In his first appearance before House overseers, Jeh Johnson, the DHS secretary, said employee morale is among his top priorities, but didn't say how he would address it. Johnson said he's working to fill top leadership positions on a permanent basis. DHS has a vacancy rate at top positions of 38 percent.
Rep. Jeff Duncan releases a discussion draft of a bill to add more discipline and oversight to the Homeland Security Department's acquisition process.
Agency officials said Thursday that they will switch from a custom-built to a commercial-off-the-shelf approach to modernize TECS, a mainframe system that has been operating for more than a quarter of a century. ICE spent more than $60 million before deciding to change directions after realizing the custom-built approach wouldn't work.
Unsuccessful bidders of one unrestricted portion of the EAGLE II contract are taking their arguments to GAO to try to get a spot on the multiple-award contract. Documents show DHS made no awards to any company whose total bid was more than $500 million.
Despite progress in confirming a new secretary and deputy secretary, DHS still features a large number of officials in acting roles. Former Secretary Tom Ridge told lawmakers the department cannot build nor sustain a mission-focused culture with so many non-permanent positions. NTEU says pay freezes, budget cuts and the government shutdown are more to blame for low morale across DHS and the entire government.
For the first time in its history, the Homeland Security Department turned in a clean financial audit. A new DHS inspector general report, however, says the department has "significant deficiencies" in its internal control over financial reporting.
The troubled HealthCare.gov website has been the subject of at least one attempted but unsuccessful cyber attack, according to one of the of the Homeland Security Department's top cyber officials. Lawmakers at a House Homeland Security Committee hearing said the consolidation of personal information and the glitch-prone website are cause for concern.
Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, and Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), chairman of the subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency, wrote a letter to DHS Chief Procurement Officer Nick Nayak earlier this week questioning the agency's entire solicitation process.
A new report from the Government Accountability Office fueled a House subcommittee hearing that revealed security concerns regarding the training and certification of contract guards employed by the Federal Protective Service.
News and buzz in the acquisition and IT communities that you may have missed this week.
Homeland Security, Defense and USDA are asking the Office of Management and Budget for the ability to reprogram agency funds to soften the blow of sequestration. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said the agency must cut $3 billion by Sept. 30 and every mission, contract and person will be impacted in some way. She said the Coast Guard already is feeling the impact of the cuts in mission areas.
The Customs and Border Protection directorate wants to weed out agents who "go bad" years into their careers, using more lie detector tests. Background checks at the Transportation Security Administration have kept more than 5,000 potentially bad actors from joining the TSA workforce. At Immigration and Customs Enforcement, leaders emphasize the importance of employee outreach and education to prevent corruption.
The House Committee on Homeland Security will mark up the Promoting and Enhancing Cybersecurity and Information Sharing Effectiveness Act of 2011 today. All members of the House got a snapshot of the nation's cyber threats yesterday in an interagency briefing.
A Defense Department program to share military equipment with federal, state and local agencies could ease budget pressure at the Homeland Security Department. Already, Customs and Border Protection has used military drones and radar-equipped airships to track drug smugglers and human traffickers.