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  • Surprise, Surprise: Report Finds Homeland Security Wasting Money

    In his oversight report, “Safety at Any Price: Assessing the Impact of Homeland Security Spending in U.S. Cities,” Senator Tom Coburn (R–OK) highlights several examples of cities using homeland security grants for ill-advised expenses. Senator Coburn’s report is an important one and a must read for the media and policymakers.

    My hometown of Columbus, Ohio, is singled out for wasting terrorism funds on an underwater robot. In case you didn’t know, Columbus isn’t known for its large bodies of water, and not one tunnel in Central Ohio goes underneath water, so who knows what terrorist threat Mayor Michael Coleman sees in our shallow rivers.

    Coburn, however, gets a couple of vital things wrong that would have made his report even more powerful. First, contrary to his report, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not fail “to issue preparedness goals, intended to shape the use of [Urban Areas Securities Initiative] funds, until last year—nine years after the program was created.” Secondly, DHS did not fail to establish “defined performance metrics to assess the effectiveness of federal expenditures made to date.”

    As I detail in my 2009 book Homeland Security and Federalism: Protecting America from Outside the Beltway, DHS released the Initial National Preparedness Goal in April 2005, with the National Preparedness Guidelines (the successor document to the Initial National Preparedness Goal) in September 2007. The most recent National Preparedness Goal issued in September 2011 is just a warmed-over version of the older documents. The fact that these earlier documents existed makes Coburn’s points all the more troubling.

    Similarly, DHS released the initial version of the Target Capabilities List (TCL) in April 2005, with an updated version in September 2007. The TCL, at over 550 pages, contained 37 core capabilities, each with “a definition and outcome, preparedness and performance tasks and measure, resource elements, target preparedness levels, and identified responsibility for building and maintaining the capability.”

    The TCL covered common capabilities such as planning and communication, as well as capabilities for prevention, protection, response, and recovery. Again, had Coburn’s report acknowledged this massive document, he would have expressed even greater outrage at DHS’s failure to use the TCL to allocate funds and hold cities accountable for building the capabilities in the TCL.

    Coburn’s report is another brick in the wall that DHS’s administration of billions of dollars in homeland security grants is woefully inadequate.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Surprise, Surprise: Report Finds Homeland Security Wasting Money

    1. KJinAZ says:

      How manh rich people do they have to tax to pay for all of the waste?

    2. tiredofit2013 says:

      I'd wager that FW&A could be found at all agencies within the federal gooberment All one needs to do is read the yearly reports put out by Senator Coburn from. Put him and his small work rooting it out and then removing it.

    3. striker says:

      Maybe, in an effort to recover some of the wasted funds, DHS could sell off large portions of the trillion rounds of .40 caliber ammo they bought recently

      Public sale, maybe?

      Right.

    4. Bobbie says:

      When is the government going to correct their faults within their control that drove America(ns) to this fiscal cliff? Why is Mr. Van Jones suggesting by distortion, Obama's attempts to fund the vets by requesting funding from congress when it's clear his priority is not his oath as he diverts funds from paid entitlements and the vets to fund his unconstitutional priorities to create this need that under honorable leadership who holds the presidential oath priority wouldn't consider compromising or putting America's vets in position to compromise promised and necessary funding. Obama has to eliminate his unconstitutional spending and discipline himself to learn and respect what his oath of office means. It's unethical to ask congress for these funds that deserves no compromise! Top Priority!!!!!!

    5. John Rhodes says:

      Isn't this what "sharing the wealth" really means?

    6. Taximom says:

      Homeland Security is wasting money? I would say the entire federal government is a collosal waste of money.

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