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Executive Order 12472: Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Telecommunications Functions (Apr. 3, 1984) (amended by Executive Order 13286 of (Feb. 28, 2003) and changes made by Executive Order 13407 (June 26, 2006).


In 1984, Executive Order 12472, re-chartered the National Communication System (NCS) as those telecommunication assets owned or leased by the Federal government that can meet U.S. national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) needs. It assigned National Security and Emergency Preparedness telecommunications functions, including wartime and non-wartime emergency functions, to the National Security Council, OSTP, Homeland Security Council, OMB, and other federal agencies.

This Executive Order seeks to ensure that the Federal Government has telecommunications services that will function under all conditions, including emergency situations. It directs the NCS to assist the President, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council, the Director of OSTP, and the Director of the OMB in: (1) exercising the telecommunications functions and responsibilities set forth in the Executive Order; and (2) coordinating the planning for and provision of NS/EP communications for the Federal Government under all circumstances, including a crisis or emergency, an attack, recovery, and reconstitution.

Executive Order 12472 estab­lished a joint government-industry National Coordinating Center to assist in the initiation, coordina­tion, restoration and reconstitution of communications services or facilities under all conditions of crisis or emergency.

The Department of Homeland Security inherited the NCS in 2003.