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House passes bill to reform DHS acquisition management

Jun. 10, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments
The House has passed a bill to reform DHS's acquisition process.
The House has passed a bill to reform DHS's acquisition process. (KAREN BLEIER / AFP)

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A bill that would reform the acquisition process at the Department of Homeland Security and require DHS to report all cost overruns for major projects to Congress was approved by the House in a voice vote June 9.

The DHS Acquisition Accountability and Efficiency Act—introduced by Reps. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., Michael McCaul, R-Texas, Ron Barber, D-Ariz., and Steve Daines, R-Mont.—would also:

» Authorize the chief acquisition officer at DHS to approve, halt, modify or cancel major acquisition programs as needed.

» Create an acquisition review board within the agency that would validate procurement documents and review the cost, schedule and performance of major acquisitions.

» Require every major procurement and program to have cost, schedule and scope baseline documents in order to determine its effectiveness and efficiency in later years.

» Mandate the program manager to notify agency leaders if a program runs the risk of being 20 percent over budget or 12 months behind schedule.

Duncan, chairman of the Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the legislation increases accountability, discipline and transparency for major purchases at DHS.

"For years, DHS's purchases of major homeland security systems have been late, cost more, and done less than promised. This bill will save taxpayer dollars by forcing DHS to improve its management,” Duncan said on the House floor before the vote.

The department would also have to develop an incentive program for project managers to help bring projects in on time and on budget.

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