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GAO: DHS Chief Acquisition Officer Must Improve Vetting of Components’ Procurement Executives

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report stating that the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) chief acquisition officer needs to improve the assessment of DHS units’ component acquisition executives (CAE).

GAO said Tuesday that the DHS chief acquisition officer selects CAEs that handle DHS components’ acquisition-related policies, workforce, data colection and reporting functions.

Components such as the U.S. Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (CWMD) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have implemented CAE vetting procedures, according to GAO.

However, the watchdog said that four out of five CAEs in the DHS Management Directorate, including three acting CAEs, “have not been subjected to this process”.

“Until DHS consistently executes the nomination and designation process described in its guidance, the Chief Acquisition Officer cannot be assured that all acquisition programs are receiving oversight by individuals qualified for the CAE position,” GAO said.

DHS noted that the acting CAEs directly report to the department’s chief acquisition officer and it would be unnecessary to vet CAEs in the management directorate through the designated process.

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