On Friday, November 22, FEMA’s International Affairs Division hosted the inaugural meeting of the International Assistance System Concept of Operations Interagency Review Committee.
The IAS CONOPS was created to integrate foreign assistance into a U.S. domestic disaster operation. The IAS is a detailed system for processing foreign offers of assistance and accepting commodities or personnel to support response and relief efforts following a Robert T. Stafford Act declaration. The current version was published in 2009 and the original multi-agency design team committed to a 5-year substantive review of the core dynamics of the IAS CONOPS.
The meeting served as the official launch of this review which is designed to ensure that the IAS CONOPS accurately reflects the capabilities, resources, as well as changes in policies and procedures, of FEMA and its interagency partners to effectively manage the flow of international resources into the United States. More than ten agencies including the Departments of State, Defense, Health and Human Services and USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance attended the inaugural meeting. Committee members will work together over the coming months with the shared goal of increasing the functionality, efficacy and operational potency of the IAS in order to help enhance FEMA’s ability to support our state, local and tribal partners in the aftermath of a major disaster.
The next committee meeting is scheduled for January 24, 2014.