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Examine the Role of Risk Management Within the Homeland Security Enterprise

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The ability of the Department of Homeland Security to effectively manage risk is vital to national security. Risk in general, is something that is permanent but because this is known, strategies can be used to mitigate situations as they present themselves. Government managers must manage risk in a complex environment taking into consideration the diverse missions and multiple objectives of public agencies. The role of risk management within the homeland security enterprise was managed by best and worst case scenario planning

This is something that is inevitable as we are faced within a definite variety of threats. One way to grade or rank threats is through worst-case analysis. As this analysis can be used for worst-case scenarios the federal government cannot leave out lower ranking situations.

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The United States homeland security environment is complex and filled with competing requirements, interests, and incentives that must be balanced and managed effectively to ensure the achievement of key national objectives. The safety, security, and resilience of the Nation are threatened by an array of hazards, including acts of terrorism, malicious activity in cyberspace, pandemics, manmade accidents, transnational crime, and natural disasters. At the same time, homeland security organizations must manage risks associated with workforce management, acquisitions operations, and project costs. Collectively, these external and internal risks have the potential to cause loss of life, injuries, negative psychosocial impact, environmental degradation, loss of economic activity, reduction of ability to perform mission essential functions, and loss of confidence in government capabilities. It is the role of DHS and its partners to understand and manage these myriad homeland security risks. We live in a dynamic and uncertain world where the past does not serve as a complete guide to the future. In addition, the systems that provide the functions essential for a thriving society are increasingly intricate and interconnected. This means that potential disruptions to a system are not fully understood and can have large and unanticipated cascading effects throughout American security

Compounding this complexity is the fact that future trends — such as technological advancements, global climate change, asymmetric threats, and the evolving nature of Nation-states — have the potential to significantly alter the homeland security risk landscape in unexpected ways. Yet such emerging trends hold promise as well as peril and should be understood and managed.

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There are several applications to risk management that allows the DHS to make soundand systematic decisions

Risk management applications include: strategic planning,capabilities-based planning, resource decisions, operational planning, exercise planning, real-world events, and, research and development. These applications ease the transitions in thedecision making process (Quadrennial Homeland Security Review Report). Strategic planning develops analytical driven, high-impact productsthat improve DHS and homeland security enterprise strategic direction, integration, and decision-making. Organizations need to beable to understand risks in order to be able to cross level their capabilities. Operational planninginvolves the coordination and planning works to deter, detect, and prevent terrorist acts bycoordinating the work of federal, state, territorial, tribal, local, and private sector partners and by collecting and fusing information from a variety of sources. Through this step in the riskmanagement process, organizations are better informed on the scenarios that are more likely tocause the most harm, what the ramifications would be, what risks need special attention, whatactions must be planned for, and which resources to allocate (Risk Management Fundamentals). Exercise planning within riskmanagements is used to identify those scenarios that are most likely to happen and come up with possible exercises that would reduce the risk on these threats. Real-world events bringunderstanding of the risks of different threats and hazards to critical assets, geographic arts, and population centers during crisis. This helps decision makers weigh potential courses of action. Lastly, the research and development application within risk management is an analysis thatidentifies flaws with established policies or programs and produces solutions to those flaws.

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Ultimately, concepts from strategic thought and planning, such as the Cynefin Framework, Appreciative Inquiry, and Quantum Planning provide vehicles to promote collaboration and thoroughly explore the spectrum of risk management options available to the homeland security enterprise

Decentralization of homeland security risk management to states with the application of Intelligence-Led Risk Management through the network of fusion centers will promote collaboration and yield a stronger risk management culture within the homeland security enterprise.

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Office or Strategy, Planning, Analysis and Risk. Homeland Security. (accessed August 17, 2014).

Quadrennial Homeland Security Review Report. Homeland Security. (accessed August 17, 2014).

Risk Management Fundamentals. The Department of Homeland Security.

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