DHS Financial Management: Actions Needed to Improve Systems Modernization and Address Coast Guard Audit Issues

What GAO Found

The Section of Homeland Security (DHS) has outlined and implemented a tiered governance construction to offer oversight of its money units modernization applications. In 2018, DHS also recognized the Joint Program Management Workplace to direct all factors of the modernization packages, in partnership with DHS elements. DHS has both equally office-degree and program-unique programs to modernize economical devices. Monetary units modernization plans at picked DHS elements incorporate U.S. Coastline Guard, Federal Emergency Administration Agency (FEMA), and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), between some others.

  • Coastline Guard deployed its new money administration process in December 2021 as portion of a $510 million modernization software, and declared original operational ability in June 2022. Even so, Coast Guard did not achieve anticipated whole operational ability in December 2022. The system office is establishing a remediation system.
  • FEMA and ICE are in the setting up phases of their economic techniques modernization attempts. In November 2022, DHS awarded contracts for software package licenses and mentioned that it strategies to award contracts for system integration companies for these factors.

Moreover, DHS recognized a system and carries on to document and consider lessons discovered from recent and past modernization makes an attempt. These classes are to be shared with impending modernization plans.

Even though DHS determined, documented, and tracked metrics to assess Coast Guard’s technique deployment, DHS discovered that the process was not accomplishing expected capabilities. This is for the reason that DHS did not handle and remediate recognised difficulties identified in operational tests. DHS’s subsequent operational tests and analysis of the procedure discovered that it was not productive, responsive, or trustworthy. Consequently, DHS could not progress to full operational capability of the procedure. It is now in the procedure of developing a remediation program to tackle exceptional difficulties.

DHS dangers not thoroughly accomplishing its aim of deploying techniques that make dependable info for management final decision-creating and economical reporting if it does not remediate really serious concerns identified by testing. Resolving deficiencies identified by tests before proceeding to the subsequent period in the acquisition method can assist cut down the chance that potential method modernization endeavours at FEMA and ICE will not meet mission needs or predicted abilities.

GAO also discovered that corrective motion programs Coast Guard designed to address its fiscal 12 months 2021 audit conclusions did not generally incorporate all of the knowledge attributes recommended in relevant assistance. For illustration, though DHS steerage emphasizes the worth of root result in analyses in resolving deficiencies, these kinds of analyses had been normally not finished. Hence, Coastline Guard is at an increased possibility that its corrective actions will not proficiently handle discovered deficiencies.

Why GAO Did This Examine

Considering the fact that DHS’s creation in 2003, it has confronted important inside regulate and economic management methods deficiencies. These issues contributed to GAO designating DHS economical administration as superior danger. To tackle its fiscal administration issues, DHS is executing a multiyear approach, to involve employing modern economic management units at its parts, which includes Coast Guard, FEMA, and ICE.

In this report, GAO (1) describes the oversight, software management, strategies, and classes realized from past and current monetary units modernization initiatives (2) examines the extent to which the Coastline Guard is attaining predicted abilities with its freshly deployed financial administration technique and (3) examines the extent to which Coast Guard has resolved audit conclusions connected to economical reporting and IT technique weaknesses.

GAO met with DHS officers, reviewed critical files and strategies associated to modernization initiatives, and assessed Coast Guard corrective motion designs to address fiscal year 2021 audit results.

Minnie Arwood

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