University of Twente Student Theses


Ministerie van Veiligheid: ervaringen uit de Verenigde Staten

Lock, K.P. (2010) Ministerie van Veiligheid: ervaringen uit de Verenigde Staten.

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Abstract:In the Netherlands the control of domestic security care on a national level, was until October 2010 shared between the Ministries of Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK) and of Justice. This applies to both the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) and National Coordinator for Counterterrorism (NCTb). The control of police was more complicated. Interior was responsible for managing the Dutch police and, although Justice had no formal role in police control, the effort to prevent crime, of law making and immigration-policy fell under the responsibility of the Justice department. The regional police organizations still hold most of their independent control. The division of tasks still exists between the police chief, the mayor in charge of managing and the chief prosecutor, with a determining role for the managing mayor. This division of tasks results in several bottlenecks, as is concluded by several studies and by 11 Dutch experts from science and practice. The central question in this thesis is, whether the creation of a Dutch Department of Homeland Security is the solution for these bottlenecks. After the attacks on September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington, homeland security in the United States was revised. On June 8, 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush decided to establish a central Department of Homeland Security. This resulted in combining 22 federal government agencies and more than 170,000 people in one single organization. The implementation process of the Department of Homeland Security was not successful for several reasons. The underlying mission of the 22 organizations and the distribution of funds was not improved. At times when the new department acted to improve safety, or to prevent a disaster, it resulted in poor results. The response to hurricane Katrina is a clear example. Moreover, the increased financial resources were largely wasted. The objective to avoid another terrorist attack of the magnitude of September 11th 2001 has been achieved, but whether this was due to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security can not be concluded. The main organizations dealing with terrorism and crime, the local police, the FBI and the CIA, were left out from the reorganization. More than two years after the reorganization decision was taken, the new Department was mainly busy with finding housing for civil servants, instead of promoting and improving safety. Moreover, the political focus of the U.S. government had shifted at that time to the international war on terror. The difference in size between the United States and the Netherlands is clear. Still, a comparison is realistic because the two countries try, through major restructuring, to improve the decentralized management on homeland security. In October 2010 the new Dutch cabinet presented the formation of a Department of Security and Justice. The Dutch government can therefore learn from the U.S. problems. The ambitions of both politicians and public servants regarding safety management requires a longterm prioritization to ensure a successful reorganization into a new department. Usually politicians lose focus when a reorganization decision has been taken, allowing administrations to be influenced by public servants or other contributors. Moreover, when disaster or terror hits the country, responsibilities have to be clear. In today's information society few incidents remain unexposed, making clear communication between government and the public crucial. A Dutch National Security Council alongside the U.S. National Security Council, headed by the new Secretary of Homeland Security makes good internal coordination and external communication possible. Moreover, a thorough cost-benefit analysis of the issue of increased financial resources is needed. Finally, only relevant organizations should participate in the reorganization. In the United States, 22 organizations eventually merged, while the majority of these were only indirectly involved with the objectives of the reorganization. If these lessons are followed, the risk can be prevented that the creation of a Dutch equivalent of the Department of Homeland Security will happen in the same manner as in the United States.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Raad voor het Openbaar Bestuur (ROB)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
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