January 23, 2022

News

News Network

Justice Department Launches Statewide Disability Rights Investigation into South Carolina’s Use of Adult Care Homes

12 min read
<div>The U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division announced today that it has opened an investigation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into whether the State of South Carolina subjects adults with mental illness to unnecessary institutionalization and risk of institutionalization, in adult care homes.</div>
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division announced today that it has opened an investigation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into whether the State of South Carolina subjects adults with mental illness to unnecessary institutionalization and risk of institutionalization, in adult care homes.

More from: January 12, 2022
More from Area Control Network
1. Global Warming Network
2. Christians Online
3. Put your website in the archives
4. Area Control Network News

News Network

  • 20 arrested for conspiracy to distribute thousands of pounds of marijuana
    In Justice News
    A total of 16 Laredoans [Read More…]
  • North Carolina Return Preparer Pleads Guilty in Tax Fraud Scheme
    In Crime News
    A Rocky Mount, North Carolina, tax return preparer pleaded guilty today to conspiring to defraud the United States, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
    [Read More…]
  • Secretary Michael R. Pompeo Remarks at the Florida Family Policy Council Dinner Gala: Respecting Life in America’s Foreign Policy
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]
  • Senior State Department Officials Previewing Secretary Pompeo’s Travel to France, Turkey, Georgia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]
  • Child Welfare: Better Data and Guidance Could Help States Reinvest Adoption Savings and Improve Federal Oversight
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found From fiscal years 2015 through 2019, states collectively reinvested $516 million of the $843 million they accrued in “adoption savings” (see figure). Adoption savings are state funds saved due to the increasing number of children eligible for federal adoption assistance payments. States spent $224 million of these savings on post-adoption or post-guardianship (“post-permanency”) services, $67 million on services for youth at risk of entering foster care (“preventative services”), and $225 million on other child welfare services. States' individual spending varied widely. For example, 10 states spent all of their adoption savings, but 23 spent less than half, and nine of those spent none. Spent and Unspent State Adoption Savings, Fiscal Years 2015 through 2019 The Children's Bureau—part of the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF)—monitors states' adoption savings reinvestment, but its oversight is hindered by a lack of detailed data. Further, there is no statutory deadline for states to spend their savings, and Children's Bureau officials said states can delay their spending indefinitely. Also, the state data the Children's Bureau collects annually does not always allow it to definitively determine states' compliance with the requirement to spend at least 30 percent of their annual adoption savings on post-permanency and preventative services, including at least 20 percent on post-permanency services (the 20 and 30 percent requirements). If states do not reinvest their adoption savings or meet the 20 and 30 percent requirements, children will not benefit from the additional spending as intended by the law. Nearly half (23 of 52) of the states reported in GAO's survey at least one significant challenge to reinvesting their adoption savings, most often citing early spending difficulties such as needing time to understand the new requirements and competing state budget priorities. Most of the 28 states that received technical assistance from the Children's Bureau in fiscal year 2019 reported it was helpful, but 22 states wanted more assistance. Of those, 13 wanted more guidance on allowable adoption savings expenditures and/or other states' best practices and strategies for spending their savings. Further, 10 of these states had not yet spent 30 percent of their cumulative savings on required services. Without additional guidance or technical assistance, states may have difficulty meeting the 20 and 30 percent requirements or reinvesting their savings overall. Why GAO Did This Study The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 expanded eligibility for federal adoption assistance and required states to reinvest any resulting adoption savings in their child welfare systems. The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act required states to spend a minimum percentage of these savings on specific types of services starting in fiscal year 2015. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 included a provision for GAO to study states' adoption savings reinvestment. This report examines (1) the extent to which states are reinvesting their adoption savings, (2) how the Children's Bureau monitors these reinvestments, and (3) any challenges states face in reinvesting savings and what guidance the Children's Bureau provides. GAO analyzed state adoption savings and spending data for fiscal years 2015 through 2019, all available years of data at the time of this review. GAO surveyed 53 state child welfare agencies and 52 completed the survey. GAO also interviewed child welfare officials in eight states selected to provide variation in several areas, including the percent of adoption savings they had reinvested.
