[House Document 108-17] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office] 108th Congress, 1st Session - - - - - - - - - - - - - House Document 108-17 NOTIFICATION REGARDING THE TRANSFER OF ACTIVITIES TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY __________ COMMUNICATION from THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TRANSMITTING NOTIFICATION OF THE FUNCTIONS, PERSONNEL, ASSETS, AND LIABILITIES OF THE LIFE SCIENCES ACTIVITIES RELATED TO MICROBIAL PATHOGENS OF THE BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH PROGRAM OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, INCLUDING THE FUNCTIONS OF THE SECRETARY OF ENERGY RELATING THERETO, SHALL BE TRANSFERRED TO THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY
January 7, 2003.--Referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and ordered to be printed The White House, Washington, December 31, 2002. Hon. J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Washington, DC. Dear Mr. Speaker: Pursuant to section 306(d) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (the ``Act''), and in accordance with the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002 (the ``Reorganization Plan''), notification is hereby given that the functions, personnel, assets, and liabilities of the life sciences activities related to microbial pathogens of the Biological and Environmental Research Program of the Department of Energy (the ``transferred life sciences activities''), including the functions of the Secretary of Energy relating thereto, shall be transferred to the Secretary of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003. In accordance with section 306(d) of the Act, please transmit this notification to the appropriate congressional committees. The reason for such transfer is that the transferred life sciences activities were inaugurated to assist in counterterrorism research and development by identifying biomolecular ``signatures'' (often referred to as ``biosignatures'') of pathogens in order to enhance the capability of the United States Government to detect an act of bioterrorism and to identify the source of the biological agent used in any such act. Pursuant to the Act, the primary responsibility within the United States Government for the research and development of biosignatures of pathogens for use in counterterrorism efforts will now rest with the Secretary of Homeland Security, and therefore the Department of Homeland Security will be the proper location for the transferred life sciences activities. The effect of such transfer on the activities of the Department of Energy will be to transfer the primary responsibility for research and development of biosignatures of pathogens for use in counterterrorism efforts, and the functions, assets (including funds), and liabilities relating to such activities, from the Department of Energy to the Department of Homeland Security. It is not anticipated that any Department of Energy personnel will be transferred to the Department of Homeland Security in connection with such transfer, because no Department of Energy personnel are dedicated exclusively to the transferred life sciences activities. Notwithstanding the transfer of the transferred life sciences activities, it is presently anticipated that a substantial portion of the affected research and development activities will continue to be conducted at Department of Energy national laboratories and sites in accordance with section 309 of the Act. Pursuant to sections 303(1)(B) and 303(1)(D) of the Act, I previously designated in the Reorganization Plan that the transferred life sciences activities and the nuclear smuggling programs and activities within the proliferation detection program of the nonproliferation and verification research and development program of the Department of Energy, including the functions of the Secretary of Energy relating thereto, shall be transferred to the Secretary of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003. Sincerely, George W. Bush.