The DART Act requires the agency, long characterized by the Government Accountability Office as being at high-risk for waste and abuse, to reach a clean audit opinion by 2013.
“Clean, auditable financial statements can provide the roadmap we need to identify potential savings, avoid waste and fraud, and move towards a culture of thrift,” Carper, the subcommittee’s chairman, said in a statement. “This bill requires some very important, but straightforward steps that will ensure the Department of Homeland Security can pass a financial audit.”
The agency announced earlier this month it is audit-ready and “has made an attempt to pass a full-scope audit,” according to Carper, but has yet to actually do so.
The bill also requires the agency’s chief financial officer to submit to Congress a plan to modernize the agency’s financial systems, which will be evaluated by the comptroller general.
Johnson said the bill is a necessary first step in “eliminating inefficient, wasteful and duplicative spending at the department.”
A companion bill was introduced in the House by Rep. Todd Platts (R-Penn.) last summer but remains stuck in committee.
Meanwhile, earlier this week, the House passed a somewhat related measure, the DHS Accountability Act, which sets up an advisory commission to recommend improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of DHS management.
That bill’s author, Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas), was selected by House Republican leadership to be the next chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.
Francis Rose is the host of In Depth, which airs weekdays from 4-7 p.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, DC metro area and online everywhere. Francis has covered all three branches of the federal government as a broadcast journalist since 1998. He joined Federal News Radio in 2006 as the producer and news anchor of the station’s morning drive program, the Federal Drive. He launched In Depth in 2008 as a daily show focused on connecting federal executives to the information they need to do their jobs better.