DHS' performance mostly average

The State of Homeland Security (.pdf)

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The Homeland Security Department earned mostly average grades on its 2006 report card from the House Homeland Security Committee with special attention needed for improving employee morale and strengthening procurement oversight and financial reporting.

The report was posted on the committee’s Web site April 13 by the panel's chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.).

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

Emergency preparedness and procurement earned C- grades. “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- grades.

The committee marked as incomplete efforts to establish better border security, protect critical infrastructure and achieve satisfactory management and administrative goals.

Regarding the Secure Border Initiative Network, 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.”

Alice Lipowicz writes for Washington Technology, an 1105 Government Information Group publication.

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