Senior leaders at the Homeland Security Department are “failing to hold acquisition programs accountable” in such key areas as border and airport security, a House subcommittee chairman charged Friday.
Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, told a hearing of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management that portions of the $167 billion in current program purchases of equipment and software “have been continually put at high risk” because of managers’ failure to execute a 2008 policy to require a “knowledge-based” approach to documenting specifications, costs and risks.
The Government Accountability Office, he noted, recently released a report finding that of 49 programs that DHS leadership reviewed, 43 were allowed to move forward with development even though they had not adhered to department policy. And of 71 programs that GAO reviewed, only four adhered to DHS policy, and more than 30 had none of the documentation required to demonstrate this critical knowledge. Costs in 16 programs increased 166 percent in only three years, McCaul added, and only a third of the programs had department-approved baselines that are essential for measuring cost growth.
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