Department of Homeland Security--Transfer of Support Function for Principal Federal Officials
B-316533: Jul 31, 2008
In a letter dated May 22, 2008, Congress requested our opinion on whether a provision contained in the 2007 supplemental appropriations act prohibiting the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from using appropriated funds for reorganizing the department was in effect and applicable to actions taken by DHS at the beginning of fiscal year 2008. Additionally, Congress asked whether, if the prohibition was in effect, DHS improperly used appropriated funds to carry out a transfer of the Principal Federal Officials (PFO) Support Program from the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) to the Office of Operations Coordination's (OPS) Management and Administration Program.
After analyzing the applicable statutes and considering DHS's views, we conclude that the prohibition was indeed in effect on October 1, 2007, the date of the transfer. We also conclude that the transfer of the program support function constituted a transfer covered by the prohibition. The support function was previously performed by NPPD. Effective October 1, 2007, the Director of Operations Coordination was tasked with providing staff support to the PFOs, and NPPD then ceased to have a staff support role regarding PFOs.