WASHINGTON, DC - On Friday, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) and Congressman Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) announced new groundbreaking bipartisan legislation that would begin to overhaul interagency national security coordination in the most noteworthy reform since the 2004 reorganization of the intelligence community.
The Skelton-Davis Interagency National Security Professional Education, Administration, and Development (INSPEAD) System Act, based on lessons learned from the Goldwater-Nichols reorganization of DOD, would institutionalize interagency culture across the federal government by focusing on the personnel programs used to develop national security professionals.
"For many years, we've heard that when it comes to interagency collaboration on national security, our system is inefficient, ineffective, and often down-right broken," said Chairman Skelton. "Congressman Davis and I looked at the lessons learned from Goldwater-Nichols and came up with a plan to create the right incentives and the right system to develop interagency national security professionals across the government. I'm pleased to have Congressman Davis as my partner in this effort."
"The current interagency process is hamstrung and broken," said Congressman Davis. "The greatest impediment to effective national security interagency operations is that many agencies lack personnel who have the skills and experience necessary to execute mission priorities as a multi-agency team in a crisis situation. It is an honor to introduce this bipartisan legislation with Chairman Skelton. Improving our interagency capabilities will significantly improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our government when responding to national security threats and natural disasters."
Highlights of the Skelton-Davis bill include:
* Creating a new interagency governance structure to develop interagency knowledge, skills, and experience among national security professionals;
* Creating incentives for national security professionals to undertake-and their employing agencies to encourage-interagency education, training, and assignments;
* Creating a consortium of colleges and universities to develop and offer consistent and effective interagency education and training opportunities; and
* Requiring agencies to maintain staff levels to continue day-to-day functions and mission operations while national security professionals undertake professional education and training.
A copy of the bill text, a section-by-section summary, and the Chairman's remarks at a press conference to announce the legislation can be found at the HASC web site.