H.R. 623 would direct the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish a working group to provide guidance and best practices on the use of social media technologies, specifically during a terrorist attack or other emergency. The group would prepare guidance for the emergency preparedness and response community. The act would define the membership of the working group, which would include more than 20 experts from federal, state, local, and tribal governments along with nongovernmental organizations. The working group would be authorized to hold virtual meetings to fulfill the requirement to meet twice a year. The working group would be required to submit an annual report on emerging trends and best practices for emergency response through social media.
Based on the cost of similar activities carried out under the DHS Acquisition and Accountability Efficiency Act and the Critical Infrastructure Research and Development Advancement Act of 2013, CBO estimates that the new DHS responsibilities and the annual report required by H.R. 623 would cost less than $500,000 annually, assuming the availability of appropriated funds. Enacting the legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
H.R. 623 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.