Project Safecom going nowhere fast, GAO says

A government initiative to improve communications among first responders at the federal, state and local levels 'has made very limited progress,' the General Accounting Office contends.

A recent GAO report concluded that although slow progress is understandable given the complexity of the task, Project Safecom hasn't gotten far because of too many changes in project management and limited collaboration.

Responsibility for the initiative has shifted among three agencies and there have been four management teams in 2 1/2 years.

Project Safecom is now under the control of the Homeland Security Department, which has shown better commitment, GAO said.

Additionally, funding has been slow to arrive. According to GAO, Homeland Security received only $17 million of the $34.9 million in fiscal 2003 funding allocated for Safecom.

To read GAO's report, go to www.gcn.com and enter 235 in the GCN.com/search box.

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