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Civil Works – Strategic Crossroads:
As we have done for over two hundred years, the Civil Works Program continues to provide value to our Nation by delivering sustainable solutions to meet the water resource requirements.

We completed a second record execution year, obligating $15.8 billion of remaining FY10 appropriations. We substantially completed all of our $4.6 billion under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the Greater New Orleans Hurricane & Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS) to a 100-year level of protection. And this spring and summer, we battled record amounts of water in the Mississippi River and Tributaries – levels on par with the Great Flood of 1927 and a historic flood on the Missouri River. Our success in preventing enormous damages is a tribute to the wisdom of system-wide risk reduction systems such as the Mississippi River & Tributaries (MR&T) Project. The wisdom that led to the design and construction of a system to accommodate periodic severe flows in the Mississippi with floodway and backwater features protected 62% of the area flooded by the 1927 Flood. The system was tested in 2011 in terms of storage levels, record discharges from outlet works and flooding levels rising past 1937 records at numerous gauges in the system. The system performed as designed and tens of billions of dollars of damages were prevented.

Our team has also supported overseas operations. We currently have nearly 1,000 Corps members in Iraq and Afghanistan, the majority of whom came from Civil Works jobs stateside.

Our Nation and the Corps are at a ‘strategic crossroads’. We face a challenging strategic environment abroad and difficult economic conditions at home. In turn, our Civil Works program will approach these challenging times with determined leadership, innovation, and thoughtful execution. As throughout our history, we will continue to add value to the Nation while adjusting how we plan, program, deliver, and sustain our efforts. Transforming the Civil Works program with an emphasis on our planning and budgeting processes, addressing our aging infrastructure challenge, and improving the delivery of services are our main efforts.

Focus Areas:
In keeping with USACE’s efforts to deliver the water resources Americans will need in the 21st Century, we have developed the following focus areas for the elements:

In keeping with USACE’s efforts to deliver the water resources Americans will need in the 21st Century, we have developed the following focus areas for the elements:
  • Deliver the program with a focus on schedule, cost and quality.
  • Continue developing a new budget paradigm for Civil Works. We have traditionally tried to fund too many things, and consequently made inefficient use of limited federal dollars. This has led to projects being delayed and conducted in a stop-start manner, and to overall inefficient project delivery. We are engaging in dialogue with stakeholders, the Administration and Congress to focus on alternate schemes to fund and prioritize actions that are in the national interest. A risk-informed strategy applied to our budget process will permit us to optimize limited resources across multiple business lines.
  • Shorten the timeframe for study completion.
  • Provide improved quality and consistency of deliverables by selecting areas to better deliver the program. We will ensure that the Corps sustains its ability to deliver world-class products by promoting regionalization, preserving and developing Corps technical competencies, and filling current gaps in our capabilities.
  • Develop and implement a Civil Works engagement strategy to better tell about the Corps’ need for water resources infrastructure. Build relationships with Congress, other agencies and interagency groups, States, local and tribal governments, industry, and the public.
  • Recapitalize our aging water transportation and flood risk management projects; provide responsible risk management at all levels; enhance our environment; emphasize our commitment to integrated water resource management; and increase regionalization as a way to deliver products.
  • Continue to expand our contingency planning and response capabilities. Emergency situations are where the public most depends on the Corps and its mission is most visible, while response to contingency operations demonstrates our value to the Army. We must never forget that the primary mission of the Army is to prepare for and respond to all major contingencies that threaten the safety, security and economic stability of the Nation. We are fully implementing the Readiness XXI initiative to set the professional standard executing our worldwide contingency missions.
  • Transform USACE into a ‘collaboration machine’ while recognizing that USACE retains authority for recommendations and, in many cases, decision-making. We are revising current practices to increase opportunities for public participation. Strong, collaborative relationships bring enormous brainpower and resources to bear and help avoid duplication of effort or working at cross purposes.
  • Continue to expand our review of flood risk management and the solutions we shape. This includes intergovernmental partnerships and collaboration to include the highly successful Silver Jackets Program, now active in 22 states and under development in the other 28. Use the flood risk management strategy to address the USACE role in All Hazard Protection and resilience of the Nation's critical water resources infrastructure.
  • Facilitate efforts that allow greater transparency, clarity, and consistency in processes within the Regulatory Program across the Corps. Regulatory will continue to make advances using the best available technology and science and provide the necessary tools to field staff for them to continue to provide exceptional service to our stakeholders and the regulated public.

