The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Department of Homeland Waste

The WasteWatcher is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact blog@cagw.org.


Since its creation in March 2003, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been dogged by criticism of its ability to fight waste, abuse and mismanagement.  On September 6, 2007, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its latest report with recommendations (on top of the 700 GAO recommendations made in the past) on what DHS should do to improve its management practices.

GAO compiled a list of “missions” and “management areas” that DHS is required to do by direction of legislation, presidential directives, and strategic plans.  In all, 171 performance tasks were studied in areas such as border security, aviation security, and financial management.  Out of the 171 individual tasks studied, only 78, or 46 percent of the expectations were “generally achieved,” leaving 93, or 54 percent, either “not generally achieved” or “not assessed.”

According to the report, DHS has not subjected all financial statements to an annual financial audit nor has it substantially complied with federal financial management system requirements.  The department’s lack of accountability underscores its inability to do its job.  Without more oversight, DHS will continue to misuse taxpayer dollars.

Ben Giovine

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