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Officials may re-work Office of Homeland Security

From Jeanne Meserve
CNN Washington

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card is directing an examination of the future shape of the nation's homeland security efforts, but a spokesman for Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge says there is no discussion of eliminating a homeland security entity within the federal government.

A spokesman for Ridge Monday told CNN three proposals have been discussed and remain in their early stages for consideration and a possible decision by this fall:

  • Leave the office as it is, as an advisory unit to the president
  • Make it a Cabinet-level department
  • Make it a statutory entity within the president's office similar to the Office of Management and Budget
  • Ridge last Thursday told U.S. senators at a briefing that reformulation of his office was one of the things being examined for inclusion in the national homeland security strategy. The strategy is expected to be completed by late summer or early fall.

    Ridge's spokesman said "the governor is getting things done" and "the president is pleased with the job Ridge and his office are doing."

    Ridge left his post as Pennsylvania governor in October of last year, following his appointment by President Bush to head the Office of Homeland Security.

    The aide noted the office was set up quickly in the wake of the September attacks and that the discussions are to determine whether there is a better way for it to do its job.




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