Maritime Security: DHS Could Benefit from Tracking Progress in Implementing the Small Vessel Security Strategy

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its components--such as the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection (CBP)--have started or completed initiatives to address small vessel security risks, but DHS is not tracking the progress being made to address action items in the Small Vessel Security Strategy (SVSS) Implementation Plan. "Small vessels" are characterized as any watercraft--regardless of method of propulsion--less than 300 gross tons, and used for recreational or commercial purposes. DHS component officials GAO met with identified examples of key initiatives that ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. October 31, 2013.

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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) and its components--such as the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection (CBP)--have started or completed initiatives to address small vessel security risks, but DHS is not tracking the progress being made to address action items in the Small Vessel Security Strategy (SVSS) Implementation Plan. "Small vessels" are characterized as any watercraft--regardless of method of propulsion--less than 300 gross tons, and used for recreational or commercial purposes. DHS component officials GAO met with identified examples of key initiatives that they have completed or have under way to enhance small vessel security, including an initiative to help CBP better track small vessels arriving from foreign locations and another to assist the Coast Guard in assessing and monitoring small vessel launch sites. Although the SVSS Implementation Plan states that DHS is to assess and update the plan, DHS has not determined the progress its components and other relevant stakeholders--such as the Department of Defense--are making in completing the action items and has no current plans to do so. DHS officials stated that this is due, in part, to budget constraints that make this a low priority. DHS officials stated that updating the SVSS Implementation Plan would be valuable, and doing so is particularly important since more than one component could be responsible for action items in the plan. Accordingly, by systematically gathering information from its components and other relevant stakeholders to regularly update the progress they are making in addressing the action items in the plan, DHS could help prioritize initiatives given constrained budgets and better identify successes and lessons learned, among other things."

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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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  • October 31, 2013

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Maritime Security: DHS Could Benefit from Tracking Progress in Implementing the Small Vessel Security Strategy, report, October 31, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc297501/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.