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WHEREAS, the safety and well-being of the people of the Commonwealth depend on our ability to provide effective and efficient homeland security and public safety;
WHEREAS, the ability of first responders to communicate with one another across disciplines and jurisdictions during a natural disaster or terrorism threat, a concept known as communications "interoperability," is vital for their own safety and for the accomplishment of their core mission to protect life, health, and property;
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' State Homeland Security Strategy requires the development of a five-year statewide plan for communications interoperability, to enable emergency response agencies and other stakeholders to exchange critical communications and data with one another, permitting them to work together effectively and efficiently to prevent, respond to, and recover from domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size or complexity;
WHEREAS, to ensure that the goals and objectives of the State Homeland Security Strategy with respect to interoperability are achieved, a five-year comprehensive state plan, the Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan ("SCIP"), has been developed, adopted, and funded through federal grants;
WHEREAS, consistent leadership and management are necessary to ensure that planning, equipment procurement, training and funding requirements are in place when implementing the SCIP;
WHEREAS, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security is the designated State Administrative Agency ("SAA") responsible for application, management, and administration of federal grant funds to be applied to interoperability planning and implementation, including, but not limited to, those funds received from the United States Department of Homeland Security;
WHEREAS, the Secretary of Public Safety and Security ("the Secretary"), as the head of the SAA, has the final responsibility to render decisions on funding for interoperability planning and implementation;
WHEREAS, the Regional Homeland Security Advisory Councils, whose membership includes representation of the key public safety disciplines within each homeland security region, are responsible for developing and guiding the implementation of regional homeland security plans that are driven by regional needs and vulnerabilities; and
WHEREAS, future expenditures on interoperability made by the state, its regions, and localities must cross jurisdictional boundaries and strive for the common goal of statewide communications interoperability;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution, Part 2, c. 2, § I, Art. I, do hereby order as follows:
Section 1. The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security ("EOPSS") is hereby designated as the SAA for any and all federal grants applied to attaining statewide interoperability and the objectives of the SCIP, including, but not limited to, the Public Safety Interoperable Communications Grant Program. The Governor may at any time and for any reason change this designation by letter or other form. The designation in this section does not affect any previous designation made by the Governor in regard to any other federal grant programs.
Section 2. The SAA will have final authority on behalf of the Commonwealth with regard to all requests, awards, and expenditures of federal funds made in support of interoperability efforts and shall ensure the proper disbursement of and accounting for federal interoperability funds for the Commonwealth, in accordance with federal grant guidance and program standards.
Section 3. In order to more effectively and efficiently manage and direct statewide interoperability efforts, there is hereby formally established within the EOPSS an advisory committee called the State Interoperability Executive Committee ("SIEC").
Section 4. The Secretary or his designee shall chair the SIEC. The SIEC shall be composed of the following persons or their designees: the Secretary of Transportation and Public Works; the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs; the Commissioner of Public Health; the Chief Information Officer of the Commonwealth; the Executive Director of the Criminal History Systems Board; the Executive Director of the Statewide Emergency Telecommunications Board; the Director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency; the Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard; the Director of the Massachusetts Office of Business Development; the chairs of the Western Massachusetts Homeland Security Council, the Central Massachusetts Homeland Security Council, the Northeastern Massachusetts Homeland Security Council, the Southeast Massachusetts Homeland Security Council, and the Metro Boston Homeland Security Region (Urban Area Security Initiative); the Colonel of the State Police; the State Fire Marshal; and no more than twelve members to be appointed by the Governor, including at least one representative from each of the following organizations or disciplines: the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, the Massachusetts Fire Chiefs Association, the Massachusetts Municipal Association, local emergency service providers, local health officials, local transportation agencies, local emergency management agencies, public safety dispatch communications, non-governmental charitable organizations, state legislators, tribal government, relevant federal agencies, and such other persons as the Governor may, from time to time, appoint. SIEC members shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor and without compensation.
Section 5. The SIEC will advise the SAA on priorities and approval of all interoperability expenditures and requests for expenditure of federal funds. In carrying out this responsibility, consistent with the goals and objectives of the State Homeland Security Strategy, the SIEC will issue objectives and goals; provide guidance for the development of standard operating procedures and best practices when implementing interoperable communications statewide; and give other advice necessary to achieve statewide interoperability and the objectives of the SCIP.
Section 6. The operations of the SIEC will be in accordance with a charter, approved by the SIEC and updated annually, setting forth the roles and responsibilities of the SIEC members, its governance structure, and its policies and procedures.
Section 7. The SIEC shall be entitled to the cooperation of every department, agency, and office of the Commonwealth in furtherance of its functions.
Section 8. This Executive Order shall remain in effect until amended, superseded, or revoked by subsequent Executive Order.
Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 29th day of November in the year of our Lord two thousand and seven, and of the Independence of the United States, two hundred and thirty-one.
DEVAL L. PATRICK
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
WILLIAM FRANCIS GALVIN
Secretary of the Commonwealth