Senate committee approves bill to improve DHS management

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has approved a bill designed to improve top management at the Homeland Security Department.

The Homeland Security Management Act of 2007, sponsored by Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio), would create the position of deputy secretary of homeland security for management at the department, elevating the responsibilities of the current undersecretary for management. The bill, approved Aug. 1, will next go to the full Senate for consideration.

The new position would be a major step toward resolving the ongoing difficulties of creating a unified identity for the 22 agencies and more than 200,000 employees that constitute DHS.

“I am convinced the existing management structure at the department is insufficient and is hampering its ability to be successful,” said Voinovich, ranking member of the committee’s Oversight of Government Management Subcommittee. “Creation of a deputy secretary for management will provide essential expertise necessary for improving the long-term efficiency and effectiveness of the department.”

Under the legislation, the person appointed to the new position would be the third-ranking official at the department and would serve a five-year term. Responsibilities would include developing a management integration strategy for the department.

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