Surprise surprise. It didn't take them long to break to first election promise. No doubt the first of many. Rudd the new lying rodent. LABOR'S proposed Department of Homeland Security, which would incorporate national security and border protection agencies, will be abandoned, say senior figures in the incoming Rudd government. The decision, expected to be confirmed as early as this week when the prime minister-elect, Kevin Rudd, announces his front bench, represents Labor's first broken election promise. However, the concept pre-dates Mr Rudd's leadership and Labor cancelled its national-security policy launch during the campaign. It is understood that Mr Rudd has been told by senior bureaucrats during discussions this week about his transition to government that the creation of a department of homeland security would be hugely disruptive with negligible benefit. Security chiefs and bureaucrats have been dreading the prospect of moving to a new mega-department, especially as a similar bureaucracy in the US has been beset by big problems. "It's not going to happen," said one Labor frontbencher, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Another Labor source said: "I suppose you could put it in the non-core promise category. No one thinks it's a particularly good idea." The proposed department would have brought together ASIO, the federal police, the Coastguard, as well as elements of Customs, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Attorney-General's department and the Department of Transport. "It's a proposal that needs to be looked at very carefully," said Hugh White, head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University. "The experience in the US has been so negative and it's not clear that it would do much to improve the co-ordination of Australia's agencies. There's a number of things to be done but setting up a department of homeland security may not be one of them." One option being considered is to have a smaller co-ordinating authority for national security to bolster co-operation between the arms of government charged with addressing the terrorism threat, including intelligence agencies, police and Customs. Mr Rudd told the National Press Club last week that he was anxious to have minimal disruption to the bureaucracy if he took power. But asked later that day by the Herald whether that meant he no longer favoured a homeland security department, Mr Rudd gave a carefully worded response that gave the impression he would implement the long-standing policy without committing to it. "The need underpinning our proposal for a department of homeland security is to ensure that the silos are talking to each other," he said. The problem is how to negotiate the sensitive politics of the about-face. But with the Coalition in disarray, Labor insiders said now was as good a time as any. Mr Rudd's spokesman yesterday declined to endorse the introduction of the department or comment on whether it was being dumped. Mr Rudd's new Office of National Security - headed by a national security adviser - could also take over the co-ordinating role. Candidates being mooted for the powerful new position of national security adviser include the Lowy Institute director, Alan Gyngell, a former senior defence official, Alan Behm, and the US ambassador, Dennis Richardson.