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house Bill H.R. 1634

Does DHS Need to Comply With Federal Acquisition Policies In Obtaining Border Security Technology?

Argument in favor

It should be a given that a federal agency must comply with federal acquisition policies, but considering that acquisitions by DHS have been found to be at high risk of waste, fraud, and abuse this bill would increase accountability and transparency.

Curmudgeon's Opinion
We need to first find out why this department remains so inefficient and inept in achieving anything measurable for the vast budget it receives.
Like (3)
jrs333's Opinion
My question is; why does it cost DHS $500K to do what everyone else is doing at no extra cost. Maybe this is part of the problem. They don't know how to do their job correctly. Dismantle DHS.
Like (2)
Chas's Opinion
On a broader note, congress needs to outlaw cost plus contracts for all government, especially defense and DHS. Since their introduction, huge wastes have been experienced.
Like (1)

Argument opposed

Cost overruns happen in all federal agencies, they aren’t a problem specific to DHS. Besides, DHS is already work on getting its accounting standards up to par with other agencies.

B.R.'s Opinion
$500,000 funding for doing what you should be doing........NO
Like (1)
Rita 's Opinion
Why? They told the BP to patrol non traffic areas, let the people come iin, and if you don't like it, find another job.
John's Opinion
$500,000 to do things they are already in the midst of doing? We should eliminate DHS as we do not have the money. WE ARE 18 TRILLION IN DEBT. STOP SPENDING!

What is House Bill H.R. 1634?

This bill would direct the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) to improve the planning, documentation, and management of certain programs to acquire border security technology. It would compile a plan for the testing and evaluation of these processes to relevant congressional committees.

DHS would be required to develop a plan that complies with federal acquisition policies that are enforced by the Comptroller General.

This legislation would not authorize any additional appropriations to carry out the tasks required of DHS, meaning the agency must use existing funding to comply with this legislation.


DHS administrators, relevant congressional committees, and the Comptroller General.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1634

$500.00 Thousand
The CBO estimates that implementing this legislation would cost less than $500,000 and that the DHS is already undertaking activities required of it in this legislation.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) cited the need for this legislation in a press release, saying that:
“When our border technology projects lack the proper oversight or accountability, it’s bad for taxpayers, those who defend our border, and those living along our border… The Border Security Technology Accountability Act of 2015 will provide improved management of border security technology projects, safeguarding taxpayer dollars and increasing accountability for some of the Department’s largest acquisition purchases.”

Within her press release, Rep. McSally cited reports which found that DHS acquisition programs have been considered to be at high-risk of waste since 200, and that less than one-third of its acquisition programs have appropriate cost-control and performance standards in place. In 2012, the DHS’ major acquisition programs cost 30 percent more than it had anticipated in its five-year funding plan.

This bill was passed by the House Homeland Security Committee via voice vote.


Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user bossco)


Border Security Technology Accountability Act of 2015

Official Title

To strengthen accountability for deployment of border security technology at the Department of Homeland Security, and for other purposes.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
  • The house Passed July 27th, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations
      Committee on Homeland Security
    IntroducedMarch 25th, 2015

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