Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld announced today that he has directed Secretary of the Army Francis J. Harvey to convene an independent panel of national experts under the direction of the National Academies of Science to evaluate the performance of hurricane protection systems in New Orleans and the surrounding areas.
Under the National Academies, the National Research Council will assemble a multi-disciplinary (engineering, atmospheric sciences, etc.), independent panel of acknowledged national and international experts from the public and private sectors and academia. This panel will perform a high-level review and issue a final set of findings based primarily on the data gathered by another organization, the Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force (IPET).
The IPET will include a broad interagency participation, private sector and academic expertise. The IPET is to obtain the facts by collecting, analyzing, testing, and modeling data and information on the performance of the New Orleans hurricane protection system during Hurricane Katrina. A third organization, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) will convene an independent review panel and will validate the products developed by the IPET and will also report findings directly to the National Research Council.
The study is expected to take approximately eight months to complete. All reports generated by these three panels will be made available to the public. For additional information regarding these panels, please contact (703) 697-2564.