NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Taxpayers Foot the Bill for Federal Mismanagement, Again

May 1, 2015

Nearly all of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) largest and most expensive projects have soared over budget and slid behind schedule, delaying important programs vital to national security. And, naturally, the taxpayers have picked up the tab.

According to yet another report from the Government Accountability Office (GOA), which reviewed 22 of DHS's most significant projects and concluded that all but two are on track. The rest were, on average, behind schedule by about three and a half years.

One such program is the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Logistics Supply Chain Management System that is supposed to help the agency coordinate with other federal entities while responding to a disaster.

Overall, the delays have added to the projects' ballooning price tags. GAO estimated the total cost of the 22 programs is about $9.7 billion higher than originally expected. So far, 14 are behind schedule and at least half are over budget.

The auditors said they were not able to review at least six projects because the agency did not have approved cost estimates or schedules to measure progress even though federal policy requires those approvals.

The GAO attributed the cost overruns and schedule delays to staffing issues, technical difficulties with IT systems and funding shortages. The auditors recommend the Program Accountability and Risk Management Office put in place a policy to ensure agencies are documenting all of the correct information to have a better idea of how much the projects will cost going forward.

Source: Brianna Ehley, "DHS Blows Another $9.7 Billion on Mismanaged Programs," Fiscal Times, April 28, 2015. 


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