A. Establishment. The Governor's Office of Homeland Security is hereby established. The Office shall be managed by a Director, who shall be primarily responsible for directing and coordinating homeland security activities throughout the State, and will be the State's principal interface with local, regional, and federal counterpart organizations. The Director will advise the Governor on homeland security issues, and shall represent the Governor on boards, forums, and councils as appropriate. The Director shall serve at the will of the Governor.
B. Authority. The Director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security will direct homeland security efforts across State Government and coordinate with federal and local government, private sector, academia, and the public to find solutions that ensure public safety while protecting individual freedoms; the Director will ensure that Maryland is a full and active partner in federal homeland security and will work to leverage federal initiatives and innovations to enhance public safety and security within the State and its subdivisions.
C. Staffing. The Governor's Office of Homeland Security shall be comprised of limited professional staff appointed by the Governor and by professional staff on rotational assignment from State agencies. The Maryland Emergency Management Administration (MEMA) shall provide logistical and infrastructure support. Contract employees may also be used to augment the office staff as required.
D. Duties. The Director shall be responsible for the following activities:
(1) Direct and coordinate homeland security activities within the State, paying special attention to key linkages between federal, State, regional, subdivision, metropolitan, and purely local activities;
(2) Advise the Governor on policies, strategies, and measures to enhance and improve the ability to detect, prevent, prepare for, protect against, respond to, and recover from, man-made emergencies or disasters, including terrorist attacks;
(3) Assess the homeland security of the State of Maryland on a continuing basis and ensure the development and updating of plans as appropriate;
(4) Serve as the principal liaison to the White House Office of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as well as other federal entities within Maryland responsible for homeland security and emergency preparedness;
(5) Direct and coordinate policy and actions relating to homeland security across State agencies and political subdivisions; emphasize communication and cooperation with subdivision agencies and their first responders on all homeland security concerns; provide executive and legislative recommendations to streamline existing committees, commissions, agencies or departments to prevent redundancy or enhance efficiency; and
(6) Coordinate investment decisions to avoid conflicts, redundancies and misallocation of resources; work to obtain and allocate federal funds for State and subdivision homeland security activities.
E. All departments, commissions, boards, agencies, and officers of the State, or any political subdivision thereof are authorized and directed to cooperate with the Director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security in implementing the provisions of this Order.
F. This Executive Order shall not be construed to alter the existing authorities of any executive agency or department, except that all executive departments and agencies are directed to assist the Maryland Director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security in carrying out the purposes of this Order.
G. This Executive Order is effective upon signature and shall continue in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the Governor or terminated by operation of law.