Science and Technology Directorate (1 - 10 of 41 items)
Department of Homeland Security: Important Progress Made, but More Work Remains to Strengthen Management Functions
GAO-17-409T: Published: Feb 16, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 16, 2017.
As GAO reported in its 2017 high-risk update, the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) efforts to strengthen and integrate its management functions have resulted in the department meeting three and partially meeting two of GAO's criteria for removal from the High-Risk List (see table). For example, senior DHS officials demonstrated exemplary leadership commitment by frequently meeting with GAO...
Cybersecurity: Actions Needed to Strengthen U.S. Capabilities
GAO-17-440T: Published: Feb 14, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 14, 2017.
GAO has consistently identified shortcomings in the federal government's approach to ensuring the security of federal information systems and cyber critical infrastructure as well as its approach to protecting the privacy of personally identifiable information (PII). While previous administrations and agencies have acted to improve the protections over federal and critical infrastructure informati...
Bioforensics: DHS Needs to Conduct a Formal Capability Gap Analysis to Better Identify and Address Gaps
GAO-17-177: Published: Jan 11, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 10, 2017.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have identified some gaps in their bioforensics capabilities, but DHS has not performed a formal bioforensics capability gap analysis. It is therefore not clear whether DHS and the FBI have identified all of their capability gaps. A capability gap analysis can help identify deficiencies in capabilities and can...
Homeland Security: DHS's Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives Program Consolidation Proposal Could Better Consider Benefits and Limitations
GAO-16-603: Published: Aug 11, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 12, 2016.
The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) documentation related to its proposed consolidation of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) programs offers some insights into benefits and limitations considered, but the information provided to GAO did not include several key factors to consider when evaluating an organizational consolidation. While developing its consolid...
Homeland Security Acquisitions: DHS Has Strengthened Management, but Execution and Affordability Concerns Endure
GAO-16-338SP: Published: Mar 31, 2016. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 2016.
During 2015, 11 of the 25 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) programs GAO reviewed remained on track to meet their current schedule and cost goals. Eight programs experienced schedule slips, cost growth, or both, including 5 programs with life-cycle cost estimates that increased by a total of 18 percent. For the remaining six programs, DHS leadership had not approved baselines establishing thei...
Homeland Security Acquisitions: DHS Should Better Define Oversight Roles and Improve Program Reporting to Congress
GAO-15-292: Published: Mar 12, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 16, 2015.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has taken steps to improve oversight of major acquisition programs, but it lacks written guidance for a consistent approach to day-to-day oversight. Federal Standards for Internal Control call for organizations to define and document key areas of responsibility in order to effectively plan, direct, and control operations to achieve agency objectives. DHS h...
Department of Homeland Security: Actions Needed to Strengthen Management of Research and Development
GAO-14-865T: Published: Sep 9, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 9, 2014.
In September 2012, GAO reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not know the total amount its components had invested in research and development (R&D) and did not have policies and guidance for defining R&D and overseeing R&D resources across the department. According to DHS, its Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO), and Coast Guard...
Biosurveillance: Observations on the Cancellation of BioWatch Gen-3 and Future Considerations for the Program
GAO-14-267T: Published: Jun 10, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 10, 2014.
In September 2012, GAO reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) approved the Office of Health Affairs (OHA) acquisition of a next generation biosurveillance technology (Gen-3) in October 2009 without fully following its acquisition processes. For example, the analysis of alternatives (AoA) prepared for the Gen-3 acquisition did not fully explore costs or consider benefits and risk i...
Advanced Imaging Technology: TSA Needs Additional Information before Procuring Next-Generation Systems
GAO-14-357: Published: Mar 31, 2014. Publicly Released: Apr 30, 2014.
The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does not collect or analyze available information that could be used to enhance the effectiveness of the advanced imaging technology (AIT) with automated target recognition (ATR) system. Specifically, TSA does not collect or analyze available data on drills using improvised explosive devices (IED) at the check...
Aviation Security: TSA Should Limit Future Funding for Behavior Detection Activities
GAO-14-159: Published: Nov 8, 2013. Publicly Released: Nov 13, 2013.
Available evidence does not support whether behavioral indicators, which are used in the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program, can be used to identify persons who may pose a risk to aviation security. GAO reviewed four meta-analyses (reviews that analyze other studies and synthesize their findings) that included over 400 st...