New Bill Would Improve Department of Homeland Security Acquisition


A new bipartisan bill introduced in the House of Representative would making significant changes aimed at streamlining and improving purchasing and acquisition conducted by the Department of Homeland Security. Learn more in our blog.



The House wants to improve DHS acquisition and purchasing.


New Bill Would Improve Department of Homeland Security Acquisition


The bill, H.R. 2199, comes after a Government Accountability Office hearing on April 22 where the GAO “reported that, on average, DHS buying programs are more than three-and-a-half years late in meeting key objectives, while cost estimates for selected programs rose by 40 percent, or almost $10 billion,” according to Government Executive.


DHS deputy undersecretary for management Chip Fulghum responded that DHS saw the need for improvement at that hearing. However, he also stated that DHS has worked to improve acquisition and purchasing processes, and this work has generated results for the department, including metrics to track a variety of important acquisition and purchasing indicators and statistics.


The House responded with a bill that would “step up oversight and strengthen the ability of top procurement officials to re-work contracts.” Several members of the house noted that DHS systems for front-line operators were often delivered late and didn’t perform as anticipated.


Here is what the DHS Acquisition Accountability and Efficiency Act would entail, according to Government Executive.

  • Authorize the department’s chief acquisition officer, the undersecretary for management, to approve, halt, modify or cancel major acquisition programs as needed;

  • Require every major acquisition program to have an approved Acquisition Program Baseline document;

  • Codify the Acquisition Review Board and require the board to validate the documents — including the Acquisition Program Baseline — and review the cost, schedule and performance objectives of major acquisitions;

  • Require a multiyear acquisition strategy in each Future Years Homeland Security Program;


  • Authorize the chief procurement officer to serve as the main liaison to industry and to oversee a certification and training program for DHS’s acquisition workforce;

  • Compel DHS to submit to Congress major acquisition programs that fail to meet cost, schedule or performance metrics through quarterly status and accountability reports;

  • Direct the department to find ways to streamline the acquisition process and strategically address issues regarding bid protests without creating any new offices or programs; and,

  • Instruct DHS to eliminate unnecessary duplication.


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