As Congress debates the $39.7 billion Fiscal Year 2015 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) bill, the department’s Office of Inspector General’s (IG) said in its recap of its audits and investigations in FY 2014 that it found $907,400,236 in questioned costs, and $148,066,558 in funds put to better use.
The IG said its “roadmap” for the DHS programs and operations it plans to evaluate in FY 2015 in its Annual Performance Plan will “assess DHS’ progress in meeting the most critical issues it faces.” The plan could change, though, due to “future developments and requests from DHS management and Congress that may occur as the year progresses.”
The IG advises the department and Congress of ways to promote economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the department’s programs and operations, and to detect fraud and abuse.
"In fiscal year 2015, our work will focus on determining the effectiveness of the department’s efforts to (1) prevent terrorism and enhance security; (2) enforce and administer our immigration laws; (3) secure and manage our borders; (4) strengthen national preparedness and resilience to disasters; and (5) safeguard and secure the Nation’s cyberspace. We will also continue our efforts to promote management stewardship and ensure program integrity," said IG John Roth.
"We will determine how the department’s programs are evolving to counter emerging terrorist threats. We will assess whether DHS is effectively enforcing immigration laws and providing timely and effective immigration services. We will more proactively audit FEMA’s initial response to disasters as well as grantees’ capacity to carry out their grant-related responsibilities," Roth said.
Continuing, Roth said, "We will determine whether DHS information security is adequate, and whether critical DHS sites comply with technical securitycontrols and information security policies and procedures. We will evaluate management and financial controls to ensure DHS is efficiently managing and safeguarding its programs and resources and making well-informed decisions on program investments."
“We use a risk-based approach in planning our work to ensure we focus on issues that make a difference – those that might have a significant impact on the department’s ability to fulfill its strategic missions,” the IG said.
The IG said it plans to audit and investigate the following DHS programs and activities in the coming fiscal year:
- Preventing terrorism and enhancing security;
- TSA Automatic Target Recognition and Carry-on Luggage Penetration Testing;
- TSA Security Vetting of Passenger Rail Reservation Systems;
- Intelligence Community review of fusion centers;
- Controls over approval of Global Entry applications;
- Enforcing and administering our immigration laws;
- ICE’s use of discretion for immigration enforcement;
- Scalability of USCIS’ operations;
- DHS’ use of biometric information to detect and respond to naturalization fraud;
- Securing and managing our borders;
- Coast Guard drug interdiction efforts;
- Operational readiness of Border Patrol’s special operations groups;
- Efforts to combat smuggling;
- Strengthening national preparedness and resilience;
- Early grant audits to deter misspending and assess the community’s compliance;
- States’ management of Homeland Security Program Funds;
- FEMA’s management of the Disaster Relief Fund;
- FEMA’s implementation of the changes to the Stafford Act;
- Safeguarding and securing cyberspace;
- Science & Technology’s research and development efforts and advancements;
- Coordination between DHS’ cyber centers;
- CBP’s Analytical Framework for Intelligence Systems;
- Promoting management stewardship;
- TSA’s Office of Human Capital Contracts;
- ICE air transport for detainees;
- Promoting program integrity;
- DHS use of reimbursable work authorizations and interagency agreements;
- DHS’ use of deadly force; and
- CBP internal affairs information sharing of personally identifiable information