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New Homeland Security Council Developed

WASHINGTON (CN) - President Barack Obama has announced a federal partnership among government agencies, law enforcement and the private sector to improve coordination of homeland security challenges.

The president's order sets forth a framework for a homeland security partnership to "enhance our ability to address homeland security priorities, from responding to natural disasters to preventing terrorism, by utilizing diverse perspectives, skills, tools, and resources."

"We must tap the ingenuity outside government through strategic partnerships with the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, and community-based organizations," the president said. The order establishes the White House Homeland Security Partnership Council and Steering Committee with representatives from federal, state, and local agencies.

The steering committee will consist of representatives from nineteen federal agencies, including the Justice Department, State Department, and Homeland Security. The committee will establish a nomination process and criteria to put representatives on the Partnership Council.

With the exception of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, each agency on the steering committee may have a representative on the council. Obama's order also allows for the council to establish sub-groups made up exclusively of other council members. The council will be chaired by the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, currently John Brennan.

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