CQ Homeland Security on lessons learned and challenges ahead in homeland, asking sources: “The 10 years since Sept. 11 have seen major organizational shifts at the agencies that prepare for, respond to and help recover from terrorist attacks, natural disasters and other catastrophes. What’s the next big move the federal government needs to make?” Catalyst Partners Principal David Olive offered several suggestions.
David Olive: There are two changes which need to be made within DHS itself – first, all acquisition and procurement activities need to be consolidated into an enterprise acquisition office. It is ridiculous, in my opinion, to allow some component agencies within DHS to have a separate procurement operations that operate wholly independently from the DHS enterprise procurement office. Second, the Office of Health Affairs and the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office need to be folded back into the S&T Directorate. Both serve an important function and both should address critical needs in making America safe, but neither need to be separate from S&T.
Externally, the issue of congressional oversight of homeland security must be addressed. The one remaining unfulfilled recommendation of the 9/11 commission is the reduction of the number of committees and subcommittees which have a piece of jurisdictional turf over DHS. All members of Congress have an interest in national defense, but not all of them serve on committees that have oversight of the Department of Defense, nor should they.