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Problems Continue with FOIA Backlog at DHS

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a law that gives individuals the right to access information from the federal government; however, some agencies are doing a better job at responding to requests than others. I am currently part...

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TSA Rolls Out A New Website…and It Needs Work

Last week, TSA rolled out its new website. If the GAO were writing a review of the site, it would no doubt conclude that “progress has been made but much work remains to be done.” In fact, there is...

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A Congressional Hearing ‘Do-Over’ Done Very Well

A few weeks back, I recommended that the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies have a “do-over” of a hearing where the subject was private sector interaction with DHS S&T. The reason I recommended...

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Open Letter to Joseph Kolb and Fox News – What’s In A Name?

Dear Fox News' Joseph Kolb: How long will it take before you realize that Border Patrol agents and CBP's Office of Field Operations officers are NOT the same thing? On Friday night, July 31, you published a story that...

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After TSA Airport Failures, Security Versus the Economy

The recent DHS Inspector General test of TSA airport screening processes revealed a 95% failure rate. To improve, tradeoffs will have to be made, and they all have costs. How much the failure rate changes will depend on how...

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Human Factors – A Prerequisite for a DHS CVE Office

The proposed Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Act of 2015 (H.R. 2899) could benefit from a bit more study and debate. The bill would create a CVE Office within DHS, filling a hole that should not exist in DHS. It...

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Leaving Government But Not the Mission – Saull Departs Capitol Hill

Bradley Saull recently announced that he was leaving the House Homeland Security Committee staff, where he has worked for the past two years, to join the Professional Services Council. He may be leaving the government, but thank goodness he...

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Inconsistent Wait Time Data from DHS

DHS needs a uniform policy across all components on disseminating high quality, objective data that provides utility to all who use it. The data needs to be transparent and reproducible. With regards to the collecting and posting of wait...

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Fixing the TSA FOIA Request Backlog with Risk Taking

There were about 160,000 unanswered FOIA requests in 2014, with the Department of Homeland Security accounting for 65%. The federal government has a culture of risk aversion, but there are four reasons why taking a smart risk in answering...

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After TSA Fails IG Red Team Test, Accountability at DHS

As much as I like Mel Carraway, it is difficult to disagree with DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson's decision to reassign Carraway, the (now former) acting TSA Administrator. The news reports of an Inspector General (IG) investigation finding serious problems...

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