DHS Acquisitions: Additional Practices Could Help Components Better Develop Operational Requirements

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has previously found that the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS's) components had acquisition programs that did not meet requirements and that those requirements were, in some cases, poorly defined. Poorly defined requirements increase the risk that acquisitions will not meet the needs of users in the field—for example, border patrol agents or emergency responders. GAO was asked to examine DHS components’ practices for developing requirements. This report addresses the policies, organizations, and workforce that selected DHS components use to develop requirements for their acquisition programs. GAO selected seven DHS components with significant acquisition programs and a non-generalizable sample of programs—based on cost, component, and acquisition phase—as case studies. GAO analyzed policies and program documentation; and interviewed DHS and component officials, as well as end users of DHS programs. GAO compared components’ practices to industry best practices and federal internal control standards. GAO is making 25 recommendations, including to individual components to establish policies and independent organizations for requirements development, assess workforce needs, and establish training and certifications. DHS concurred with all the recommendations.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 52p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01678140
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GAO-18-550
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 8 2018 1:40PM