Department of Homeland Security: Oversight and Coordination of Research and Development Should Be Strengthened

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not know the total amount its components invest in research and development (R&D) and does not have policies and guidance for defining R&D and overseeing R&D resources across the department. According to DHS, its Science & Technology Directorate (S&T), Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO), and U. S. Coast Guard are the only components that conduct R&D and, according to GAO’s analysis, these are the only components that report budget authority, obligations, or outlays for R&D activities to the Office ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. September 12, 2012.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not know the total amount its components invest in research and development (R&D) and does not have policies and guidance for defining R&D and overseeing R&D resources across the department. According to DHS, its Science & Technology Directorate (S&T), Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO), and U. S. Coast Guard are the only components that conduct R&D and, according to GAO’s analysis, these are the only components that report budget authority, obligations, or outlays for R&D activities to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as part of the budget process. However, GAO identified an additional $255 million in R&D obligations by other DHS components. For example, S&T reported receiving $50 million in reimbursements from other DHS components to conduct R&D. Further, 10 components obligated $55 million for R&D contracts to third parties and $151 million to Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories for R&D-related projects, but these were not reported as R&D to OMB. According to DHS, it is difficult to identify all R&D investments across the department because DHS does not have a department wide policy defining R&D or guidance directing components how to report all R&D spending and activities. As a result, it is difficult for DHS to oversee components’ R&D efforts and align them with agency wide R&D goals and priorities. Developing specific policies and guidance could assist DHS components in better understanding how to report R&D activities, and better position DHS to determine how much the agency invests in R&D to effectively oversee these investments."

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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 12, 2012

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Department of Homeland Security: Oversight and Coordination of Research and Development Should Be Strengthened, report, September 12, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc296921/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.