The Homeland Security Department’s Inspector General has released a new plan to keep tabs on itself and DHS. The Annual Performance Plan outlines new goals and performance measures for the Office of Inspector General.
DHS Inspector General Richard Skinner says this year’s plan breaks new ground for his office. He told Federal News Radio, while this year’s plan builds on the past body of work, it’s different this year.
The FY 2011 Annual Performance Plan “focused very heavily on the department’s five mission statements which were defined as a result of its Quadrennial Homeland Security Review,” said Skinner.
The department’s five primary QHSR missions are:
I. Preventing Terrorism and Enhancing Security
II. Securing and Managing the Nation’s Borders
III. Smart and Effective Enforcement of Immigration Laws
IV. Safeguarding and Securing Cyberspace
V. Preparing for, Responding to, and Recovering From Disasters
Skinner said these will be used to prioritize work in the upcoming year.
Until now, over past three years, the IG office has “focused very heavily” on the management support arena. He defined them as: financial, IT, grants, and acquisition management. By working hand in hand with the support programs, said Skinner, “we’re able to come to agreement as to the types of resources that need to be invested, the number of resources that need to be invested, and the approach we need to take to ensure that those activities are running smoothly.”
And when those programs run smoothly, he said, that carries over to the day to day operations to meet the mission.
While DHS is relatively young, Skinner said its made great strides. “I think the department is making tremendous progress, particularly over the last three to four years.”
Skinner said acquisition resources still need work. “They’ve all suffered over the last 20 years and have not received the attention that they deserve and now I think the pendulum is starting to swing.”
While resources are needed in all management support functions, Skinner singled out acquisition as most in need, “because of our reliance on contracts to get our job done.”
Building a cohesive DHS is still work in progress, said Skinner, but “headed down the right path.”
Tom Temin is the host of The Federal Drive, which airs from 6-10 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. region and online everywhere. Tom has 30 years experience in journalism, mostly in technology markets. Before coming to Federal News Radio, he was a long-serving editor-in-chief of Government Computer News and Washington Technology magazines.