More Better Buying


After a shellacking by Congress and critics for Pentagon-like poor acquisition performance in just its first decade of existence, word comes now that the Homeland Security Department is doing a better job of spending taxpayer dollars on what it buys.

At the same time, the think tank warned DHS that more might be allocated for long-term research and development, as the majority of DHS R&D contract obligations are for short-term development and testing efforts. Problems remain, for sure, however. A recent Government Accountability Office report said that even though the Coast Guard has revised 15 out of 16 program baselines in its major acquisition portfolio at least once, 10 of those still do not reflect the actual cost or schedule of those programs today.

And a recent report by the DHS inspector general’s office found that a $430 million effort to establish department-wide interoperable radio communications has failed thus far, starting with a lack of authoritative management. Keep trying.

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