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House Homeland Security Committee’s DHS report card, “The state of homeland security 2007: An annual report card on the Department of Homeland Security”

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Stuffing the ballot box
The role of inspectors general has generated a lot of interest — on somebody’s part, anyway.

FCW.com’s online poll posed the question: “Do you believe inspectors general stifle innovation in federal agencies?” We got flooded with responses — more than 1,000 votes, in fact, with more than 80 percent of them saying that IGs don’t stifle innovation at all. We’re looking at the hanging chads right now.

Almost as interesting: More than 160 people voted “yes” or “somewhat.”

Other polling numbers
Here are other poll results from FCW.com.

When asked, “How would you rate your interest in congressional investigations of Lurita Doan?” 255 people responded.
  • 45.5 percent said they are very interested.
  • 31 percent said they are somewhat interested.
  • 23.5 percent said they are more interested in Anna Nicole Smith.
When asked, “Should agency CIOs control all IT spending within their agency?” 239 people responded.
  • 43.1 percent said yes.
  • 46.4 percent said no.
  • 10.5 percent said it won’t make a difference either way.

Take the new FCW.com poll
The Coast Guard said it will now be its own systems integrator for the Deepwater program. Should other agencies follow suit on modernization programs?

What do you think? Take the poll at www.fcw.com/polling.asp, or find the link on FCW.com Download at www.fcw.com/download.

DHS’ report card
Grades: What works as a better motivator? Former Rep. Steve Horn (R-Calif.), a former college professor, used them to great effect back in the Y2K days, of course, and Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) has used grades to measure cybersecurity efforts.

The Homeland Security Department now faces getting its own set of grades, compliments of professor… er, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

According to his report card, DHS earned mostly average grades for 2006, and Thompson called for improved employee morale and strengthened procurement oversight and financial reporting.

DHS received C grades for aviation security, emergency communications, information sharing, surface transportation security, scientific research and civil liberties.

Emergency preparedness and procurement each earned a C-minus. “The department needs to significantly increase its procurement workforce and develop an in-house cadre of procurement professionals,” the report states.

Domestic nuclear protection, chemical plant security, biological security and privacy rights earned B and B-minus grades. Efforts to establish better border security, protect critical infrastructure and achieve satisfactory management and administrative goals received incomplete marks.

Regarding SBInet, the report states that the department needs adequate SBInet “procurement, management and oversight resources in place to prevent the same procurement and deployment problems experienced by the department with previous border security technology systems.”

Find a link to the DHS report card on FCW.com’s Download at www.fcw.com/download.

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