Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04), Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on the House Appropriations Committee, today released the following statement after Government Accountability Office (GAO) officials completed their testimony before the Subcommittee regarding the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) Program after the original hearing held on July 26th was postponed due to Congressional votes.
"Preventing hazardous chemicals from falling into the wrong hands is a critical component in protecting our homeland," said Aderholt. "However, the Department's primary program to address these threats, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) Program, has at best struggled. Late last year, an internal memo was leaked to the public and offered disturbing insights concerning the management of the CFATS program. With this information this Subcommittee called for a full GAO review and numerous oversight requirements."
"The internal memo detailed that the CFATS program not only lacked well-developed direction, but further identified significant unnecessary expenditures, hiring of inappropriate personnel and other gaps that pose a risk to the program's vital mission."
"Since its inception over five years ago, Congress has appropriated nearly half a billion dollars to CFATS, however the Department has failed to fully develop an efficient and effective program. This Subcommittee cannot tolerate waste, fraud and abuse, especially when dealing with vital national security programs and at a time when our federal budget is hemorrhaging red ink," continued Aderholt.
"I have said time and time again, dollars spent do not necessary equal security realized. The Department must show evidence of what we've gained from the investments made in the CFATS program and put in a plan in place to make this broken program viable. The American people and the industry required to adhere to the program's standards, deserve no less," concluded Aderholt.