Sen. Carper’s Provisions to Improve Financial Management and Reduce Inefficiencies at Department of Homeland Security Adopted at Key Committee Mark Up
WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) commended the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for its unanimous approval of his amendments that address the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) challenges and inefficiencies with regard to financial management and acquisition. The amendments, introduced during today’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee business meeting, will be added to the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act of 2011, which is still under consideration by the Committee.
Among Sen. Carper’s provisions is a requirement that DHS takes steps over the next several years in order to obtain a clean opinion on its financial statement audit. DHS is one of only two major federal government agencies that have yet to consistently meet the goal of a “clean” or unqualified financial audit opinion. This amendment, introduced with Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), would also require DHS to submit a report discussing plans to modernize its financial systems.
“As we work to trim budgets and reduce deficits, agencies across the federal government must do a better job of keeping their financial management and resources in order,” said Sen. Carper. “Moreover, agencies need to establish a culture of thrift. They need to look in every nook and cranny of federal spending and see if we can do more with less. The Department of Homeland Security, a massive agency charged with keeping Americans safe, is no exception. My amendments tackle some of the agency’s key management problems with common-sense solutions. I thank my colleagues on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for their support of these important provisions. I will work with the rest of my Senate colleagues to make sure the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act is considered in a timely manner.”
Sen. Carper’s other additions strive to effectively use and measure DHS resources. Sen. Carper’s second amendment addresses DHS grants that support state-run law enforcement information hubs, or “fusion centers.” The amendment would require a Government Accountability Office assessment of the performance of state and major urban area fusion centers to better guide grant funding for the centers. Sen. Carper’s final provision seeks to improve the process through which DHS can reduce the risks inherent in acquisition efforts by having an independent, knowledgeable party verify and validate that purchases meet the agency’s needs and fulfill their intended purpose.
For more information on Sen. Carper’s amendments or to watch a webcast of the business meeting, please visit: http://hsgac.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_id=96d4c832-d2ec-4001-877f-5b9c6c4249cc