision homeland security activities.
E. All departments, commissions, boards, agencies, and officers of the State, or any political subdivision thereof are authorized and directed to cooperate with the Director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security in implementing the provisions of this Order.
F. This Executive Order shall not be construed to alter the existing authorities of any executive agency or department, except that all executive departments and agencies are directed to assist the Maryland Director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security in carrying out the purposes of this Order.
G. This Executive Order is effective upon signature and shall continue in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the Governor or terminated by operation of law.
GIVEN Under My Hand and the Great Seal of the State of Maryland, in the City of Annapolis, this 23rd Day of June, 2003.