Hearing of the Oversight, Investigations, and Management Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee - "DHS Acquisition Management Challenges: Solutions for Saving Taxpayer Dollars"

Hearing

By:  Bill Keating
Date: Sept. 21, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

In Fiscal Year 2011, the Department spent over $14 billion on goods and services, which was over one fourth of its budget.

Moreover, the Department processed some 100,000 transactions to support homeland security missions in Fiscal Year 2011.

Given these figures, it is crucial that the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer ensures that the Department enforces rigorous oversight of its procurement oversight policies and procedures, and communicates effectively with key component agency officials and designated personnel.

It is critical that the Department continues to clarify its procurement policy and accompanying guidance to inform component officials and personnel who are charged with implementing procurement procedures.

GAO's recent report regarding the Department's procurement oversight initiatives rightly criticizes the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer for not adequately communicating with or preparing component agency officials and personnel regarding their responsibility for completing procurement-related selfassessments or other program requirements.

I look forward to hearing from the witnesses about the actions the Department is taking to ensure that component agencies are aware of what is expected of component personnel to implement the procedures associated with procurement oversight.

I also want to learn more from the witnesses about actions being taken by the Department to prevent future occurrences of noted failed procurement programs including FPS' Risk Assessment and Management Tool, TSA's Puffer passenger screening program, the Office of Health Affairs' BioWatch, and SBInet.

In addition, I am particularly interested in hearing from the witnesses about the impact that strategic sourcing has had on procurement at the Department, and the training and outreach that has been offered to component personnel.

I would also like to hear what measures the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer has undertaken to protect the ability of small, minority and women-owned and other disadvantaged businesses to continue competing for contracting opportunities, given that strategic sourcing is being promoted across the Department and throughout the federal government.