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Ted K, Kerry want probe of terror grant allocations
By Dave Wedge | Thursday, December 20, 2007 | | General Politics

Photo by AP (File)

The federal government will launch a probe into the distribution of anti-terror money to cities after Bay State Sens. John F. Kerry and Edward M. Kennedy questioned why Boston's funding has been slashed by nearly 40 percent.
A Kerry-Kennedy backed measure passed by the Senate yesterday would require the federal Government Accountability Office to investigate how Homeland Security officials determine the amount each city should get to protect against attacks.
The bill, which needs to be signed by President Bush, was filed jointly by the Massachusetts Democrats because the state's anti-terror funding fell to $32 million this year, a drop of $23 million from 2005.
"It will provide us with a better understanding of how the allocations of the terror grants will be based," Kerry said. "We've been cut over the last couple years. Massachusetts grants are down 39 percent. We want a non-political analysis of how they're doing the assessments."
Massachusetts Homeland Security Secretary Juliette Kayyem applauded the Kerry-Kennedy bill, saying that how federal grants are awarded is often a mystery to state officials.
"The process by which they're coming up with these numbers has never been entirely transparent to the state or the city," Kayyem said. "We welcome the audit to determine how they're distributing this very valuable money."
She also noted that a recent survey of the nation's 50 state Homeland Security advisers found most had serious concerns about federal transparency. "We as a group find Homeland Security as a department very difficult. The federal-state relations can be very difficult to manage," she said.
Kerry said he hopes the audit will pin down the feds so that crucial anti-terror money goes to cities most at risk such as Boston.
"In my judgment, we are not receiving the money we were receiving previously. I want to see what kind of risk assesment was done to change it," he said.
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