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Legislation Authorizing the Formation of the Department of Homeland Security

Friday, June 21, 2002
MSG 2002-045
Human Resources Directors
Kay Coles James, Director
Legislation Authorizing the Formation of the Department of Homeland Security

I am writing today concerning President Bush's legislation authorizing the formation of the Department of Homeland Security. I know you share my profound commitment for the support and development of the new Department. We will call on you for assistance to address issues affecting the design and development of the new Department. I will request your help in ensuring the efficient transfer of responsibilities to the new Department.

OPM now stands ready to help the President drive the most important and far-reaching Government reorganization since the onset of the Cold War convinced President Harry Truman that we had to make major changes in our national security apparatus.

The events of September 11th demonstrated that the Federal Government must have effective management tools in place to respond to threats to our national security. It is critical to get this new Department in operation quickly and smoothly. If the bill is enacted as envisioned, OPM, working with the Secretary of the new Department of Homeland Security, will play a central role in creating the personnel systems employed by the new agency. The process envisioned for the development of this system would draw upon the best practices of the public and private sectors and would include soliciting comments and expert advice from the public sector, unions, employee associations, managers associations and the private sector. As we move forward, I want you to know that President Bush and I recognize the reservoir of knowledge within the HRMC and we intend to utilize that knowledge in supporting the creation of the new Department.

As the legislation moves forward, OPM is ready to send a well-seasoned team to work with the various affected agencies and departments to ensure a smooth transition to the new Department. A briefing will be scheduled in the near future to discuss in more detail the Presidents legislative proposal identifying resources that the HRMC could provide. In the meantime, I have attached an analysis and proposed legislation for the formation of this new Department. I trust you will find this information useful.