Legislation would require procurement training at DHS

House Committee on Homeland Security

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Rep. Christopher Carney (D-Pa.) introduced a bill Feb. 5 that would require  more procurement training for the Homeland Security Department’s acquisition employees.

The DHS Procurement Improvement Act (H.R. 803) would require the department's chief procurement official to establish objectives for efficient and effective use of resources. That official would develop curriculum for training programs, while tailoring them to support the careers of acquisition employees.

The measure would require a new Council on Procurement Training, to be headed by the deputy chief procurement officer (CPO) at DHS, to advise and make policy recommendations to the CPO.

The bill would mandate reviews of contractors’ histories before awarding contracts, and the DHS secretary would be required to strengthen the department’s purchase card policies.

“This is a crucial first step to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in the Department of Homeland Security’s procurement, contracts and purchase cards,” said Carney, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s Management, Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. “There is no room for mismanagement or disorganization,” he added later.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), the subcommittee’s ranking member and former chairman, said the bill addresses problems the committee identified last year, when he introduced similar legislation.

“These measures will ensure that the Department of Homeland Security is being run in the best way possible and keeping our country safe,” Carney said.

The bipartisan bill has 15 co-sponsors.

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