Combating Nuclear Smuggling: DHS Needs to Consider the Full Costs and Complete All Tests Prior to Making a Decision on Whether to Purchase Advanced Portal Monitors

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) is responsible for addressing the threat of nuclear smuggling. Radiation detection portal monitors are key elements in our national defenses against such threats. DHS has sponsored testing to develop new monitors, known as advanced spectroscopic portal (ASP) monitors, to replace radiation detection equipment currently being used at ports of entry. ASPs may offer improvements over current generation portal monitors, particularly the potential to identify as well as detect radioactive material and thereby minimize both missed threats and ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. September 25, 2008.

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) is responsible for addressing the threat of nuclear smuggling. Radiation detection portal monitors are key elements in our national defenses against such threats. DHS has sponsored testing to develop new monitors, known as advanced spectroscopic portal (ASP) monitors, to replace radiation detection equipment currently being used at ports of entry. ASPs may offer improvements over current generation portal monitors, particularly the potential to identify as well as detect radioactive material and thereby minimize both missed threats and false alarms. However, ASPs cost significantly more than current generation portal monitors, and testing of ASPs' capabilities needs to be more objective and rigorous. Due to concerns about ASPs' cost and performance, Congress has required that the Secretary of DHS certify that ASPs will provide a significant increase in operational effectiveness before obligating funds for full-scale ASP procurement. DHS is currently testing ASPs and anticipates a decision on certification in November 2008. This testimony addresses (1) the highlights of GAO's September 2008 report on the life cycle cost estimate to deploy ASPs (GAO-08-1108R), and (2) preliminary observations from ongoing work reviewing the current program of ASP testing."

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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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  • September 25, 2008

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Combating Nuclear Smuggling: DHS Needs to Consider the Full Costs and Complete All Tests Prior to Making a Decision on Whether to Purchase Advanced Portal Monitors, text, September 25, 2008; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc292512/: accessed December 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.