House Passes Congressman Jeff Duncan’s DHS Acquisition Accountability and Efficiency Act

Jun 10, 2014 Issues: Homeland Security

Washington, DC – Today, the House of Representatives passed the DHS Acquisition Accountability and Efficiency Act, H.R. 4228, a bill introduced by Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03) to reform the Department of Homeland Security’s acquisitions and large purchases processes. The bill sets agency-wide standards for DHS acquisitions, improving accountability, discipline, and transparency in an agency that spent $10 billion on acquisitions last year. H.R. 4228 garnered bipartisan support and easily passed the House by a voice vote.

In carrying out his oversight duties as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight Management and Efficiency, Congressman Duncan recognized the need for the legislation after learning of inconsistencies in the acquisitions process that led to waste of taxpayer dollars, oversight failures, and mismanagement of projects. In 2012, the Government Accountability Office found only 16 of 42 acquisitions programs had approved baseline costs and identified 42 programs that experience cost growth, schedule slips, or both. An overview of the issue and the bill is attached.

"Today the House took an important step to restore much needed accountability to DHS," said Duncan. "For years, DHS's purchases of major homeland security systems have been late, cost more, and done less than promised. This bill will save taxpayer dollars by forcing DHS to improve its management."

“The Department of Homeland Security was given a tremendous mission and faced the tough task of bringing together over 20 various departments and agencies under one roof upon its founding. However, this is no excuse for the widespread mismanagement and waste of taxpayer dollars currently going on at DHS. The DHS Acquisition Accountability and Efficiency Act brings much needed reforms to ensure the proper stewardship of taxpayer dollars is being applied to the agency’s purchasing projects. The bill standardizes the acquisitions process and establishes oversight mechanisms so projects can be measured and reviewed accordingly, requires baseline costs approval for projects, and gives agency leaders the needed authority to take swift action on major acquisition projects that are experiencing problems.”

“I see this bill as a common sense way to bring accountability to the process and save taxpayer dollars. Congress has a responsibility to comb through every department and look for ways to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse. This legislation finally begins that process for the Department of Homeland Security. I want to thank the House Leadership for bringing my legislation up for a vote, and urge the Senate to move forward on this so we can quickly implement these much needed reforms.”