IG says DHS' secure network was too rushed

The Homeland Security Department's $337 million network for sharing top-secret data was developed in a rush and, as a result, is inadequate to meet the needs of its users, according to a new report by the department's acting inspector general, Richard L. Skinner.

Department officials developing the Homeland Security Secure Data Network hurried to finish the job in nine months, the inspector general said, because they believed they would be cut off from the Pentagon's secure data network by a Dec. 31, 2004, deadline.

The accelerated schedule 'prevented DHS from adequately completing critical system development requirements,' the IG report said. Also, some testing and security implementation requirements had not been completed as of November 2004, the audit stated.

'Without completing and documenting these activities in sufficient time for review and adjustment to eliminate or mitigate risk, DHS does not have assurance that HSDN complies with security standards and practices,' the report said.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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