The Department of Homeland Security is tasked with ensuring that the citizens of the USA are provided with the security that is a right of theirs as per the constitution. They are to be protected by the government from all forms of danger by all means necessary that are under the law of the land. The government formed this department so as to prevent the atrocities that may have befallen such people are they were not safeguarded by their government. The department was tasked with ensuring that all forms of law breaking were prevented and if not prevented, they would be followed up on until the bottom of the problem was identified. Te initial team that was developed was small, but as time went by, there were more and more problems arising.
The department had to be expanded to cater for the increasing workload. This meant the introduction of more departments into the already crowded Department of Homeland security. All these new departments would tackle specific problems in the society. The goal of this approach was to ensure that the job was broken down and with more specification; it would be guaranteed that the results would be achieved at a much faster rate. There however emerged that the teams that were selected for specification had their goals overlapping with those of other departments.
This resulted in redundancy when performing such tasks and therefore wastage of the department’s resources became commonplace. More and more departments were continuously made by the various governments that ruled the land, this however did not stop the fact that there were more and more people who were starting to realize that their jobs wholly depended on their performance. Coupled with the fact that their jurisdictions overlapped, the end results were not as expected. It resulted in an unhealthy competition among the members of the various departments. This document is about the circumstances that led to this situation and what can be done alleviate it.
As stated earlier, the initial goal of developing smaller departments under the department of defense was to improve on the department’s efficiency in tackling the new rising problems and issues that it was expected to handle and face. This was partly because the more and more developments were being made in the society and thus new security problems would emerge along. The other reason why new departments were formed was because of the introduction of new administrations that would not necessarily hold the same views as those held by an incumbent administration. This would lead to a change in the rules and regulations that would be adhered to by the new government.
One thing the people in the leadership and government posts at the time did not count on was the fact that some of the case that the DHS would work on would eventually overlap. This means that the cases that would be handled by one department under HS would eventually have a tie with another being held by another department. This would without doubt require to be managed by one department or the two or more departments with overlapping cases should work together. At first, most of the teams would work together in collaboration with other teams involved to solve the security issue that would have been overlapping.
Over time however, like in any office structure, rivalries emerged. The teams that solved a problem would receive all the merit if not most of it and then would eventually receive all the awards and promotions that would come with such merit. This marked the beginning of all the problems of the department of homeland security. The emergence of the fact that there was redundancy in the process of achieving goals was not enough of a blow, now the members of the same departments were involved in internal feuds. These feuds were fueled by the hunger for supremacy; unhealthy competition that arose as a result of an age old battle between the various departments for the recognition and supremacy. It became rather obvious to the stake holders in the government and general population that this problem had to be solved. This is because more and more cases were taking longer to be solved and this is because the involved department chose not to work together. This resulted in the commoners getting affected. In the fight for pride and supremacy, it was the citizen who was hurt. This was a disgrace to any form of leadership, which governs this sovereign land.
The citizens elected a government so that it can look after the best interests of the citizen, not for them to start fighting at the expense of the person the whole process was meant to benefit in the first place. The competition among the various departments would have been beneficial if the people involved were striving to work together with a common aim of providing fast efficient results in time to prevent disasters such as the 9/11 bombing of the twin towers. This competition was partly to blame for the shortcomings of the department of homeland security. It showed just how much the department needs to be changed or some of its policies amended so as to improve its performance. This would reduce the redundancy in the performance of the department and thus the security of the citizens improved.
The department of homeland security is a vast department that is very crucial in the security issues of the USA. As mentioned earlier, there are various departments that are under it and each has been introduced by the current government at the time to tackle a specific problem that has been noted to be persistent. Most recently, a department that was required to deal with cyber crime was made under the department of homeland security. It was meant to tackle the rising issues regarding the state of affairs in the internet world. At the time there was an increase in internet crime that accounted for an economic downfall for the country. This presented a threat to the economy of the country and therefore that of the common citizen. The president at the time acted on the need for a specific team that would provide a solution to this problem. This was however a solution that would not provide the much needed control and end results that was needed by the people.
The Cyber Security Center was introduced to handle this problem, thing is before the cyber crime got to such levels that warranted a department to be formed, there were other departments that were handling the situation already. These departments would not just disappear into thin win when the new department was formed. A smooth transition would have to be allowed so that those responsibilities would be handed over to the new team. However it became rather obvious that with the various investigations that were being carried out by the departments under DHS, the cases to be solved or prevented would have their intelligence overlap each other at one point or another. The various teams involved would have to work together in order to achieve their own goals. This presented a problem for the transition process. With a shady jurisdictional law, the involved teams were now at a loss as to what was the best way to handle the problem. They were now at a cross roads regarding how to move forward.
