The Department of Homeland Security cut anti-terror funding to Washington, D.C., by 40 percent last year, according to a Government Accountability Office report released last Wednesday.

Funds to the region, which includes D.C. and areas within 10 miles of the District, decreased from $77.5 million in fiscal year 2005 to $46.45 million in fiscal year 2006, the report said. The funding comes from the Homeland Security Grant Program through the Urban Areas Security Initiative, which helps provide urban areas with the resources to heighten their security measures.

New York City, the other city targeted by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, also saw a 40 percent decrease in funding.

William Jenkins, director of the GAO’s homeland security and justice issues team, said that the regional funding cuts were due in part to a 25 percent decrease in total DHS grants available through UASI.

In determining grant allocation to cities for fiscal year 2006, DHS considered both the risk to the city and the anticipated effectiveness of allocated funds, Jenkins said. Previous to fiscal year 2006, only the risk indicators were taken into account.

“Those areas with the highest scores in both risk and effectiveness would have received the highest grant awards, and those with the lowest risk and effectiveness scores the lowest,” Jenkins said.

Also in the 2006 fiscal year, DHS broadened the definition of an urban area to include a 10-mile buffer around the city, the report said, affecting the distribution of anti-terror funding. In fiscal year 2005, DHS considered only the area within the city limits.

The GAO said that because the definition of an urban area increased, the relative risk of the National Capital Region decreased in comparison to other urban areas.

Georgetown does not receive specific sub-grants from DHS, so the direct impact of the cuts on the university is difficult to assess, said Scott Fleming, assistant to the president for federal relations.

However, he said that Georgetown’s location in D.C. links it to the security concerns of the nation’s capital city. “If the city is at risk, that is a factor for us,” Fleming said.

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