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house Bill H.R. 2199

Increased Accountability Standards for the Department of Homeland Security

Argument in favor

Provides fiscal oversight of a federal agency that lacks transparency, overpays contractors, and consistently works with vendors with shoddy track records.

Mart's Opinion
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06/08/2015
Would not be necessary if said department were eliminated
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Loraki's Opinion
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10/30/2016
Yes, but DHS needs to be held accountable for a whole lot more than just services and equipment!
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Amador d 's Opinion
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04/13/2016
Increase accountability from POTUS on down. Taxpayers money is being misappropriated before our very eyes and there is no accountability
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Argument opposed

DHS has and is making significant improvements to how it manages itself. Some of the bill's requirements are duplicative.

pikenporkchop's Opinion
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07/21/2015
I say no because number one they are doing an unlawful act to begin with if there are threats inside the USA by constitutional law it is the state militias job to be called up by congress which they have not done in which congress has broken the law
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Marvin's Opinion
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06/18/2015
Put homeland security under government instead of private corporations and you might just have an honest to goodness homeland security.
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Alis's Opinion
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07/02/2015
Congress lacks transparency. Why should they require it p?of any other part of government
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What is House Bill H.R. 2199?

This bill would alter acquisitions operations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to increase accountability while also increasing congressional oversight of the agency.

The bill creates a lot of new regulations surrounding how the DHS goes about buying new services and equipment. Specifically, it:

  • Gives the ability to approve, halt, change, or cancel large acquisition programs to the DHS's Chief Acquisition Officer and the Undersecretary for Management;
  • Requires that every major acquisition program have an approved Acquisition Program Baseline (APB) document, which basically lays out the goals and timeline for a program;

  • Requires the DHS to submit reports to Congress every 3 months on major acquisition programs that fail to meet cost, schedule, or performance requirements;

  • Directs the DHS to streamline the acquisition process and solve issues with bid protests (where a third party being hired by the government disagrees with their contract) using existing resources;

  • Instructs the DHS to eliminate redundancies;

  • Appoints the DHS's Chief Procurement Officer to oversee a training program for DHS employees who handle acquisitions;

  • Requires a Multiyear Acquisition Strategy be included in each Future Years Homeland Security Program (a report that details the DHS's funding needs for the coming five years);

  • Requires the Acquisition Review Board (ARB) to validate  documents and review the cost, schedule, and performance goals for major acquisitions;

Impact

The DHS and its employees; Congress.

More Information

In Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) explained in a press release that the bill was necessary to eliminate inefficiencies in the DHS:
"Congressional watchdogs continue to find failures in how DHS spends billions of taxpayer dollars on its major acquisition purchases. As a combat aviator having served in Iraq, I understand the importance of delivering tools to the field in a timely way. Frontline operators securing our borders, defending our shores, and protecting our aviation systems should not wait years longer than promised for systems that don’t perform as intended. The American people also deserve strong accountability so that their hard earned tax dollars are not put at risk. This bill seeks to fix long-standing problems at DHS to more efficiently meet its mission and better protect taxpayer dollars."
However, the bill may be unnecessary in light of the DHS's recent progress. As an article from the Federal News Radio explains, the DHS is already improving its acquisitions process:
"DHS has made significant progress in improving acquisition management across the department. Moreover, much of the legislation either duplicates or reorganizes existing management processes that are already in statute. It seems that the bill would further proscribe and reorganize management processes that should be left to the discretion of DHS leadership."
Of Note: This bill has been introduced before. In 2013, Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) introduced the bill, which passed the House before stalling in the Senate and failing to become law.

The DHS sometimes attempts to buy goods or services that don't work as intended. As sociology professor Robert Maril explains, the DHS has given contracts for between $145 million and $1 billion to companies like Boeing for projects that either fail to reach completion or fail to function as intended.

Media:

AKA

DHS Acquisition Accountability and Efficiency Act

Official Title

To require the Department of Homeland Security to improve discipline, accountability, and transparency in acquisition program management.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security
    IntroducedMay 1st, 2015