IG Confirms Widespread DHS Funding, Planning Gaps

WASHINGTON – Governmental Affairs Committee Ranking Member Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., Wednesday issued the following statement in response to the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General’s report on major department management challenges:

“Those of us who fought to create the Department of Homeland Security, knew it would be a daunting but vital enterprise to get the department up and working well. Today’s management review from the Office of Inspector General graphically underscores the magnitude of this challenge and, unfortunately, confirms my fears that the Administration is not devoting sufficient attention or resources to the task. “On the one hand, it is heartening to review the many new initiatives underway to improve our homeland security and steps the department is taking to put needed measures in place. But far too often the report cites funding gaps or planning weaknesses that are hobbling the efforts of the Department. Some examples: “- The Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection directorate, designed to be the intelligence nerve center for homeland security, is severely understaffed and there is still confusion at all levels of government about the respective roles of this directorate and other federal intelligence centers; “- The department lacks an effective system to manage homeland security grants to local first responders. A means must be found to ensure that first responder funds are getting to those who need them in a timely manner. “- The Transportation Security Administration has devoted too little attention to non-aviation modes of transportation and even in the aviation sector is not keeping pace with key needs such as helping airports install baggage explosives detection machines. “Leadership is about choices, as well as intentions,” Lieberman said. “While I know the Administration’s intentions are well meaning, this report confirms that its leadership in keeping America as safe as it should be is still lacking.”