    [Read More…]
  • Justice Department and Federal Maritime Commission Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Support Interagency Collaboration
    In Crime News
    The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division and the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) have signed the first interagency Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to foster cooperation and communication between the agencies to enhance competition in the maritime industry. Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Powers and FMC Chairman Daniel Maffei signed the MOU between the Antitrust Division and the FMC effective this afternoon following Friday’s announcement of the Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy.
    [Read More…]
  • Colorado Man Sentenced for Sexual Exploitation of Children in Guatemala
    In Crime News
    A Colorado man was sentenced today to 60 years in prison for production, transportation, and possession of child pornography.
    [Read More…]
  • Indian national pleads guilty to role in nationwide tech support refund scam
    In Justice News
    A 27-year-old Indian [Read More…]
  • Opioid Use Disorder: Treatment with Injectable and Implantable Buprenorphine
    In U.S GAO News
    Of the medications used to treat opioid use disorder (OUD), only buprenorphine is both a controlled substance and available as an injection or implant. Buprenorphine is used to treat patients with OUD because it reduces or eliminates opioid withdrawal symptoms and blunts the euphoria or dangerous side effects of other opioids, such as heroin. When used to treat OUD, buprenorphine, in any form, is subject to additional laws and regulations that are overseen by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), within the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). To ensure patient safety when injectable and implantable buprenorphine is used, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), within HHS has also required drug companies to establish risk evaluation and mitigation strategies to help ensure the benefits of these medications outweigh their risks. Providers and pharmacies must follow a number of specific steps based on federal requirements when providing treatment with injectable and implantable buprenorphine. Providers are responsible for prescribing, storing, and administering injectable and implantable buprenorphine, while pharmacies are responsible for dispensing these medications (see figure). Representatives GAO interviewed from provider groups and pharmacies said they did not find the steps involved in treating patients to be difficult overall. However, they stated that careful and timely coordination with each other and patients is needed at key steps of the process to ensure that the patient receives treatment. Representatives from provider groups and pharmacies reported that the risk of diversion of injectable and implantable buprenorphine is low. For example, all of the provider groups GAO spoke with said that diversion of injectable or implantable buprenorphine is unlikely, and representatives from three of the six provider groups said that the design of these formulations reduces opportunities for diversion due to how they are administered. Process for Treating Opioid Use Disorder with Injectable and Implantable Buprenorphine The use of injectable and implantable buprenorphine to treat OUD is relatively low compared to oral forms of buprenorphine. HHS has reported that about 7,250 prescriptions were issued for injectable and implantable buprenorphine in fiscal year 2019, compared to over 700,000 patients who received buprenorphine prescriptions for oral formulations to treat OUD or pain in that year. In 2018, SAMHSA estimated that about one-quarter of the estimated 2 million people with OUD had received some form of substance use treatment in the prior year. One form of treatment—medication-assisted treatment (MAT)— combines behavioral therapy with the use of certain medications. HHS has identified expanding access to treatment for OUD as an important strategy for reducing opioid morbidity and mortality, which includes increasing the number of injectable and implantable buprenorphine prescriptions. Congress included a provision in the SUPPORT Act for GAO to review access to and the potential for the diversion of controlled substances administered by injection or implantation. This report focuses on injectable and implantable controlled substances that can be used to treat OUD and specifically, describes the process for treating OUD with injectable and implantable buprenorphine and what is known about their use. GAO reviewed laws, regulations, and documentation from DEA, FDA, and SAMHSA governing the process of providing treatment with buprenorphine and interviewed officials from those agencies. GAO also interviewed representatives from stakeholder groups representing MAT providers; drug companies that manufacture injectable or implantable buprenorphine; and pharmacies that dispense these medications. HHS and DOJ reviewed a draft of this report, and GAO incorporated their technical comments, as appropriate. For more information, contact James Cosgrove at (202) 512-7114 or cosgrovej@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Joint Press Statement on the 11th U.S.-Japan Policy Cooperation Dialogue on the Internet Economy
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Sues Northern Alabama Housing Authority and Property Owners for Housing Discrimination on the Basis of Race
    In Crime News
    The Justice Department announced today that it has filed a lawsuit alleging that the Housing Authority of Ashland, Alabama, which manages seven federally funded low-income housing complexes, violated the Fair Housing Act by intentionally discriminating on the basis of race or color against applicants for housing.
