Statement of David M. Walker, Comptroller General of the United States before the Committee on Homeland Security, House of Representatives: Department of Homeland Security: Progress Report on Implementation of Mission and Management Functions   [open pdf - 697KB]

"The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) recent 4 year anniversary provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress DHS has made. As one of the largest federal reorganizations in the last several decades, GAO has reported that the creation of DHS was an enormous management challenge and that the size, complexity, and importance of the effort made the challenge especially daunting and critical to the nation's security. Our prior work on mergers and acquisitions found that successful transformations of large organizations, even those faced with less strenuous reorganizations than DHS, can take at least 5 to 7 years to achieve. This testimony is based on our August 2007 report evaluating DHS's progress over the past 4 years. Specifically, it addresses DHS's progress across 14 mission and management areas and key themes that have affected DHS's implementation efforts. To assess DHS's progress for the report, GAO identified performance expectations for each mission and management area based on legislation, homeland security presidential directives, DHS and component agencies' strategic plans, and other sources. GAO analyzed these documents to identify responsibilities for DHS and obtained and incorporated feedback from DHS officials on the performance expectations. On the basis of GAO's and the DHS Office of Inspector General's (IG) prior work and updated information provided by DHS, GAO judged the extent to which DHS has taken actions to generally achieve each performance expectation."

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