Department of Homeland Security: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen Efficiency and Effectiveness, Achieve Cost Savings, and Improve Management Functions

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since 2011, GAO has identified 11 areas across the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) where fragmentation, overlap, or potential duplication exists and 13 areas of opportunity for cost savings or enhanced revenue collections. In these reports, GAO has suggested 53 total actions to the department and Congress to help strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of DHS operations. In GAO’s 2013 annual report on federal programs, agencies, offices, and initiatives that have duplicative goals or activities, GAO identified 6 new areas where DHS could take actions to address fragmentation, ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. April 26, 2013.

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since 2011, GAO has identified 11 areas across the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) where fragmentation, overlap, or potential duplication exists and 13 areas of opportunity for cost savings or enhanced revenue collections. In these reports, GAO has suggested 53 total actions to the department and Congress to help strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of DHS operations. In GAO’s 2013 annual report on federal programs, agencies, offices, and initiatives that have duplicative goals or activities, GAO identified 6 new areas where DHS could take actions to address fragmentation, overlap, or potential duplication or achieve significant cost savings. For example, GAO found that DHS does not have a department-wide policy defining research and development (R&D) or guidance directing components how to report R&D activities. Thus, DHS does not know its total annual investment in R&D, which limits its ability to oversee components’ R&D efforts. In particular, GAO identified at least 6 components with R&D activities and an additional $255 million in R&D obligations in fiscal year 2011 by DHS components that was not centrally tracked. GAO suggested that DHS develop and implement policies and guidance for defining and overseeing R&D at the department. In addition, GAO reported that by reviewing the appropriateness of the federal cost share the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) applies to agreements financing airport facility modification projects related to the installation of checked baggage screening systems, TSA could, if a reduced cost share was deemed appropriate, achieve cost efficiencies of up to $300 million by 2030 and be positioned to install a greater number of optimal baggage screening systems. GAO has also updated its assessments of the progress that DHS and Congress have made in addressing the suggested actions from the 2011 and 2012 annual reports. As of March 2013, of the 42 actions from these reports, 5 have been addressed (12 percent), 24 have been partially addressed (57 percent), and the remaining 13 have not been addressed (31 percent). Although DHS and Congress have made some progress in addressing the issues that GAO has previously identified, additional steps are needed to address the remaining areas to achieve associated benefits."

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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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  • April 26, 2013

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Department of Homeland Security: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen Efficiency and Effectiveness, Achieve Cost Savings, and Improve Management Functions, text, April 26, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302064/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.