PROTECTIONISM, NOT OUTSOURCING, PRESENTS RISKS
October 20, 2004
Applying protectionist policies to homeland security -- such as preventing the outsourcing of certain security initiatives -- would stifle innovation and increase costs, says a new report by the Heritage Foundation.
Contrary to the fears of some Americans, where a contract is fulfilled does not necessarily add to or detract from the end goal of protecting the United States. More important are the safeguards in the contract, says Heritage. As a result:
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should ensure that its contracts outline stringent security and data protection requirements.
- The DHS should establish a program whereby inspectors would examine contractor facilities to verify that all security requirements are met.
- Contract work should be conducted only in countries that have a cooperative relationship with the U.S. in such security matters as export procedures, harmonization of security requirements, and research and development.
Having the option to outsource security jobs worldwide will result in the greatest pool of companies (and their corresponding technologies) competing against one another in bidding on government contracts. As a consequence, the United States benefits through lower costs and greater quality of service.
To that end, says Heritage, Congress should remove legislative barriers to awarding contracts to corporate expatriates so that the most competent and skilled companies that will be given responsibility over America's safety.
Source: James Jay Carafano et al., "Protectionism Compromises America's Homeland Security," Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder No. 1777, July 9, 2004.
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