The creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) represents one of the largest reorganizations of government agencies and operations in recent history. Significant management challenges exist for DHS as it merges the multiple management systems and processes from its 22 originating agencies in functional areas such as human capital and information technology. GAO was asked to identify opportunities for DHS to improve its management integration.
Matter for Congressional Consideration
|To help ensure accontability and sustainability for DHS's management integration over the long term, Congress may wish to continue to monitor the progress of DHS's management integration, for example, by requiring the department to periodically report on the status of its efforts, especially to determine whether it has (1) implemented a departmentwide integration management strategy and (2) provided the BTO with sufficient authority to serve as a dedicated implementation team to help set priorities and make strategic decisions to drive integration across all functions.||We consider this matter for Congressional consideration to be implemented because the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 required that the DHS Undersecretary for Management serve as the Chief Management Officer and principal advisor to the Secretary of DHS on matters related to the management integration and transformation of the department. In addition, the act required the Undersecretary for Management to develop a management integration strategy for the department.|
|To help ensure accontability and sustainability for DHS's management integration over the long term, Congress may wish to continue to monitor whether the Under Secretary for Management has the authority to elevate attention on management issues and transformational change, integrate various key management and transformation efforts, and institutionalize accountability for addressing these management issues and leading this change. If not, the Congress could reassess whether it needs to statutorily adjust existing positions at DHS, or create a new COO/CMO position, with provisions for a term limit and performance agreement, that has the necessary responsibilities and authorities to more effectively drive the integration.||Senator Voinovich proposed a bill to create a Deputy Secretary for Management/Chief Management Official at DHS. This version has more co-sponsors than a similar bill introduced in the last session of Congress and includes Senators Akaka, Levin and McCaskill. As of March 20, 2007, the Senate has passed S. 4, Title XVI: Miscellaneous Provisions - (Sec. 1601) Amends HSA to establish a Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security for Management to serve as the Chief Management Officer and principal advisor to the Secretary on matters related to management of DHS. Given that Congress has considered establishing the position of Deputy Secretary to serve as CMO, we conclude that the matter has been implemented.|
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Directorate of Management||In order to build the management infrastructure needed to help support the department's integration and transformation, the Secretary of Homeland Security should direct the Under Secretary for Management, working with others, to develop an overarching management integration strategy for the department. Such a strategy would, among other things, (1) look across the initiatives within each of the management functional units; (2) clearly identify the critical links that must occur among these initiatives; (3) identify tradeoffs and set priorities; (4) set implementation goals and a time line to monitor the progress of these initiatives to ensure the necessary links occur when needed; and (5) identify potential efficiencies, and ensure that they are achieved. The department should also use this strategy to clearly communicate a consistent set of goals and the progress achieved internally to all its employees, and externally to key stakeholders, such as the Congress.|
|Directorate of Management||In order to build the management infrastructure needed to help support the department's integration and transformation, the Secretary of Homeland Security should direct the Under Secretary for Management, working with others, to designate the planned BTO within DHS's Management Directorate as the dedicated implementation team for the department's management integration and provide it with the requisite authority and responsibility to help set priorities and make strategic decisions to drive the integration across all functions. The BTO would also be responsible for helping to develop and implement the overarching management integration strategy.|