Online Extra: IG defines DHS' systems troubles

As lawmakers in recent weeks took turns criticizing weaknesses in the Homeland Security Department's IT operations, the DHS inspector general highlighted problems so serious that auditors omitted details about them in a report for fear of compromising security.

The audit cited several significant IT problems:

  • The Customs and Border Protection Directorate's systems have a previously reported problem related to controls over law enforcement data, first identified by the IG in August 2002, that still has not been fixed. The bureau also has several financial systems problems that have remained unresolved since December 2002.

  • The Immigration and Naturalization Service, which was split up among various parts of the Border and Transportation Security Directorate, has four IT problems covered by the Government Information Security Reform Act that it hasn't resolved, even though auditors reported them in November 2002.

  • The Secret Service has four problems in control over law enforcement data that have gone unresolved since October 2002.

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with CBP, haven't yet forged a memorandum of understanding with the Justice Department to manage the integration of the Automated Biometric Identification System and the FBI's Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System databases'a project in the works for several years. They also haven't established and maintained updated milestones for integrating the databases.

The IG report brought renewed condemnation from Rep. Jim Turner (D-Texas). 'The inspector general has said it, we've said it and outside experts have said it: This administration is not doing all it can to keep America as safe as it needs to be,' the ranking minority member of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security said in a statement.


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