Crenshaw Introduces Bill Creating DHS Acquisition Review Board

Freshman Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) has introduced legislation to create an Acquisition Review Board within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The proposed legislation responds to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report which shed light onto costly delays within the current acquisition process.

Rep. Crenshaw’s legislation, entitled the DHS Acquisition Review Board Act, would create a board to:

  • Determine whether a proposed acquisition is ready to proceed to the next stage of development, production, and deployment.
  • Oversee each acquisition’s business strategy, resources, management, and accountability.
  • Review documents for each major acquisition program — including a baseline summary of cost, schedule, and performance parameters — to ensure data reliability.
  • Ensure that the department considers tradeoffs between cost, schedule, and performance before proceeding to the next phase of an acquisition.

The board would meet regularly to ensure acquisitions were handled in a timely fashion to achieve maximum mission readiness.

A May 2018 GAO report found that the agency planned to invest about $6.5 billion in FY 2017 on major acquisition programs with an estimated life-cycle cost of at least $300 million, but 14 of the 24 programs reviewed by GAO experienced schedule delays, cost overruns, or both.

Rep. Crenshaw explained in a press release, “I take my role as a steward of taxpayer dollars very seriously. This bill injects accountability into a division of the Department of Homeland Security that desperately needs it. With a board overseeing these processes, acquisitions will be more efficient, effective and responsible. This is a win for the taxpayer and the Department.”

Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM) cosponsored the bill and noted in the release, “Transparency and accountability are bipartisan issues and key to good governance. Enacting this bill will ensure the Department of Homeland Security is a good steward of taxpayer dollars. By codifying the Acquisitions Review Board, DHS will be able to conduct systematic reviews of major acquisitions programs, which will maximize taxpayer funds.”

The legislation has passed out of committee but not been taken to the floor yet.

UPDATE: The Taxpayer First Act, covered by FEDmanager in April, was reintroduced omitting a provision that would bar the IRS from creating its own “free filing” software. The amended bill has passed the House and is expected to be taken up in the Senate soon.

Posted in From the Hill



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