This week, “DHS formally rescinded acquisition decision authority from the Coast Guard.” One might think that with the many problems with the Deepwater Program, this was a good move by DHS—and it is, but it’s important to recognize that it was Congress, not DHS, who was behind it. The Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2009 (H.R. 6947) and the accompanying House Report (see page 18 of 225) included the following language:
“The Committee also directs the Secretary to rescind the delegation of acquisition authority provided to Coast Guard for Deepwater in order to align all such oversight within OPO.”
The Committee’s recommendation followed GAO recommendations on the Deepwater Program and Coast Guard acquisitions.
Other agencies have lost their authority too, but this effort seems to fit the old saying, it’s time to right the ship. Best of luck to DHS, but they’ve certainly had their own share of problems in the contracting arena in the past – see Katrina.
-- Scott Amey