The National 911 Program should “develop specific program goals and performance measures related to NG911 implementation” and determine the roles of federal agencies and develop an implementation plan for a planned National NG911 Roadmap, the Government Accountability Office said in a report released today. “While the National 911 Program is taking steps to facilitate the state and local transition to NG911, the program lacks specific performance goals and measures to assess its progress. Without such goals and measures, it is not clear to what extent the program is effectively achieving its mission,” GAO said in the report.
The report noted that the National 911 Program this year “plans to establish an interagency initiative tasked with creating [the] National NG911 Roadmap. This roadmap is intended to identify next steps for the federal government in supporting the creation of a national, interconnected NG911 system. While the National 911 Program is taking steps to develop a list of national-level tasks as part of its roadmap initiative, the program does not have a plan to identify: (1) roles or responsibilities for federal entities to carry out these tasks or (2) how the program plans to achieve the roadmap’s objectives. Collaborating with the appropriate federal agencies to determine federal roles and responsibilities to carry out the roadmap’s national-level tasks could reduce barriers to agencies effectively working together to achieve those tasks. Furthermore, developing an implementation plan that details how the roadmap’s tasks will be achieved would place the National 911 Program in a better position to effectively lead interagency efforts to implement NG911 nationwide.”
The National 911 Program Office is housed at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is a joint initiative with the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
In a Jan. 11 letter responding to the report, Keith Nelson, who is assistant Transportation secretary-administration, said the agency concurred with GAO’s three recommendations.
“With respect to recommendation 2, to determine roles and responsibilities of federal agencies in the National NG911 Roadmap initiative to carry out the roadmap’s national-level tasks, NHTSA will work with the appropriate federal agencies to determine roles and responsibilities for the tasks over which each agency has jurisdiction,” Mr. Nelson said. “We will provide a detailed response to each recommendation within 60 days of the final report’s issuance.”- Paul Kirby, firstname.lastname@example.org