Combating Nuclear Smuggling: DHS has Developed Plans for Its Global Nuclear Detection Architecture, but Challenges Remain in Deploying Equipment

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Over the past 10 years, DHS has made significant progress in deploying radiation detection equipment to scan for nuclear or radiological materials in nearly all trucks and containerized cargo coming into the United Stated through seaports and border crossings. However, challenges remain for the agency in developing a similar scanning capability for railcars entering this country from Canada and Mexico, as well as for international air cargo and international commercial aviation. As portal monitors approach the end of their expected service lives, observations from our past work may ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. July 26, 2012.

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Over the past 10 years, DHS has made significant progress in deploying radiation detection equipment to scan for nuclear or radiological materials in nearly all trucks and containerized cargo coming into the United Stated through seaports and border crossings. However, challenges remain for the agency in developing a similar scanning capability for railcars entering this country from Canada and Mexico, as well as for international air cargo and international commercial aviation. As portal monitors approach the end of their expected service lives, observations from our past work may help DHS as it considers options to refurbish or replace such monitors. Among other things, we have previously reported that DHS should (1) test new equipment rigorously prior to acquisition and deployment, (2) obtain the full concurrence of the end user to ensure that new equipment meets operational needs, and (3) conduct a cost-benefit analysis to inform any acquisition decisions. In our past work on the GNDA, we recommended that DHS develop an overarching strategic plan to guide the development of the GDNA, as well as a strategic plan for the domestic part of the global nuclear detection strategy. DHS took action on these recommendations and, in December 2010, it issued the interagency GNDA strategic plan. We reported, in July 2011, that the GNDA strategic plan addressed several of the aspects of our prior recommendations but did not (1) identify funding necessary to achieve plan objectives or (2) employ monitoring mechanisms to determine progress and identify needed improvements. In April 2012, DHS issued its GNDA implementation plan, which addresses the remaining aspects of our recommendations by identifying funding dedicated to plan objectives and employing monitoring mechanisms to assess progress in meeting those objectives. However, in both the GNDA strategic plan and the implementation plan, it remains difficult to identify priorities from among various components of the domestic part of the GNDA."

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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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  • July 26, 2012

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Combating Nuclear Smuggling: DHS has Developed Plans for Its Global Nuclear Detection Architecture, but Challenges Remain in Deploying Equipment, text, July 26, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc300602/: accessed October 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.