Since the beginning of this Administration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has made an unprecedented commitment to efficiency to support our frontline operations by building a culture of fiscal discipline and accountability. Today, the Vice President highlighted the DHS’s Efficiency Review as a model effort for other agencies. Through the Efficiency Review and component initiatives, DHS has identified more than $1 billion in cost avoidances and implemented 30 efficiency initiatives across the agency. The initiatives include:
Implementing incremental changes that can make a big difference:
- Facilities: DHS has encouraged its agencies to use government office space and online tools for meetings and conferences instead of renting private facilities. This has saved $6.1 million to date.
- Subscriptions: DHS is purchasing Department-wide subscriptions to professional publications and newspapers so that it can receive high-volume discounts. Since 2010, DHS has avoided costs of $4 million through this initiative.
Identifying significant cost avoidances by leveraging the purchasing power of the entire Department:
- Software Licenses: DHS uses agency-wide contracts for software licenses to receive high-volume discounts. Enterprise license agreements will save at least $180 million from FY 2009 through FY 2015.
- Furniture: This fall, DHS will award a mandatory agency-wide contract for furniture in the Washington, DC area rather than purchasing furniture for individual offices. This will save up to $6.6 million over a four-year period, beginning in FY 2012.
- Non-Military Uniforms: In spring 2012, DHS will award an agency-wide contract for non-military uniforms and will receive high-volume discounts. This initiative is expected to save $7.1 million over a three-year period, beginning in FY 2012.
- Office Supplies: This initiative requires using DHS-wide and federal government-wide contracts for office supplies to receive high-volume discounts. Since 2009, the agency has saved $6.1 million to date.
- Tactical Communications: DHS will issue a department-wide contract in 2011 for tactical communication devices (e.g., radios) so that the agency receives high-volume discounts. DHS expects to save $90 million over five years, beginning in FY 2012.
- Wireless Communications: This fall, the General Services Administration will award a government-wide contract for wireless communication devices (e.g., cellular phones, smart phones, air cards) so that all agencies can receive high-volume discounts. DHS currently incurs an average cost per unit of $70 and expects the average cost per unit to decrease to $47 per month under the new agreement. This will save DHS $36 million over a five-year period, beginning in FY 2012.
Improving how we manage our assets and resources:
- Fleet & Hybrids: DHS Components are changing the number and types of vehicles in their fleets to better align with mission needs and are transitioning to hybrid vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles to reduce the Department’s fuel consumption. Beginning in FY 2011, this will save $39 million through FY 2015.
- Fuel: This initiative will establish an agreement between the Department of Defense (Defense Logistics Agency) and DHS to bulk purchase fuel at a lower rate. By cutting costs from $3.60 / gallon to $2.97/ gallon, DHS will save up to $3 million annually beginning in FY 2012.
- Wireless Communication Optimization: DHS previously spent millions of dollars each year by paying for cell phones and air cards that were not in use. The Department now conducts annual audits of use and has saved $10.5 million to date.
- IT Inventory: In the past, offices at DHS purchased new computers and servers while excess equipment remained unused in other areas of the Department. DHS is now developing a web-based tool to better re-utilize excess IT equipment instead of buying new equipment. To date, this has saved $15.5 million in taxpayer money.
DHS has also implemented other initiatives designed to cut costs and improve operations by targeting priority areas.
- DHS has successfully implemented the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Improving Acquisition Initiative
- DHS has addressed high risk contracting by significantly reducing noncompetitive contracts. In FY 2010, DHS achieved its highest competition rate ever, competing 86% of its contract awards.
- DHS has achieved significant reductions in baseline spending through OMB’s Acquisition Savings initiative, having already achieved savings of $928 million from October 2009 through March 2011.
- DHS is strategically consolidating data centers to drive IT efficiencies. To date, five DHS data centers have been closed resulting in savings of $18.7 million.
- DHS expects to achieve cost avoidances through improved management of its federal real estate. In FY 2012, DHS expects to achieve the savings through reduced operating expenses ($62 million), disposals ($24 million) and cancellation of a 1.7 million sq. ft. space requirement ($126 million).
The Department’s Efficiency Review efforts reflect the dedication of the hard-working men and women throughout DHS, whose efforts have ranged from large to small and have changed the way the Department does business. Reflecting the current fiscal climate, DHS is working hard to do more with less, and to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of its limited resources.