The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) office of inspector general (OIG) called on DHS to improve data collection and management activities after it found that persistent data quality issues hamper the department’s daily use of some of the diverse and largest databases to support decision-making processes and mission operations.
OIG assessed 135 reports between fiscal years 2017 and 2019 and identified 70 data quality issues classified into four categories: data access, data accuracy, data completeness and relevance and data availability, according to a summary report released Monday.
The inspector general’s office also identified 82 internal control deficiencies that hindered the accuracy, confidentiality and availability of the department’s data. Those deficiencies were grouped into five categories: security and technical controls; program and operational oversight; guidelines and processes; system design and functionality; and training and resources.
According to the report, the department has enhanced its information security program and come up with strategies and plans to improve data quality and management but needs continued improvement to address internal control deficiencies associated with data quality issues.
“Only then can the Department be assured it captures reliable and accurate data to accomplish its mission responsibilities,” the report states.