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House Passes Higgins' First Bill to Increase Efficiency of DHS Major Acquisition Programs

March 20, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – A bill authored by Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) overwhelmingly passed the House on Monday, March 20.

The bill, the DHS Acquisition Authorities Act of 2017, creates greater accountability for major acquisition programs within the Department of Homeland Security by ensuring proper oversight and implementing cost-saving budget measures.

“In some cases, these programs have spent billions of dollars of American Treasure without having to show what they will ultimately cost, when they will be complete, or what benefits they will deliver to frontline operators,” said Rep. Higgins. “Our bill puts forth common-sense solutions and strong accountability measures that will save taxpayers time and money. I’m proud to have authored this legislation.”

The “DHS Acquisition Authorities Act” designates the Department of Homeland Security Under Secretary for Management as the Chief Acquisition Officer and gives the Under Secretary the authority to delegate each major acquisition program to specific senior officials. The bill also outlines new requirements for the DHS Chief Procurement Officer and the DHS Chief Information Officer designed to increase accountability and budget restraint.

The legislation defines major acquisition programs as a DHS project or facility that carries a $300 million or more life cycle cost estimate. Some examples of these programs, to name a few, include the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) Passenger Screening Program, the National Cybersecurity Protection System, the Custom and Border Protection’s (CBP) Integrated Fixed Towers, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Logistics Supply Chain Management System.

“The federal government’s spending is wasteful,” said Rep. Higgins. “We have a duty to the American people to rein in spending and increase efficiency in government. That’s what we are working to do.”

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