The Department of Homeland Security depends on its strongest asset – its people – to fulfill its diverse and important missions. Every day, the men and women of this Department work together to ensure that our programs, operations, and other activities are running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. We’ve made great strides to improve what we do, be good stewards of taxpayer dollars, and uphold the public trust. One measure of our success in this regard is our significant reduction in the number of open recommendations from the Office of Inspector General (OIG). By implementing better practices and resolving the OIG’s recommendations, DHS has become a more responsive and effective agency.
As recognized in the OIG’s annual report summarizing some of our biggest challenges, we have made major progress in fulfilling these recommendations – and I’m proud of our dedicated employees who are on the front lines of addressing these recommendations.
Over the past few years, we have steadily reduced the number of open OIG recommendations by 65%, from a high of 1,663 in Fiscal Year 2011 to just 583 at the end of FY 2015.
Even better, DHS has reduced the number of our most complicated recommendations which are more than 6 months old by 97%, from a high of 691 in FY 2011 to only 21 at the end of FY 2015.
These accomplishments are possible in part thanks to our Unity of Effort initiative, which Secretary Johnson established in April 2014 to create a centralized process for making Department-wide decisions. Under this initiative, we have reshaped our acquisition programs, budget requests, and strategic priorities in a cohesive and unified way. Unity of Effort has become a driving force behind many of the Department’s daily operations and has made DHS greater than the sum of its parts. I believe this approach contributed to DHS earning a clean audit opinion for the third consecutive year, and has positioned DHS leaders to make more efficient and effective decisions in support of homeland security missions.
I commend the hard work and dedication of our employees across the entire Department who collaborate with our auditors to make the Department more integrated and effective. I am confident that these trends will continue and lead to even greater future success.