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February 07, 2012

Financial Controls Lacking at DHS

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the statement below in response to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report: The Preparedness Directorate's Anti-Deficiency Act Violations for Fiscal Year 2006 Shared Service Administrative Assessments. The report concurred with an independent audit that the Preparedness Directorate (now NPPD) violated the Anti-Deficiency Act when it inappropriately used appropriations to fund shared services. The report found 21 improper uses of appropriated funds totaling between $21.7 million and $28.3 million. Investigators were unable to determine if more violations occurred or who was responsible for the violations because they were unable to obtain financial or organizational records for the time period.

The IG notes that while NPPD has changed policies to address these problems, it is unclear whether the internal controls implemented are sufficient to prevent these kinds of violations from recurring.

"This report confirms a serious weakness in financial controls existing within the offices that are now a part of NPPD. NPPD currently houses US-VISIT, FPS and US CERT. The Department must ensure that no vestiges of these lax financial practices remain. Our security must not be jeopardized by a failure to accurately account for appropriated funds. I look forward to working with the Department to ensure the IG's recommendations are fully implemented and that NPPD can build the kind of robust system it must have to fulfill its mission. These kinds of violations must not occur again."

Link to Report (OIG-12-21)

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978