Duncan Hearing on DHS Acquisitions Exposes Mismanagement

September 20, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Congressman Jeff Duncan, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency held a hearing entitled, “DHS Acquisition Practices: Improving Outcomes for Taxpayers Using Defense and Private Sector Lessons Learned.”

The Department spends hundreds of billions of dollars on its acquisition programs to support critical missions protecting the U.S. border, improving disaster response, and securing cyber infrastructure. However, today’s testimony found that DHS has significantly mismanaged many of its programs and routinely violated its acquisition policy. As of late 2012, over a third of DHS programs sustained “high” to “significant” cost increases all while DHS chose to move forward with a strategy to buy systems and services that are unaffordable. This year, Congressional watchdogs found 21 IT programs with cost or schedule problems, poor TSA management of its “body scanners” and canine teams, mismanagement of a $3 billion effort to improve DHS’ radio systems, and failure to convert DHS H-60 helicopters in a coordinated and cost-efficient manner.

Chairman Duncan on the hearing: “Our hearing today found that DHS continues to waste taxpayer dollars by failing to hold acquisition programs accountable. At a time when we are over $17 trillion in debt, DHS must do better to require component-wide discipline in program management. While DHS has taken steps to put good policies in place, these policies don’t improve results if they are not followed. Americans are sick and tired of government wasting tax dollars, and DHS has no excuse for its record. When programs cost more, are late, or do less than expected, it has a direct impact on our ability to protect the homeland.  DHS must do more to instill discipline, require accountability, and leverage best practices from the defense industry and private sector.”