Statements and Speeches
Hearing Statement: "Defending the Nation Since 9/11: Successful Reforms and Challenges Ahead at the Department of Homeland Security"
Sep 07 2011
WASHINGTON - Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security, participated in the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing, "Defending the Nation Since 9/11: Successful Reforms and Challenges Ahead at the Department of Homeland Security"
For more information on the hearing or to watch a webcast of the hearing, please click here.
A copy of his opening statement, as prepared for delivery, follows:
"As we approach the 10th anniversary of the Sept.11 terrorist attacks, it is important that we take a moment to reflect on how we've grown as a nation, as well as the challenges that still remain. Today's hearing will provide this committee a valuable assessment of the investments we have made in our homeland security over the last 10 years and will allow us to have an honest discussion of what has worked and where we can improve.
"The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), created in the wake of Sept. 11, has led the effort to keep our nation secure. DHS receives an annual budget of more than $50 billion and has more than 200,000 employees across the world. Since the formation of DHS, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reported on many of the security programs and management functions at the Department.
"While GAO has found many success stories at DHS, it has also noted that some programs have suffered from poor management and weak strategic planning, costing the taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. Moreover, DHS has not yet passed a financial audit, something that every business must do. In fact, DHS is one of only two major federal government agencies that have yet to meet the goal of a 'clean' or unqualified financial audit opinion.
"Given today's constrained financial environment and the evolving nature of the threat we face, we must find ways to be smarter and more effective with our security dollars so we can boldly, yet responsibly address new security challenges at our borders and airports, as well as in cyberspace. Poor financial management leads not only to millions lost in overpayments, erroneous financial reporting, and poor internal controls, but also to further insecurity and risk.
"We have made important strides in improving our homeland security efforts, but today's hearing will show that we must continue to work together and remain vigilant. Anything I do, I know I can do better. The same is true for the Department of Homeland Security. I look forward to hearing from all our witnesses about how the DHS is maturing and working to keep us secure, and I thank them for their public service."