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DHS Loses Track of its Spending

Created in 2002 to protect the nation’s people and borders, the Department of Homeland Security is still sorely lacking in some of its most basic duties over a decade later.

According to a report from the Government Accountability Office, DHS has poorly tracked how much it spends on its workforce training programs and facilities each year.

The GAO report, released in late January, stated that “DHS lacks reliable training cost information and data needed to make effective and efficient management decisions.”

Because the DHS was created to merge 22 federal agencies and sub-agencies, it has faced numerous challenges over the years due to its massive size and conflicting needs. Additionally, the agency has neglected to solve the GAO’s nearly 30 recommendations in the last 11 years to improve training and efficiency.

The GAO conducted its audit last year, and made the following recommendations:

  • Develop and implement a process to accurately capture and report training information across DHS.
  • Establish an effective governance structure at DHS and component levels with clear guidance and authority for training and development.
  • Evaluate past working group recommendations and create an implementation plan for recommendations that will improve the management of DHS training.

DHS acknowledged these recommendations in its December response to GAO auditors, reiterating its commitment to “consistent oversight and transparency in order to ensure unity of effort, and encourage efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability.”

Jeff Neal, senior vice president for ICF International and former DHS chief human capital officer, said to Federal News Radio that while he wasn’t surprised by the findings, DHS’ response shows “that DHS ‘gets it’ and is working to address the issues.”

“Because of its law enforcement mission and the need to train new hires in mission-specific subjects, DHS is a far more training-intensive agency than most of the rest of the government,” Neal said. “The split of training responsibilities between the CHCO [Chief Human Capital Officer] and the components contributes to the problem, but there is no easy way to fix that.”

 

Posted in General News

Tags: Pentagon, ash carter, budget

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