Emergency Communications:

Survey of Selected Federal Agencies' Use and Procurement of Land Mobile Radio Equipment (GAO-17-13SP, October 5, 2016), an E-supplement to GAO-17-12

GAO-17-13SP: Published: Oct 5, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 5, 2016.

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Rebecca Shea
(202) 512-6364
shear@gao.gov

 

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This e-supplement is a companion to GAO’s report entitled, Emergency Communications: Improved Procurement of Land Mobile Radios Could Enhance Interoperability and Cut Costs, GAO-17-12. The purpose of this e-supplement is to provide a summary of the results of GAO's survey of select civilian federal agencies on their use of land mobile radio (LMR) systems to communicate with other federal agencies. To identify relevant agencies for this survey, GAO first asked non-military participating members of the Emergency Communications Preparedness Center (ECPC) to identify which, if any, of their component agencies use LMR to communicate with at least one other federal agency. The ECPC is comprised of 14 federal departments and agencies which serve as a federal interagency focal point for interoperable and operable communications coordination. Its members represent the federal government's broad role in emergency communications, including regulation, policy, operations, grants, and technical assistance. Members of the ECPC are: the Federal Communications Commission, the General Services Administration, and U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, the Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, and the Treasury. 

Seventy-four federal agencies were identified. GAO screened this initial set of agencies to determine which of them use LMR systems to communicate with at least one other federal agency for daily operations; planned events, like presidential inaugurations; or unplanned incidents. All 74 agencies responded to the screening question. Agencies that met the criterion—58 federal LMR users in all—were further surveyed about the types of equipment they use, interoperability needs, and procurement practices, among other topics. All but one of the 58 agencies that GAO identified as federal LMR users responded to the full survey. The Federal Bureau of Investigation did not respond to the full survey but provided responses to a limited set of survey questions related to identifying agencies with which they require LMR interoperability. The results of the survey cannot be generalized to the experience and perspectives of federal agencies that did not participate in the survey.

For more information, contact Rebecca Shea at (202) 512-2834 or SheaR@gao.gov.

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