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