Transforming the budget process:
Our program funding has been directly impacted by the Nation’s funding challenges, constraints for federal domestic spending limits, the requirements for funding this year’s response efforts to several national disasters, and doing so without benefit of a supplemental appropriation. It has definitely been a year of challenges. We operated for most of FY11 on a series of short-term Continuing Resolution Authorities, with our final funding set last April at $5.06 billion, a 9 percent reduction from the FY10 regular appropriation (excluding supplemental). Although this results in less contracting, we are pleased that it has not led to a reduction in our Civil Works team.

Our program funding has been directly impacted by the Nation’s funding challenges, constraints for federal domestic spending limits, the requirements for funding this year’s response efforts to several national disasters, and doing so without benefit of a supplemental appropriation. It has definitely been a year of challenges. We operated for most of FY11 on a series of short-term Continuing Resolution Authorities, with our final funding set last April at $5.06 billion, a 9 percent reduction from the FY10 regular appropriation (excluding supplemental). Although this results in less contracting, we are pleased that it has not led to a reduction in our Civil Works team.

The President has stated that overall funding for federal domestic discretionary agencies such as USACE will be held constant for five years. While we may compete for funding above the FY12 budget level for Civil Works, we must face the reality that additional funding may not be forthcoming, and indeed, further reductions may be required. Given this longer-term budget reality and the declining state of our infrastructure, we must adapt and transform our Civil Works Program in order to sustain our commitment to staying at the leading edge of service to the Nation. We are committed to change that ensures an open, transparent, and performance-based Civil Works Program that effectively contributes to the Nation’s needs. Ultimate implementation of this budget transformation process will take time. Initial efforts will focus on helping all involved to understand that ‘status quo’ is unacceptable as we are trying to fund too many things and consequently, making inefficient use of limited federal dollars. As we transform the budget development process in the coming years, we expect this transition to take the following changes in FY13: the initial alignment of business lines to a set of draft national goals and objectives common to all federal agencies, the use of these goals/objectives to supplement performance-based business line funding decisions at the margin, and the deployment of these budget development processes and lessons learned from USACE HQs to MSCs in FY14. A shift towards a new budget paradigm would encompass a move towards watershed and system based decision-making, including prioritization, as well as alternative financing vehicles.

Flood Risk Management Program:
The Flood Risk Management program is transitioning to focus more broadly on managing both to reduce the probability of flooding and , to reduce the consequences of flooding. The National Flood Risk Management Program (NFRMP) objective is to foster open and collaborative planning, response, and recovery efforts both internally and with our federal, state, local, and tribal partners. We achieve this by providing the public and decision makers with current and accurate flood risk information at the national, watershed, state, tribal, and local levels; identifying and assessing all flood risk reduction infrastructure hazards; and improving public awareness and understanding of flood-related hazards and risk.

The Flood Risk Management program is transitioning to focus more broadly on managing both to reduce the probability of flooding and , to reduce the consequences of flooding. The National Flood Risk Management Program (NFRMP) objective is to foster open and collaborative planning, response, and recovery efforts both internally and with our federal, state, local, and tribal partners. We achieve this by providing the public and decision makers with current and accurate flood risk information at the national, watershed, state, tribal, and local levels; identifying and assessing all flood risk reduction infrastructure hazards; and improving public awareness and understanding of flood-related hazards and risk.

