- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 30, 2001

A wholesale reorganization isn't in the offing for the federal government as a result of the terrorist menace just enough minor changes to make a major difference in the way agencies work.
Even the appointment of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge as the Cabinet-level coordinator of homeland security is unlikely to mean creation of a big new department.
White House officials say President Bush will use Mr. Ridge, a fellow Republican and close friend, as a sort of anti-terror czar who operates above the current bureaucracy.
But Mr. Ridge is expected to make significant adjustments in many if not all of the 40 agencies involved in "crisis" and "consequence management," as the government phrases it.
Mr. Bush said Thursday that he wants to create a new agency to upgrade and oversee airport-screening procedures. Most Democrats and some Republicans advocate going further, federalizing the airlines' whole system and making airport screeners government employees like immigration or customs agents.
Still undecided is whether the Justice Department or the Transportation Department will carry out the new airport security duties. The oversight job probably won't go directly to Mr. Ridge, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Friday.
Agency chiefs fend off questions about likely modifications and fine-tuning in their organizations.
"Such inquiries are premature," says an official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, echoing others elsewhere. "We've got our hands full and don't have time for speculating."
Still, specialists at the General Accounting Office have been investigating, and policy analysts, defense experts and former government officials have been crystal-ball gazing. All observe bureaucracies in which roles must be refined and performance must be enhanced.
The devastation wrought by terrorists Sept. 11 will force agency leaders to "focus more on results," says Patricia McGinnis, head of the Center for Excellence in Government. "I think that as events have unfolded, the need for performing effectively has taken on greater importance."
The GAO repeats frequently cited but still timely warnings in a 210-page report prepared before the terrorist attacks and released last week with a preface that refers to them.
The nation's anti-terrorism efforts lack "overall leadership and coordination," the report states. Officials have made "limited progress in developing a national strategy and related guidance and plans," it notes.
Among suggestions portending changes, the GAO recommends the Justice Department and FBI yield control and allow FEMA to be in charge of anti-terrorism assistance to state and local governments.
The report also calls for an expanded role for FEMA in managing the exercises, or rehearsals, conducted by officials to sharpen the government's skill at responding to crises.
At least one major change in leadership must occur, a prominent former Pentagon official adds: CIA Director George J. Tenet has to go.
"This is not the time for recrimination, and nobody within the administration wants to seem in dispute," says a defense specialist, who asked not to be identified. "But the undeniable fact is that, since we have suffered one of the largest intelligence failures in history, there is going to have to be a new leadership at the Central Intelligence Agency when this period of unity is over."
The former Pentagon official continues:
"The CIA structure will be largely the same, although the administration will have to come to grips with the jealousies and rivalries between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the CIA that over the years have had the effect of standing in the way of effective intelligence operations."
The defense specialist says the Immigration and Naturalization Service "one of the worst bureaucracies in the country" is another agency ripe for change after it allowed the terrorist hijackers and suspected accomplices to stay here despite past infractions.
The Department of Health and Human Services will need to increase its capacity to cope with "the scary stuff" of chemical and biological warfare," says Bob Moffit, the agency's deputy secretary under President Reagan.
"This will involve the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control," says Mr. Moffit, director of domestic policies at the nonprofit Heritage Foundation.
Mr. Moffit predicts FEMA will expand and the Department of Energy will fire up efforts to develop alternative sources of energy. "That's a no-brainer," he says.
The U.S. Marshals Service will "experience significant growth for protection of the airlines," the Coast Guard will have to grow to better protect our shores, and the Office of Personnel Management will have to do more investigations, Mr. Moffit says.
"From now on and in the background of all agency activities, there will be a sense that those activities relate to a large issue terrorism," says Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and former special assistant to President Reagan. "That will make a difference."

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