    [Read More…]
  • Senior Executive of Oil-Services Company Pleads Guilty to Securities Fraud Scheme that Caused Over $886 Million in Shareholder Losses
    In Crime News
    A North Dakota man, formerly the executive vice president of U.S. operations at a publicly traded Canadian oil-services company, pleaded guilty today to perpetrating a scheme to fraudulently inflate the company’s reported revenue that resulted in shareholder losses in excess of $886 million.
    [Read More…]
  • Indiana Man Pleads Guilty to Lacey Act Violations
    In Crime News
    An Indiana man pleaded guilty today to three felony counts of illegally harvesting American paddlefish and its roe.
    [Read More…]
  • Fair Lending: CFPB Needs to Assess the Impact of Recent Changes to Its Fair Lending Activities
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found In January 2018, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a reorganization of its fair lending activities that moved its Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity (Fair Lending Office) from the Supervision, Enforcement, and Fair Lending Division to the Office of the Director and reallocated certain of its responsibilities (see figure). As CFPB planned and implemented the reorganization, it did not substantially incorporate key practices for agency reform efforts GAO identified in prior work—such as using employee input for planning or monitoring implementation progress and outcomes. GAO identified challenges related to the reorganization (including loss of fair lending expertise and specialized data analysts) that may have contributed to a decline in enforcement activity in 2018. However, CFPB has not assessed how well the reorganization met its goals or how it affected fair lending supervision and enforcement efforts. Collecting and analyzing information on reorganization outcomes would help CFPB determine the impact of the changes and identify actions needed to address any related challenges or unintended consequences. Key Changes in Fair Lending Responsibilities under CFPB's 2018 Reorganization As of February 2019, CFPB stopped reporting on performance goals and measures specific to fair lending supervision and enforcement—such as the number of completed examinations and the percentage of enforcement cases successfully resolved. Without these goals and measures, CFPB is limited in its ability to assess and communicate progress on its fair lending supervision and enforcement efforts, key components of CFPB's mission. CFPB has used additional Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data that some lenders have had to report since 2018 to support supervisory and enforcement activities and fair lending analyses. CFPB incorporated these new loan-level data into efforts to identify and prioritize fair lending risks and support fair lending examinations. For example, the new data points improve CFPB's ability to compare how different institutions price loans, which helps its staff identify potentially discriminatory lending practices. Why GAO Did This Study Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, CFPB is responsible for two federal fair lending laws that protect consumers from discrimination: the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. In January 2019, CFPB completed a reorganization of its fair lending activities. GAO was asked to review issues related to CFPB's oversight and enforcement of fair lending laws. This report examines how CFPB has (1) managed the reorganization of its fair lending activities, (2) monitored and reported on its fair lending performance, and (3) used Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data to support its fair lending activities. GAO reviewed CFPB documents related to its fair lending activities (such as strategic and performance reports, policies and procedures) and to the reorganization of its Fair Lending Office. GAO evaluated implementation of this reorganization against relevant key practices identified in GAO-18-427. GAO also interviewed CFPB staff.
    [Read More…]
  • Federal Officials Close Cold Case Re-Investigation of Murder of Emmett Till
    In Crime News
    The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Mississippi announced today that it has closed its investigation into a witness’s alleged recantation of her account of the events leading up to the murder of Emmett Till. The investigation was conducted in conjunction with the Mississippi District Attorney’s Office, Fourth District. Till’s murder is one of the most infamous acts of racial violence in our country’s history.
