President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget request suggests personnel cuts at the majority of the 24 largest federal agencies. But the Homeland Security Department is one of the few that could undergo a bit of a hiring spree next year.
The government surpassed its 5 percent small business contracting goal for the fourth year in a row, but failed to hit two milestones for HUBZones and women-owned small businesses.
The Homeland Security Department spent 40 percent of its budget on personnel costs in fiscal 2016. That share may continue to rise, as the department attempts to hire 10,000 new immigration officers and 5,000 border patrol agents to meet the Trump administration’s priorities. But DHS leaders say data analytics, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things will need to play a bigger role.
Passport Services also plans on rolling out push notifications for application renewals, as part of its efforts to reduce the burden on customer service phone lines.
The spending package gives the Homeland Security Department about $1.5 billion for border security activities for the remaining five months of the fiscal year. For civilian agencies, here are six other areas to take note of in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said he’s not surprised by the low morale his workforce has felt for years. In his first public speech since becoming secretary, Kelly offered a glimpse of his management and leadership style and said lawmakers should “shut up and support the men and women on the front lines.”
Homeland Security Department management said they’re now requiring documentation and life cycle cost estimations for all major acquisition programs. It’s a big step for DHS. But while the Government Accountability Office says DHS has improved, it needs to focus on the details.
Congress is once again examining the results of the latest Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. Lawmakers said they’re encouraged by the progress the Homeland Security Department has made, despite its continued last-place ranking.
The White House is also requesting a $3 billion boost to the Homeland Security Department, along with an additional $30 billion in defense and Overseas Contingency Operations funding for fiscal 2017. Civilian agencies would shoulder $18 billion in spending cuts. The additional funding for DHS would help the department prepare and enact the President’s executive orders on border security and immigration.
Authorities have discovered more than 200 cross-border tunnels originating in Mexico since 1990, most of which entered the United States
Amid reports that the White House is planning budget cuts at the Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration and Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay for the President’s border security and immigration policies, some senators are worried the Homeland Security Department will forget the lessons it’s learned about risk-based management. They asked Elaine Duke, the nominee to be the DHS deputy secretary, about her approach to future budgetary decisions.
A committee within the Homeland Security Department is finalizing a new guide for agencies, state and local governments and other organizations involved in cyber breaches with best practices for notifying victims.
The Homeland Security Department held the second of its major hiring events last December. It made about 40 job offers to college students and recent graduates for a few positions across all of DHS’ components. Now, the department is reviewing what worked and what didn’t from the virtual job fair to inform its 2017 recruitment strategy.
Congress may reprogram and reallocate resources in the Homeland Security Department, use emergency funding or some combination of both to pay for the construction of a wall along the southern border, said House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul (R-Texas).
Gen. John Kelly, the President-elect’s pick to be the Homeland Security Department’s new secretary, said he recognizes DHS’ immense challenges and plans to study up on the previous administration’s attempts at management reform.