The NFRMP promotes the notion that flood risk management as a shared responsibility between the various levels of government, the private sector, and private citizens, recognizing that the no single agency in Federal, state, or local government has the authorities or resources needed to manage flood risk alone. Each agency or group has the ability to take different steps to drive down flood risk to themselves and the Nation. The NFRMP promotes a life-cycle flood risk management approach that integrates and synchronizes mitigation, preparation and training, response and recovery activities into a holistic suite of solutions and programs.

Aging Infrastructure:
The Corps faces a huge challenge associated with our Civil Works mission in the 21st Century in terms of managing our Nation’s aging Civil Works infrastructure and fulfilling our mission requirements within emerging budget constraints. This involves both operating and maintaining the Nation’s portfolio of Civil Works projects, while also planning for and strategically implementing recapitalization of this infrastructure. Current budget constraints has underscored the new reality that we can’t rely on past ad-hoc decision processes for major repairs that will inevitably emerge at an accelerating rate in the future. There’s an urgent need to develop and implement new strategies to allocate constrained funds that will be available to meet the future needs of the Nation more effectively.

The Corps faces a huge challenge associated with our Civil Works mission in the 21st Century in terms of managing our Nation’s aging Civil Works infrastructure and fulfilling our mission requirements within emerging budget constraints. This involves both operating and maintaining the Nation’s portfolio of Civil Works projects, while also planning for and strategically implementing recapitalization of this infrastructure. Current budget constraints has underscored the new reality that we can’t rely on past ad-hoc decision processes for major repairs that will inevitably emerge at an accelerating rate in the future. There’s an urgent need to develop and implement new strategies to allocate constrained funds that will be available to meet the future needs of the Nation more effectively.

We are developing an asset management culture that will enable the Corps to deliver reliable infrastructure through use of risk-based assessments. We are working with other agencies to develop a Federal Support Toolbox to provide a single nationwide hub of water resources data, information, models and other support assistance that can be made accessible across Federal agencies, State water resources officials and others. We engaged a National Research Council Committee on Water Resources Science, Engineering, And Planning to provide advice on a range of scientific, engineering, and water resources planning issues. Through

its reports, the committee will advise us on practices that are valid or that should be revised, and help us anticipate and prepare for emerging water resources challenges.

Regulatory Programs:
USACE’s Regulatory program has an estimated impact of $220 billion on the Nation's economy. In FY11, the Corps expects to process about 100,000 jurisdictional determinations and permit decisions. Permit cases can include traditional and renewable energy projects, public water supply and transportation projects, commercial and residential developments, and mining of critical resources for myriad commercial uses, in addition to small landowner proposals to construct driveways, shore protection, and single-family homes.

USACE’s Regulatory program has an estimated impact of $220 billion on the Nation's economy. In FY11, the Corps expects to process about 100,000 jurisdictional determinations and permit decisions. Permit cases can include traditional and renewable energy projects, public water supply and transportation projects, commercial and residential developments, and mining of critical resources for myriad commercial uses, in addition to small landowner proposals to construct driveways, shore protection, and single-family homes.

USACE’s Regulatory Program continues efforts to propose guidance describing how the agencies will identify waters protected by the Clean Water Act and implement the Supreme Court’s decisions and emerging regulatory guidance. USEPA and Army are working to evaluate comments received on the proposed guidance regarding ‘waters of the U.S.’

Summary:
In closing, our Leadership is committed to managing the change our organization must achieve to continue to add value to the Nation. We specifically want to pay tribute to the thousands of Corps members who have deployed to places where conditions are tough and the need is great. Many are engaged in building civilian infrastructure (transportation networks, health care facilities and water resource projects such as Mosul Dam) that these countries will need to develop stable economies and improve life for their citizens. We also pay tribute to the Corps members in the States; for every Corps member downrange there is someone back at his or her home office picking up the slack.