    [Read More…]
  • Secretary Blinken to Participate in Christchurch Call to Action Leaders’ Summit
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Science and Tech Spotlight: Alternative Materials for Solar Cells
    In U.S GAO News
    Why This Matters US generation of electricity from solar energy could grow six-fold by 2050. Alternatives to commonly used crystalline silicon cells may reduce material usage, manufacturing capital expenditures, and lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions. Many of these new materials, however, are under development, and more research is needed to better understand their potential. The Technology What is it? Most solar cells (the components that generate electricity from sunlight) are currently produced with crystalline silicon in a process that is complex, expensive, and energy-intensive. Alternative materials—such as cadmium telluride, amorphous silicon, perovskites, and organic (carbon-containing) compounds—applied in thin layers of film may perform better and be easier and cheaper to manufacture. How does it work? As sunlight shines on a solar cell, some of the energy is absorbed to generate electricity either for immediate use or for storage in batteries (see fig. 1). The more readily a given solar cell absorbs light and transforms it into electricity, the higher its efficiency. The electric current generated by sunlight flows through wires that connect the front and back contacts of the solar cell. Figure 1. A simplified representation of how a solar cell generates an electric current. Some alternative materials absorb light 10 to 100 times more strongly than crystalline silicon, allowing them to produce electricity using less material. In turn, solar cells made with these materials are typically thinner and weigh less. In addition, these thin film solar cells can be manufactured quickly, reducing cost. How mature is it? The maturity of these alternative materials varies widely, with some currently used to manufacture solar cells and others in the early stages of research and development. For example, cadmium telluride cells and copper indium gallium diselinide cells together account for roughly 10 percent of current solar cells and they are already cost-competitive with crystalline silicon cells. Novel solar cells under development use a variety of materials. Among them is amorphous silicon, which is non-crystalline and can be deposited as a thin film. Perovskites are an emerging class of materials with rapidly increasing efficiencies. Organic materials offer yet another option for thin films. They consist of carbon-containing compounds, either long chains or molecules, tailored to absorb specific wavelengths of light. Researchers are also investigating the use of quantum dots—microscopic particles of compounds such as cadmium telluride, cadmium selenide, indium phosphide, or zinc selenide, that are able to produce electricity from light. Although these diverse materials differ in their chemical composition, they all fall under the category known as thin films because of the extremely thin layer—comparable in thickness to a red blood cell—in which they are applied (see fig. 2). In addition to being easy to produce and relatively inexpensive, these materials can be deposited on a variety of substrates, including flexible plastics in some cases. Figure 2. Current and potential alternative materials for solar cells are applied in extremely thin layers, with emerging materials being the thinnest. In addition to absorbing light, solar cells must convert it to electricity. While promising, commercial thin film solar cells currently average a conversion efficiency in the range of 12 to 15 percent, compared to 15 to 21 percent for crystalline silicon, according to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) study. In addition, they require appropriate sealing materials to protect them from ambient oxygen and moisture. As a result, many alternative solar cell materials are currently under development or limited to specialized applications. Opportunities Reduced land use. Large solar farms can reduce usable farmland and affect previously undisturbed habitats. These new materials could reduce the amount of land needed for solar arrays by increasing efficiency and offering the flexibility to add more solar capacity to existing infrastructure by, for example, embedding solar cells in transparent replacement windows or in the body panels of electric cars. Lower greenhouse gas emissions. Electricity generation using solar cells reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil-fuel combustion. In addition, the use of alternative solar cell materials may release fewer greenhouse gases across their life cycles compared to crystalline silicon. Reduced transmission and distribution-based energy loss. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that about 5 percent of the electricity transmitted and distributed is lost, partially because electricity production often occurs far from customer sites. Novel solar cells based on alternative materials and deployed close to the customer could reduce the need to transmit and distribute electricity over long distances, thereby reducing loss. Improved resilience. Producing and storing electricity locally may help communities better prepare for power outages and restore power more quickly during and after natural disasters or other unforeseen events by designing electricity generating systems to operate even when disconnected from distant electricity producers. Lower manufacturing cost. Production of solar cells using alternative materials relies on fewer and easier steps than the production of crystalline silicon devices. This could decrease manufacturing costs, depending on the material used. Challenges Unknown installation cost. Solar cells are just one element of the overall cost of solar generation. In 2014, solar cells accounted for one third of the total installation cost for utility-scale systems and one fifth of the total installation cost for residential systems, according to an MIT study. However, costs for emerging materials are not known at this time. Material scarcity. Some alternative materials for solar cells use scarce or critical materials. For example, tellurium is typically a byproduct of copper refining, which limits its market availability. Tellurium’s low concentration in the earth’s crust precludes mining it as a primary product at today’s price. Toxicity. Existing solar cells and those under development may contain toxic materials that can be harmful when ingested or absorbed. End of life disposal. The current regulatory scheme for managing the end of life of solar cell modules is complex and varies by jurisdiction. Policy Context and Questions As alternative materials for solar cells continue to evolve and mature, some key questions that policymakers could consider include: What steps could help encourage further development and use of alternative energy sources such as solar cell materials? What analyses of incentives and barriers can determine whether government stimulus may be needed for private sector investment in solar cell materials and what are the trade-offs of such a stimulus? What actions could help ensure sufficient understanding of the human health and environmental impacts of various solar cell materials across the full lifecycle? For more information, contact Karen Howard at 202-512-6888 or HowardK@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Settles with Florida Towing Company it Alleges Illegally Sold or Scrapped Servicemembers’ Vehicles
    In Crime News
    The Justice Department today reached an agreement with ASAP Towing & Storage Company (“ASAP”) in Jacksonville, Florida, to resolve allegations that ASAP violated a federal law, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”), by auctioning off or otherwise disposing of cars owned by protected servicemembers without first obtaining court orders. 
