6 U.S. Code § 194 - Enhancement of public safety communications interoperability
The Secretary may establish an Office for Interoperability and Compatibility within the Directorate of Science and Technology to carry out this subsection.
Not later than 120 days after December 17, 2004, the Secretary shall report to the Congress on Department of Homeland Security plans for accelerating the development of national voluntary consensus standards for public safety interoperable communications, a schedule of milestones for such development, and achievements of such development.
In awarding grants to any State, region, local government, or Indian tribe for the purposes of enhancing interoperable communications capabilities for emergency response providers, the Secretary may commit to obligate Federal assistance beyond the current fiscal year, subject to the limitations and restrictions in this subsection.
Pursuant to paragraph (1), the Secretary may issue a letter of intent to an applicant committing to obligate from future budget authority an amount, not more than the Federal Government’s share of the project’s cost, for an interoperability communications project (including interest costs and costs of formulating the project).
A letter of intent under this paragraph shall establish a schedule under which the Secretary will reimburse the applicant for the Federal Government’s share of the project’s costs, as amounts become available, if the applicant, after the Secretary issues the letter, carries out the project before receiving amounts under a grant issued by the Secretary.
An applicant that is issued a letter of intent under this subsection shall notify the Secretary of the applicant’s intent to carry out a project pursuant to the letter before the project begins.
The Secretary shall transmit a written notification to the Congress no later than 3 days before the issuance of a letter of intent under this section.
A letter of intent issued under this section is not an obligation of the Government under section 1501 of title 31 and is not deemed to be an administrative commitment for financing. An obligation or administrative commitment may be made only as amounts are provided in authorization and appropriations laws.
The term “interoperable communications” means the ability of emergency response providers and relevant Federal, State, and local government agencies to communicate with each other as necessary, through a dedicated public safety network utilizing information technology systems and radio communications systems, and to exchange voice, data, and video with one another on demand, in real time, as necessary.
The term “emergency response providers” has the meaning that term has under section 101 of this title.
It is the sense of Congress that interoperable emergency communications systems and radios should continue to be deployed as soon as practicable for use by the first responder community, and that upgraded and new digital communications systems and new digital radios must meet prevailing national, voluntary consensus standards for interoperability.
 See References in Text note below.
Section 321 of this title, referred to in subsec. (a)(2)(B)(ii), was in the original a reference to section 510 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, as added by section 7303(d) of Pub. L. 108–458, which was repealed by Pub. L. 109–295, title VI, § 611(5), Oct. 4, 2006, 120 Stat. 1395.
Section is comprised of section 7303 of Pub. L. 108–458. Subsec. (d) of section 7303 of Pub. L. 108–458 enacted section 321 of this title. Subsec. (h) of section 7303 of Pub. L. 108–458 amended sections 238 and 314 of this title.
Section was enacted as part of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, and also as part of the 9/11 Commission Implementation Act of 2004, and not as part of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 which comprises this chapter.
Section 301(c) of Pub. L. 110–53, which directed the amendment of section 7303 of the “Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act of 2004”, was executed to this section, which is section 7303 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, to reflect the probable intent of Congress. See 2007 Amendment notes below.
2007—Subsec. (f)(6), (7). Pub. L. 110–53, § 301(c)(1), added pars. (6) and (7). See Codification note above.
Subsec. (g)(1). Pub. L. 110–53, § 301(c)(2), substituted “and video” for “or video”. See Codification note above.
For transfer of the SAFECOM Program, excluding elements related to research, development, testing, and evaluation and standards, to the Director for Emergency Communications, see section 571(d)(1) of this title.
“This Act may be cited as the ‘Department of Homeland Security Interoperable Communications Act’ or the ‘DHS Interoperable Communications Act’.
[Amended section 341(a)(4), (d) of this title.]
“Sections 4 and 5 shall only apply with respect to the interoperable communications capabilities within the Department and components of the Department to communicate within the Department.”
Pub. L. 108–458, title VII, § 7304, Dec. 17, 2004, 118 Stat. 3847, directed the Secretary of Homeland Security, not later than 90 days after Dec. 17, 2004, to establish not fewer than 2 pilot projects in high threat urban areas or regions likely to implement a national model strategic plan in order to develop a regional strategic plan to foster interagency communication and coordinate the gathering of all Federal, State, and local first responders in that area, consistent with the national strategic plan developed by the Department of Homeland Security, and to submit to Congress an interim report regarding the progress of the interagency communications pilot projects 6 months after Dec. 17, 2004, and a final report 18 months after Dec. 17, 2004.