Issue Date: September 24, 2012
Homeland Security R&D Lacks Oversight
The Department of Homeland Security does not know the total amount of money it is spending on R&D activities, the Government Accountability Office says in a new report (GAO-12–837). The analysis notes that the Science & Technology Directorate, the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, and the U.S. Coast Guard are the only DHS components that conduct R&D and report outlays for these activities to the White House as part of the budget process. However, GAO says it identified an additional $255 million in R&D obligations by other DHS agencies. For example, the S&T Directorate reported receiving $50 million in reimbursements from other DHS offices to conduct R&D. Furthermore, 10 DHS components obligated approximately $55 million for R&D contracts to third parties that were not reported as R&D. “Developing specific policies and guidance could assist DHS components in better understanding how to report R&D activities, and better position DHS to determine how much the agency invests in R&D to effectively oversee these investments,” GAO says.
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