    [Read More…]
  • DOD and VA Health Care: Suicide Prevention Efforts and Recommendations for Improvement
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found Suicide is a public health problem facing all populations, and has been a persistent and growing issue for the nation's servicemembers and veterans. The Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have multiple efforts underway to help prevent suicide among military servicemembers and veterans. For example: DOD's suicide prevention approach includes both clinical and non-clinical efforts intended to reduce the risk of suicide. Clinical efforts include, for example, depression and suicide-specific screening in primary care and during periodic health assessments. Non-clinical efforts include activities such as educating commanders about safe and effective messaging and reporting regarding suicide and help-seeking. VA uses suicide prevention teams at facilities to implement its Suicide Prevention Program. Such teams perform programmatic, administrative, and clinical activities ranging from tracking and reporting on veterans at high risk for suicide to conducting training, collaborating with community partners, and consulting with providers. Since September 2020, GAO has made three recommendations to DOD and six recommendations to VA to improve the agencies' suicide prevention efforts. As of November 2021, the agencies reported that they have taken initial steps to implement most of these recommendations and GAO continues to monitor their progress. Below are examples of GAO's findings and related recommendations. DOD non-clinical suicide prevention. In 2020, DOD published a framework for assessing the collective effect of the department's suicide prevention efforts by measuring outcomes linked to specific prevention strategies. However, this framework did not provide DOD with information on the effectiveness of individual non-clinical prevention efforts, such as training. GAO recommended that DOD develop a process to ensure that individual non-clinical suicide prevention efforts are assessed for effectiveness. DOD concurred and has begun to assess how to standardize its approach for evaluating program effectiveness. VA suicide prevention teams. VA uses a benchmark to help determine facilities' suicide prevention staffing needs; however, the benchmark may not accurately reflect facilities' staffing needs and has not accounted for increasing workloads. GAO recommended that VA incorporate key practices for staffing model design into its determination of facilities' suicide prevention staffing needs. VA concurred and has taken steps to revise its existing staffing model. VA on-campus suicides. VA's process for identifying veteran suicides on its campuses (e.g., VA medical facilities) does not include a step for ensuring the accuracy of the number of suicides identified. As a result, GAO found that VA's counts of on-campus veteran suicides were inaccurate. GAO recommended that VA improve its process to accurately identify all on-campus veteran suicides. VA concurred and has initiated a process to improve its data collection efforts. Why GAO Did This Study In its Annual Suicide Report, DOD reported that the suicide rate for active-duty servicemembers increased over the past 6 years, reaching 28.7 per 100,000 individuals in 2020. VA has also reported rising rates of suicides among veterans, totaling 31.6 per 100,000 individuals in 2019. This rate of suicides was almost two times higher for veterans than non-veterans. DOD and VA have taken steps to help prevent suicides among servicemembers and veterans. For example, DOD and VA both established suicide prevention strategies and created offices to oversee their suicide prevention efforts. Additionally, VA has identified suicide prevention as its highest clinical priority in its strategic plan for fiscal years 2018 through 2024. This statement describes GAO's recent work examining DOD and VA suicide prevention efforts, including recommendations GAO made on (1) DOD's efforts to assess its non-clinical suicide prevention efforts and report data on suicides; (2) VA's use of and staffing for suicide prevention teams; and (3) VA's collection and analysis of data on suicides that occur on its campuses. This statement is primarily based on three GAO reports issued between September 2020 and April 2021                     (GAO-20-664, GAO-21-300, and GAO-21-326). GAO also reviewed documents from DOD and VA related to initial steps the agencies have taken to address GAO's recommendations. For more information, contact Alyssa M. Hundrup at (202) 512-7114 or hundrupa@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • DHS Annual Assessment: Most Acquisition Programs Are Meeting Goals but Data Provided to Congress Lacks Context Needed For Effective Oversight
