WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement in response to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, Homeland Security Acquisitions: Major Program Assessments Reveal Actions Needed to Improve Accountability. GAO found that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) needs to develop more realistic baselines for the cost and schedules of major acquisitions, improve testing, and ensure that senior DHS leaders and Congress have complete and reliable data on the status of major acquisitions. For more information on the report, please visit: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-171SP
"Today's report shows that the Department of Homeland Security still has some serious challenges with its major acquisitions," Sen. Carper said. "Whether it’s purchasing ships or aircrafts, cybersecurity technology, passenger and baggage screening devices, or a host of other goods and services to carry out its missions, the Department needs strong procedures to make sure the government – and taxpayers – are getting what they pay for. While I believe significant progress has been made on this front in recent years, the Department's procedures for approving and overseeing major acquisitions need to mature, as the GAO report shows. I share GAO's encouragement that the Department's leadership has acknowledged the importance of improving acquisition management. I have seen first-hand the commitment Secretary Johnson and Deputy Secretary Mayorkas have to making further progress on this effort. I've also spoken with the newly-confirmed Under Secretary for Management Deyo about his plans to address the concerns identified by GAO. I look forward to continuing to work with Secretary Johnson and his team to make sure that maturation and progress moves forward."