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Highlights

The enactment of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 led to the most substantial reorganization of the federal government since the 1940s by creating the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Established in January 2003, DHS combined 29 program functions that were transferred from 10 agencies, referred to as the legacy agencies. In addition, legacy agencies transferred resources for support functions, such as offices of inspectors general and management and support. According to the President's proposal to create DHS, the reorganization was also designed to, among other things, achieve future savings through the elimination of redundancies among the transferred programs. Given the breadth and magnitude of the reorganization, questions have been raised among members of Congress and in the media about whether the creation of DHS would prompt increases in the size of the workforces at the agencies affected by the reorganization. This report responds to a request by the Chairman, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, that we examine how the transfer of full-time equivalent (FTE) positions to DHS was conducted at the agencies involved in the transfer. Specifically, in this report, we (1) identify the budgetary resources and number of FTEs transferred from the legacy agencies to DHS, (2) compare the number of FTEs at DHS with the number of FTEs transferred from functions at legacy agencies, (3) identify differences between legacy agency fiscal year 2003 FTE balances after the transition and their fiscal year 2004 FTE requests, and (4) discuss any DHS efforts to identify opportunities to achieve personnel cost savings related to the reorganization.

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