    In U.S GAO News
    As of September 2020, 19 of the 24 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) programs GAO assessed that had DHS approved acquisition program baselines were meeting their currently established goals. However, of the 24 programs, ten had been in breach of their cost or schedule goals, or both, at some point during fiscal year 2020. A few programs experienced breaches related to external factors, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, while others breached their baseline goals because of acquisition management issues. Five of these programs rebaselined to increase costs or delay schedules, but the remaining five were still in breach status as of September 2020 (see table). Further, GAO found that some of the 19 programs that were meeting their currently established goals—including the U.S. Coast Guard's Offshore Patrol Cutter program—are at risk of future cost growth or schedule slips. DHS Major Acquisition Programs In Breach of Approved Cost or Schedule Goals (or Both) As of September 2020. Program (estimated life-cycle cost) Breach Type National Cybersecurity Protection System ($5,908 million) Schedule Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology ($3,923 million) Cost and Schedule Grants Management Modernization ($289 million) Cost and Schedule National Bio Agro-Defense Facility ($1,298 million) Schedule Medium Range Surveillance Aircraft ($15,187 million) Schedule Source: GAO analysis of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) data. | GAO-21-175 Note: The life-cycle cost information is the current acquisition program baseline cost goal as of September 2020. Programs may revise cost goals, if necessary, when the new baseline is approved. GAO found that supplemental guidance for the development of acquisition documents generally aligned with requirements in DHS's acquisition management policy. However, guidance for developing acquisition documentation in DHS's Systems Engineering Life Cycle Instruction and accompanying Guidebook does not reflect current requirements in DHS's acquisition management policy. DHS officials stated that the information related to development of acquisition documents—including the systems engineering life cycle tailoring plan—should be consistent across all of DHS's policies, instructions, and guidebooks. Inconsistent agency-wide guidance can lead to a lack of clarity on when programs should submit their program documentation. The Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying a bill to the DHS Appropriations Act, 2019, directed DHS to provide quarterly briefings on summary ratings for all major acquisition programs. While DHS is meeting this direction with summary ratings, the ratings do not include contextual information, such as programs' cost, schedule, or performance risks. This type of information would help Congress understand how the ratings relate to potential program outcomes. Determining what additional risk information is needed for DHS's major acquisition programs along with the reporting timeframes and the appropriate mechanism to provide the information, would help ensure that decision makers have needed context. DHS plans to spend more than $7 billion on its portfolio of major acquisition programs—with life-cycle costs over $300 million— in fiscal year 2021 to help execute its many critical missions. The Explanatory Statement accompanying the DHS Appropriations Act, 2015, included a provision for GAO to review DHS's major acquisitions on an ongoing basis. This report, GAO's sixth review, assesses the extent to which (1) DHS's major acquisition programs are meeting baseline goals, (2) DHS's guidance for developing acquisition documentation is consistent with DHS acquisition policy, and (3) DHS is reporting relevant information to Congress on its portfolio of major acquisition programs. GAO assessed 24 acquisition programs, including DHS's largest programs that were in the process of obtaining new capabilities as of April 2018, and programs GAO or DHS identified as at risk of poor outcomes. GAO assessed cost and schedule progress against baselines; assessed DHS's congressional reporting requirements; and interviewed DHS officials and congressional appropriations committee staff. GAO is making one recommendation for DHS to align acquisition guidance with policy, and one matter for Congress to consider determining what additional information it needs to perform oversight. DHS concurred with our recommendation. For more information, contact Marie A. Mak at (202) 512-4841 or makm@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]

Crime

Network News © 2005 Area.Control.Network™ All rights reserved.