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S&T Is Not Effectively Coordinating Research and Development Efforts across DHS

Executive Summary

We determined that despite requirements of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, as amended, the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) did not effectively coordinate and integrate department-wide research and development (R&D) activities.  In August 2015, S&T established Integrated Product Teams (IPTs) as the central mechanism to identify, track, and coordinate department-wide priority R&D efforts.  However, S&T did not follow its IPT process as intended.  Specifically, not all components submitted all information on capability gaps to the IPTs; S&T did not effectively gather, track, and manage data on the Department’s R&D gaps and activities; and S&T did not adequately monitor the IPT process to ensure it was effective.  As a result, S&T may not be able to provide the Secretary of Homeland Security and Congress with an accurate profile of the Department’s R&D activities or justify funding needs for a wide range of missions, including securing the border, detecting nuclear devices, and screening airline passengers.  We made three recommendations to improve S&T’s coordination of R&D activities across DHS.  S&T concurred with our recommendations.

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