Chairman Carper Commends DHS on First Clean Financial Audit

WASHINGTON – Today, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) commended the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) following its announcement that it will pass a clean financial audit for the first time since its establishment in 2003.

“Today’s announcement is a milestone for the Department of Homeland Security and represents an important step in helping the Department be a responsible steward of taxpayer funds,” said Chairman Carper. “Given the size of the Department, the fact that it encompasses 22 separate agencies, and the scope and importance of its mission, producing a clean financial audit is no small task. I credit the Department’s past and current leadership for making financial management a priority and taking the steps necessary to realize this important goal.”

For years, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has worked with DHS, the Administration and members of Congress to improve the Department’s financial management systems. In 2011, Chairman Carper joined Senators Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Ron Johnson (R- Wisc.) in introducing the DHS Audit Requirement Target (DART) Act, which requires DHS to obtain and pass full audits for its financial statements. By earning this clean bill of health from an independent auditor, DHS is now in compliance with this law and is on track to continue to do so. The Department of Defense is now the only large federal department that is unable to conduct a financial audit.

The formation of DHS in 2003 involved merging 22 agencies, each with its own way of conducting financial reports and practices. This week’s financial auditing announcement is a key milestone in consolidating these practices into one, cohesive financial report. This announcement comes in the wake of a November Government Accountability Office report that highlighted key areas that DHS should target to improve its financial management. Many of the recommendations in that report have been or are being implemented by DHS.