Policies and procedures (1 - 10 of 53 items)
Immigration Status Verification for Benefits: Actions Needed to Improve Effectiveness and Oversight
GAO-17-204: Published: Mar 23, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 23, 2017.
The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has taken steps to assess the accuracy of the information reported by its Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) system. For example, since 2014 USCIS has conducted monthly checks to ensure SAVE is accurately reporting information contained in its source systems. In addition, USCIS...
Contractor Whistleblower Protections Pilot Program: Improvements Needed to Ensure Effective Implementation
GAO-17-227: Published: Mar 2, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 2, 2017.
The Whistleblower Protections Pilot Program (pilot program) provides enhanced legal protections to contractor employees who believe that they have experienced reprisal as a result of disclosing certain wrongdoings. Among other enhancements, the act expanded the persons and entities to which a whistleblower could disclose wrongdoing and identified which office within an agency has responsibility fo...
Border Security: Additional Actions Needed to Strengthen Collection of Unmanned Aerial Systems and Aerostats Data
GAO-17-152: Published: Feb 16, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 16, 2017.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) uses Predator B unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for a variety of border security activities but could benefit from documented coordination procedures in all operating locations. CBP uses its Predator B UAS to support a variety of efforts, such as missions to support investigations in collaboration with other government agencies (e.g., U.S. Immigration and Cus...
Capitol Police Board: Fully Incorporating Leading Governance Practices Would Help Enhance Accountability, Transparency, and External Communication
GAO-17-112: Published: Feb 7, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 7, 2017.
The Capitol Police Board (Board) has wide-ranging responsibilities and according to experts with knowledge of law enforcement oversight bodies, like civilian oversight boards, the Board's scope is unique by comparison. For example, the Board has authority for security decisions, as well as certain human capital and personnel matters, including the approval of officer terminations.In 2013, the Boar...
Casualty Assistance: DOD and the Coast Guard Need to Develop Policies and Outreach Goals and Metrics for Program Supporting Servicemembers' Survivors
GAO-16-569: Published: Jun 28, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 28, 2016.
The Department of Defense (DOD) and the Coast Guard took steps to implement the Gold Star Advocate Program in 2014 by designating Gold Star Advocates who have received, addressed, and reported a variety of issues raised by survivors, and they conducted some outreach to survivors for the program, but they have not established policies to manage the program. The National Defense Authorization Act fo...
Information Technology: FEMA Needs to Address Management Weaknesses to Improve Its Systems
GAO-16-306: Published: Apr 5, 2016. Publicly Released: May 5, 2016.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) faces the following challenges in ensuring that its information technology (IT) programs adequately support the agency's ability to respond to major disasters:Governance and oversight: FEMA established an investment review board to select and oversee IT investments, as called for by leading practices. But the board has not fully defined roles and resp...
High-Containment Laboratories: Comprehensive and Up-to-Date Policies and Stronger Oversight Mechanisms Needed to Improve Safety
GAO-16-305: Published: Mar 21, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 19, 2016.
Most of the 8 departments and 15 agencies that GAO reviewed had policies that were not comprehensive, and some departments and agencies had policies that were not up to date. Specifically, policies at 5 departments and 9 agencies were not comprehensive because they did not contain all six elements that GAO identified as key for managing biological agents in high-containment laboratories. These ele...
Administrative Leave: Evaluation of DHS's New Policy Can Help Identify Progress toward Reducing Leave Use
GAO-16-342: Published: Mar 23, 2016. Publicly Released: Mar 23, 2016.
Between fiscal years 2011 and 2015, 116 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees were on administrative leave for personnel matters for 1 year or more, with a total estimated salary cost of $19.8 million for this period. Of these 116 employees on administrative leave:69 employees (59 percent) were for matters related to misconduct allegations,28 employees (24 percent) were for matters relat...
High-Containment Laboratories: Preliminary Observations on Federal Efforts to Address Weaknesses Exposed by Recent Safety Lapses
GAO-15-792T: Published: Jul 28, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 28, 2015.
Recent safety lapses—including shipments of live anthrax bacteria from the Department of Defense (DOD) to U.S. and international laboratories and potential exposures of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) laboratory personnel to live anthrax bacteria—have illustrated multiple breakdowns in compliance with established policies and inadequate oversight of high-containment laboratori...
Homeland Security Acquisitions: DHS Should Better Define Oversight Roles and Improve Program Reporting to Congress
GAO-15-292: Published: Mar 12, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 16, 2015.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has taken steps to improve oversight of major acquisition programs, but it lacks written guidance for a consistent approach to day-to-day oversight. Federal Standards for Internal Control call for organizations to define and document key areas of responsibility in order to effectively plan, direct, and control operations to achieve agency objectives. DHS h...