The main reason as to why the teams involved were at logger heads was due to the fact that there was a previous rivalry that needed to be sorted out before they could move forward as a team. Secondly, there was developing competition that was clearly not healthy for the end goal that was the main reason all the departments were developed in the first place.
All of these were issues that were shadowing the functionality of these and many other departments within the department of homeland security. All of these needed to be sorted out before anything else. A formulae needs to be developed, one that would provide a way in which all the departments within the DHS can work together without all the problems and unhealthy competition that is being experienced currently. It would also be better if the involved departments were revised to ensure that there was no redundancy. It is true that where there is specialization, there is the constant production of results at a faster and more efficient rate. This was the main goal of developing the various departments that are under the DHS, but now it is emerging that the disadvantages of the many departments are rather outweighing the advantages.
At this point it would be better for the number of departments to be reduces, with their functionalities specified to the letter. Then it should be a requirement for the teams that have been developed to work together in the case their cases are overlapping. A procedure should be devised, one that will provide the means by which the involved teams and departments can share relevant information. Departments that work together efficiently should be rewarded appropriately so as to ensure that business goes well among them. This process will ensure that there is the use of the specialization of the various departments that represent the DHS but at the same time, there should be a process by which the departments can work together if need be. This will greatly allow the DHS to achieve its initial goals of efficiency at a faster rate. The citizen will fell much secure and no more redundancy will be experienced.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Many Departments
The introduction of many departments under the DHS was initially meant to solve the problem of the DHS as a department having to work on multiple security issues at the same time. This required the department to grow into one giant body of which was difficult to control. It became rather obvious that the DHS would have to be broken down into smaller units that would be used to achieve the goals that were initially mentioned by the department. These smaller departments would work on specific objectives more efficiently and this would speed up the process of achieving the overall desired goals.
It was also noted that the management process of the overall DHS got much easier. This was because the involved smaller departments had their own structures that managed their daily functionalities and processes that they had to deal with. This came as a big advantage to the general DHS. The introduction of smaller departments also meant that the teams could now work alongside other specialize teams to produce the desired results. This however was only experienced at the beginning of the initial stages of diversification of the DHS; soon it diminished and gave way to competition.
The introduction of a new means of system under DHS resulted in competition between the numerous departments. This competition was at first beneficial, but when the departments stopped sharing information when a case overlapped, the case would either go cold or a scenario that would have been preventable was not prevented. This resulted in the failure of the DHS achieving its goals. The people who would end up hurting because of this were the common citizen.
Redundancy in the departmental functionality resulted in the situation whereby the involved groups would spend more than necessary to achieve a certain objective. An increase in operational cost meant the pocket of the citizen bore the brunt of the failure of a system that was meant to serve them rather than fleece them. Most importantly, the biggest disadvantage of the large number of departments under DHS was the fact that security in the country was as a result getting worse. This resulted in the people who comprised of the general public not receiving their money’s worth. The economy was hurt in the process and therefore the state of matter in the country were worse off that they should have been.
It is very important to note that when the DHS was developed, the intention was to provide the people with a way to protect them. The people could trust the government to provide them with the necessary protection that they could not achieve individually. The DHS was the shield of the people. Like any other system, it had its own short comings. Over the years, there would be improvements made to the system that would enable the goals that were being hoped for to be achieved. These improvements will be applied over and over again; they would not be done in a one step. As the circumstances change for the environment with which the DHS functions, so should the policies that govern it. It should be able to adapt appropriately so as to ensure that problems as the ones that arise from the changing environment are more than covered by the steps taken to return the system to normalcy.
The process of introducing many departments to the DHS was at first a noble and wise choice for the people who were involved in the initial decision. Their intention was to solve the problem that was ever growing of a DHS that was growing by the day, a DHS that was no longer capable of handling the numerous problems and issues that were arising on a daily basis. NO one would have thought that this solution would end up being a problem in the future. The flexibility of any system is crucial if it is to stand the test of time. This is because there is always change occurring around us. If a system cannot adapt to change, it could be overtaken with time and therefore the system might completely fail.
The DHS should be a good example to the large number of other departments that are running in a similar way. It should be able to provide them with a means by which the other departments can be able to learn from the mistakes of the DHS as well as its strong points. With that, a repeat of the above scenario is less likely to be repeated and therefore avoid the problems that arose from the situation.
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United States, and George W. Bush. The Department of Homeland Security. Washington, D.C.: The White House. http://purl.access.gpo.gov/GPO/LPS19605. 2002.