Homeland Security: Improvements in Managing Research and Development Could Help Reduce Inefficiencies and Costs

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses our past work examining the management of research and development (R&D) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS acquisition programs represent hundreds of billions of dollars in life-cycle costs and support a wide range of missions and investments including Coast Guard ships and aircraft, border surveillance and screening equipment, nuclear detection equipment, and technologies used to screen airline passengers and baggage for explosives. Since its creation in 2003, DHS has spent billions of dollars on R&D on technologies and other countermeasures to address various ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. March 15, 2011.

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses our past work examining the management of research and development (R&D) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS acquisition programs represent hundreds of billions of dollars in life-cycle costs and support a wide range of missions and investments including Coast Guard ships and aircraft, border surveillance and screening equipment, nuclear detection equipment, and technologies used to screen airline passengers and baggage for explosives. Since its creation in 2003, DHS has spent billions of dollars on R&D on technologies and other countermeasures to address various threats and to conduct its missions. Within DHS, the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) conducts overall R&D efforts to improve homeland security. Among other things, S&T works with DHS components to provide assistance in researching and developing technologies to meet their specific missions, while the components themselves are responsible for developing, testing, and acquiring these technologies. For example, DHS's Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) is charged with developing, acquiring, and deploying equipment to detect nuclear and radiological materials, supporting the efforts of DHS and other federal agencies. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is responsible for securing the nation's transportation systems and, with S&T, researching, developing, and deploying technologies to, for example, screen airline passengers and their baggage. Furthermore, the Coast Guard utilizes a variety of assets such as small boats, ships, helicopters, and other aircraft to perform its missions and regularly develops and procures new assets to replace its aging fleet. In recent years, DHS has experienced challenges in managing its multibillion dollar R&D and acquisition efforts, including instances where technologies were implemented before testing and evaluation was complete. We have also identified problems with its testing and cost-benefit analyses efforts in this area. This testimony is based on reports and testimonies we issued from May 2009 through March 2011, including a report we issued earlier this month regarding opportunities to reduce potential duplication in government programs, save tax dollars, and enhance revenue. This testimony is based on the section from that report related to the management of R&D within DHS. Specifically, this testimony discusses inefficiencies in homeland security R&D and potential for cost savings in this area. This testimony is based on reports and testimonies we issued from May 2009 through March 2011, including a report we issued earlier this month regarding opportunities to reduce potential duplication in government programs, save tax dollars, and enhance revenue. The testimony is based on the section from that report related to the management of R&D within DHS. Specifically, this testimony discusses inefficiencies in homeland security R&D and potential for cost savings in this area."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • March 15, 2011

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Homeland Security: Improvements in Managing Research and Development Could Help Reduce Inefficiencies and Costs, text, March 15, 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc290867/: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.