requirements, DHS' strategic plan constitutes a single framework for 
consolidating the missions, goals, and objectives of its 22 agencies in a joint 
strategy for securing the homeland.  As one of the legacy agencies, FEMA's 
strategic plan necessarily should link to the overarching DHS plan.  We have 
revised our report to clarify these requirements. 
Conflicting Guidance and Direction:  We agree with the EP&R CIO regarding 
the potential for misconstruing our statement that a planning official's use of 
both DHS' and FEMA's strategic plans results in conflicting guidance and 
direction.  We have revised this language to show that the potential for 
conflicting guidance and direction is our conclusion, and not attributable to 
the planning official.  We also have revised the wording in the relevant section 
of the report to ensure consistency with our executive summary. 
IT Strategic Plan Alignment with the DHS Plan:  Contrary to the EP&R CIO's 
assertion, our report neither contests nor discusses alignment of FEMA's IT 
strategic plan with DHS CIO Council priorities.  While we commend FEMA's 
cooperation with the CIO Council, we did not include this issue in our audit.  
The strategic planning portion of our report is merely intended to emphasize 
that, despite federal guidelines, FEMA has not aligned its strategic and IT 
plans with the overarching DHS strategic plan.   
Handling Workloads during the 2004 Hurricane Season:  We disagree with 
the EP&R CIO's assertion that FEMA would not have been able to 
successfully handle the increased workload during the 2004 hurricane season 
if the agency were experiencing the various IT problems that we outlined.  As 
previously indicated, we believe that the EP&R CIO incorrectly equates the 
agency's ability to meet the disaster management challenges to date with 
effective and efficient IT management.  While we state in our report that 
EP&R was able to get through the 2004 hurricanes, we also recognize that 
FEMA's accomplishments were not necessarily because of its IT systems, but 
often in spite of them.  Users across EP&R consistently told us that they did 
not use the headquarters supplied systems, but instead relied upon alternative 
methods, such as creating ad hoc spreadsheets and databases or resorting to 
manual methods, to perform their jobs.  Where IT systems were used, they 
often did not operate effectively. 
Enterprise Architecture:  We disagree with the EP&R CIO's assertion that we 
incorrectly reported on EP&R efforts to update its enterprise architecture to 
govern the IT environment.  The following is our evaluation of the EP&R 
CIO's various comments in this regard. 
Emergency Preparedness and Response Could Better Integrate Information Technology  
with Incident Response and Recovery 
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