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Department of Homeland Security: Risk Assessment and Enhanced Oversight Needed to Manage Reliance on Contractors

GAO-08-142T Published: Oct 17, 2007. Publicly Released: Oct 17, 2007.
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In fiscal year 2005, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) obligated $1.2 billion to procure four types of professional and management support services. While contracting for such services can help DHS meet its needs, using contractors to provide services that closely support inherently governmental functions increases the risk of government decisions being influenced by, rather than independent from, contractor judgments. This testimony summarizes our September 2007 report to this Committee and others and focuses on (1) the types of professional and management support services DHS has contracted for and the circumstances that drove its contracting decisions, and (2) DHS's consideration and management of risk when contracting for such services. GAO analyzed 117 statements of work and 9 case studies in detail for selected contracts awarded in fiscal year 2005 by the Coast Guard, the Office of Procurement Operations, and the Transportation Security Administration.

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AccountabilityContract administrationContract oversightContract performanceFederal procurementFederal procurement policyGovernment contractsHomeland securityProcurement planningProcurement policyProcurement practicesProgram managementRisk managementService contractsStrategic planningGovernment agency oversight