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Counterterrorism

  • DHS Has Limited Capabilities to Counter Illicit Unmanned Aircraft Systems

    Executive Summary

    DHS’ capability to counter illicit Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) activity remains limited.  The Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans did not execute a uniform department-wide approach, which prevented components authorized to conduct counter-UAS operations from expanding their capabilities.  This occurred because the Office of Policy did not obtain funding as directed by the Secretary to expand DHS’ counter-UAS capability.  We made four recommendations to improve the Department’s management and implementation of counter-UAS activities.  The Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans concurred with all four of our recommendations.      

    Report Number
    OIG-20-43
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2020
  • DHS Can Enhance Efforts to Protect Commercial Facilities from Terrorism and Physical Threats

    Executive Summary

    The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) does not effectively coordinate and share best practices to enhance security across the commercial facilities sector.  Specifically, CISA does not coordinate within DHS on security assessments to prevent potential overlap, does not always ensure completion of required After Action Reports to share best practices with the commercial facilities sector, and does not adequately inform all commercial facility owners and operators of available DHS resources.  This occurred because CISA does not have comprehensive policies and procedures to support its role as the commercial facilities’ Sector-Specific Agency (SSA).  Without such policies and procedures, CISA cannot effectively fulfill its SSA responsibilities and limits its ability to measure the Department’s progress toward accomplishing its sector-specific objectives.  CISA may also be missing opportunities to help commercial facility owners and operators identify threats and mitigate risks, leaving the commercial facilities sector vulnerable to terrorist attacks and physical threats that may cause serious damage and loss of life.  We made three recommendations to improve CISA’s coordination and outreach to safeguard the commercial facilities sector.  CISA concurred with all three recommendations.

    Report Number
    OIG-20-37
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2020
  • Covert Testing of Access Controls to Secure Airport Areas

    Executive Summary

    The objective was to determine whether TSA implemented proper procedures to safeguard the secure areas of our Nation’s airports and whether airports, aircraft operators, and contractors were complying with TSA’s security requirements to control access to these areas.

     

    We identified vulnerabilities with various airport access control points and associated access control procedures. We made six recommendations related to standard operating procedures, deployment of new technology, identification of industry best practices, and training.

    Report Number
    OIG-19-21
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2019
  • Progress Made, but CBP Faces Challenges Implementing a Biometric Capability to Track Air Passengers Departures Nationwide

    Executive Summary

    In 2017, CBP made considerable progress developing and implementing a biometric capability to track air passenger exits using facial recognition technology. CBP’s Biometric Entry-Exit Program conducted a pilot at nine airports and demonstrated ability using this technology to match 98 percent of passengers’ identities at departure gates. However, During the pilot, CBP encountered various technical and operational challenges that limited biometric confirmation to only 85 percent of all passengers processed. These challenges included poor network availability, a lack of dedicated staff, and compressed boarding times due to flight delays. Further, due to missing or poor quality digital images, CBP could not consistently match individuals of certain age groups or nationalities.

    Report Number
    OIG-18-80
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2018
  • DHS Implementation of Executive Order #13769 "Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States" (January 27, 2017) (Redacted)

    Executive Summary

    Following news reports that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel implementing Executive Order#13769 (EO) “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”(January 27, 2017) potentially violated the civil rights of individual travelers, we received a congressional request to investigate DHS’s implementation of the EO. In response, we investigated how DHS and CBP, the DHS entity primarily responsible for implementation of the EO, responded to challenges presented by the EO, including the consequence of court orders and CBP’s compliance with them. In our investigation, we found that CBP was caught by surprise when the President issued the EO on January 27, 2017. DHS had little opportunity to prepare for and respond to basic questions about which categories of travelers were affected by the EO. We found that the bulk of travelers affected by the EO who arrived in the United States, particularly LPRs, received national interest waivers. In addition, we observed that the lack of a public or congressional relations strategy significantly hampered CBP and harmed its public image.

    Report Number
    OIG-18-37
    Issue Date
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2018
  • FAMS’ Contribution to Aviation Transportation Security is Questionable (Unclassified Summary)

    Executive Summary

    We identified limitations with FAMS contributions to aviation security. Details related to FAMS operations and flight coverage presented in the report are classified or designated as Sensitive Security Information. We are making five recommendations that when implemented, should improve FAMS
     

    Report Number
    OIG-18-04
    Issue Date
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2018
  • Special Report: Challenges Facing DHS in Its Attempt to Hire 15,000 Border Patrol Agents and Immigration Officers

    Executive Summary

    This is a DHS OIG special report regarding DHS’ efforts to hire an additional 15,000 law enforcement officers.  This is the first in a series of reports.  This report describes lessons learned from prior DHS OIG, Government Accountability Office, and DHS departmental reports on challenges relating to hiring and other important areas of human capital management.  We made no recommendations in this report.

    Report Number
    OIG-17-98-SR
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2017
  • Review of Domestic Sharing of Counterterrorism Information

    Executive Summary

    The Inspectors General (IG) of the Intelligence Community (IC), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a joint report on the domestic sharing of counterterrorism information.  The IGs’ review was conducted in response to a request from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and the Senate Judiciary Committee.  The IGs found that federal, state, and local entities are committed to sharing counterterrorism information by undertaking programs and initiatives that have improved information sharing.  However, the IGs also identified several areas in which improvements could enhance the sharing of counterterrorism information.  The IGs made 23 recommendations to the components of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), DHS, and DOJ to help improve the sharing of counterterrorism information and, ultimately, enhance the government’s ability to prevent terrorist attacks.  The components of ODNI, DHS, and DOJ agreed with all 23 recommendations.

    Report Number
    OIG-17-49
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2017
  • The Secret Service Has Taken Action to Address the Classified Recommendations of the Protective Mission Panel

    Executive Summary

    The Protective Mission Panel (PMP) made a number of recommendations in its December 2014 classified report.  The objective of this review was to determine whether the Secret Service has taken or plans to take action to implement the PMP’s classified recommendations, which primarily relate to security gaps and vulnerabilities at the White House Complex (WHC).  The Secret Service has clearly taken these recommendations seriously.  Using funding appropriated for PMP initiatives, the Secret Service began enhancing security and refreshing technology at the WHC.  Fully implementing many of the PMP’s classified recommendations will depend on staff increases, sustained funding, and a multi-year commitment by Secret Service and Department leadership to ensure actions continue even during times of increased protective mission demands and unexpected priorities.  We made no recommendations in this report.

    Report Number
    OIG-17-47
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2017
  • TSA Could Improve Its Oversight of Airport Controls over Access Media Badges (Redacted)

    Executive Summary

    We determined that airports do not always properly account for access media badges after they have been issued, and that the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) current inspection practice of relying on information reported by airports about access media badges limits its oversight of controls over badge accountability.  We made three recommendations to improve TSA’s oversight of airport access media badge controls. 

    Report Number
    OIG-17-04
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2017
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