In fiscal year 2014, DHS reported it planned to spend approximately $10.7 billion on its major acquisition programs. DHS acquires systems to reduce the probability of a terrorist attack, protect against disease, mitigate natural hazards, and secure borders.
DHS has not defined all of the roles and responsibilities of the Office of Program Accountability and Risk Management (PARM)—the lead body responsible for overseeing the acquisition process and assessing the status of acquisition programs—and other headquarters organizations. GAO also found that officials’ involvement and relationships with components varied significantly. DHS does not have a structure in place for overseeing the costs of 42 programs in sustainment (that is, programs that have been fielded and are operational) for which acquisition documentation requirements were waived in 2013. Sustainment costs can account for more than 80 percent of total costs, and all but one of these programs lack an approved cost estimate.