One Virginia Lawmaker Has Plan to Increase Oversight of Department of Homeland Security

Mar 14, 2017

Is the Department of Homeland Security in danger of waste, fraud and abuse? One Virginia congressman says it is, and he has a plan to do something about it.

Congressman Tom Garrett says the Department of Homeland Security has a problem — not enough oversight. He’s proposing the creation of an acquisition review board to oversee major programs and ensure money is spent responsibly. Garrett says the idea is to reign in excessive spending.

“20 of 22 acquisition programs had cost overruns or schedule slips or both. 6 of 22 major acquisition programs had no acquisition program baselines.”

Virginia legal expert Rich Kelsey says cracking down on waste, fraud and abuse is always popular in Washington. Where it gets tricky is creating a new government agency that will accomplish the task without becoming part of the problem.  

“Are we draining the swamp? Or are we filling the swamp? At the end of the day, what you really have here is that you are creating another level of government bureaucracy, the exact opposite of what most associate with draining the swamp."

The effort, though, is gaining traction. Last week the bill cleared the House Homeland Security Committee.