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GAO: Homeland Security: Challenges in Creating an Effective Acquisition Organization

Author: Michael J. Sullivan
July 27, 2006

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has some of the most extensive acquisition needs within theU.S. government. This report summarizes GAO reports and testimonies, which have reported on various aspects of DHS acquisitions. It examines areas where DHS has been successful in promoting collaboration among its various organizations, challenges it still faces in integrating the acquisition function across the department, and DHS' implementation of an effective review process for its major, complex investments. Since its establishment in March 2003, DHS has been faced with assembling 23 separate federal agencies and organizations with multiple missions and cultures into one department. This mammoth task involved a variety of transformational efforts, one of which is to design and implement the necessary management structure and processes for the acquisition of goods and services. The report highlights the need for improved oversight of contractors and adherence to a rigorous management review process.

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