The Department of Homeland Security and Department of Homeland Defense spent $61 million on six potentially redundant information technology projects, a study by the General Accountability Office found.
Details directly from the report on what was found:
“Two potentially duplicative investments totaling about $30 million at DHS that are used to “book” and process apprehended illegal aliens who are suspected of committing criminal and administrative violations, commonly referred to as immigration enforcement booking management;
“Four such investments totaling about $31 million at DOD, which include two investments totaling $16 million that track health care status of warfighters and two investments totaling $15 million that manage dental care.”
The GAO said the Department of Defense cancelled one of the health care systems and will consolidate the dental systems “but had not developed a plan on how this was to be accomplished.”
Homeland Security cited “unique requirements” for the dual immigration booking systems, “but were unable to provide analysis showing why one system couldnot satisfy the unique requirements.”
A U.S. House subcommittee is holding hearings today on employee misconduct at the Transportation Security Administration. Among the topics: A new General Accountability Office report that examined 9,600 employee misconduct cases from 2010 to 2012 and found the number of cases increased 27%; nearly half resulted in a letter of reprimand; 17% lost their jobs; and “additional procedures could help TSA better monitor the investigations and adjudications process.”
Two charts below highlight the GAO’s examination of the misconduct cases. And at the bottom is an embedded copy of the report itself.
The General Accountability Office has added the fiscal impact of climate change to a “High Risk List” list it prepares for Congress and federal officials every two years. About a dozen items on the 30-item list are at least in part related to national security.
Responsibility for “extensive infrastructure such as defense facilities” and the government as provider of disaster aid were among the points cited in adding climate change to risk list.
Climate change was one of two new risks added to the biennial GAO list, which “calls attention to agencies and program areas that are high risk due to their vulnerabilities to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, or are most in need of transformation.”
The other new area cited was gaps in weather satellites replacement plans caued by “legacies of cost increases, missed milestones, technical problems, and management challenges that have resulted in reduced functionality and slips to planned launch dates. As a result, the continuity of satellite data is at risk.”
Only two items were removed from the 2011 GAO list (interagency contrracting and IRS business systems modernization). About a dozen of the 30-item are related to agencies and operations related to national security, among them six in the Department of Defense, including DOD financial management, and the following:
The GAO report notes that “In the past 2 years notable progress has been made in the vast majority of areas that remain on GAO’s High Risk List.”
“Timeliness has steadily worsened since the inception of the program,” Daniel Bertoni, the GAO’s director for education, workforce and income security, said, according to the Washington Post.
“Active duty troops waited 394 days on average in fiscal year 2011, while members of the National Guard and Reserve faced waits of 420 days. In 2010, the wait times were 357 and 370 days, respectively, and in 2008, they were less than 300.
“Unfortunately, this new disability system is exhibiting some of the same failings of the broken system that it was designed to replace,” said the committee’s chairman, Sen. Patty Murray, (D-Wash.) “Our servicemembers should never be forced to wait nearly 400 days to get a decision that will have such an important impact on their future.” “
(POGO) “You’re in the military. You blew the whistle. Something bad happened to your career. You ask your military service Inspector General or the big Department of Defense Inspector General (DoD IG) to investigate what you believe is reprisal. You’re in good hands, right? Maybe not. Or at least there’s some reason for concern.
“There are numerous problems with how investigators are handling these cases, according to a draft Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that POGO has obtained. Perhaps the most concerning finding is that unclear guidance “has resulted in investigators closing cases prematurely,” according to the draft. The guidance relates to “a key investigative question” on whether an adverse personnel action would be taken against the complainant in absence of whistleblowing. A “yes” answer to this question was estimated by GAO to be the cause, at least in part, for “65 percent of the cases closed between January 1, 2009 and March 31, 2011.” “
“The true costs of some of the biggest pieces of the U.S. arsenal are mostly hidden, the audit concluded, because the Defense Department’s public documents typically list only how much has been spent or will be spent to acquire its fighters, ships, and vehicles.
“The long-term costs of owning such armaments, including all the operations, maintenance, and repair expenses, are often misstated or ignored in the Pentagon’s reports to Congress, or compiled only in an aggregate number that defeats careful analysis of rising costs in individual programs or prudent planning for future military spending, according to the auditors.”
For those who cover mulitary bases, and the military, here’s a fairly fresh U.S. Government Accountability Office report (PDF) on sexual harassment in the military. Among the findings:
GAO found that DOD has limited visibility over the occurrence of sexual harassment because not all military installations and commands report sexual harassment complaint data to their respective service-level sexual harassment program offices and found that the department does not have a set of uniform data elements with which to collect such data.
GAO also found that servicemembers resolve most complaints of sexual harassment informally rather than report them formally. Estimates from DOD’s survey found that the majority of servicemembers who felt they were harassed sexually chose not to formally report the incident. Similarly, GAO’s survey found that 82 of 583 servicemembers indicated that they had been harassed sexually during the preceding 12 months; of these, only 4 indicated that they had reported the incident formally.
Chart with results of a survey conducted a various domestic and foreign bases.