For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) this week reached the second major milestone outlined in its Department-wide Efficiency Review, launching five major initiatives set forth by Secretary Janet Napolitano in the plan announced on March 27, including the mandatory review of all new contracts for professional services.
"DHS is committed to streamlining our operations, increasing transparency and maximizing the use of taxpayer dollars," said Secretary Napolitano. "I am proud of the initial successes of our Efficiency Review, which are already changing the culture at DHS and generating significant savings and efficiencies."
Throughout the Department, efforts have commenced to acquire enterprise software licenses for department-wide usage, optimize the DHS fleet while intensifying vigilance for fraud and abuse by tracking fleet usage electronically, and redeploy refurbished IT equipment throughout the Department.
In addition, DHS has placed a moratorium on new contracts for branding-related merchandise and logos, and is conducting a top-to-bottom assessment of its full-time employees, part-time employees and contractors to improve the management of its workforce.
As part of the workforce assessment initiative, effective immediately, all DHS professional services contracts exceeding one million dollars will undergo a mandatory review before a new contract is awarded or an existing contract is renewed to ensure that proposed contract awards do not include inherently governmental functions or impact core functions that must be performed by federal employees. This additional review adds a new level of rigor to the DHS contracting process.
Efficiency Review initiatives—both large and small—are in progress and have already resulted in substantial savings. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) estimates it will recover more than $1.7 million during fiscal year 2009 by reducing and relocating conferences to government facilities. ICE will also save more than $93,000 by minimizing the printing and distribution of their annual report.
The Transportation Security Administration anticipates saving more than $111,000 by converting its Workforce Satisfaction Survey from paper-based to web-based delivery and by utilizing in-house resources and expertise to develop the survey. U.S. Customs and Border Protection and ICE have introduced voluntary conversion of bi-weekly leave and earnings statements from paper to online, which is anticipated to produce more than $250,000 in savings annually. And the Office of the Inspector General expects to save nearly $66,000 by reducing its FY 2010 planning and training activities.
Efficiency Review initiatives are broken down into 30-, 60-, 90- and 120-day groups based on when implementation will begin. Over the next 60 days, DHS will begin additional cost-saving programs, including increasing usage of blanket purchase agreements for office supplies, implementing energy efficiencies at DHS facilities and standardizing and consolidating employee trainings and orientations.
On Feb. 17, Secretary Napolitano directed the entire Department to identify current and past efforts to improve efficiency, which resulted in an inventory of more than 700 initiatives implemented over the past five years. An Efficiency Review Steering Committee with representatives from across DHS components was then established, along with a full-time Efficiency Review Team composed of department veterans that shaped these initiatives.
In addition to the Department-wide initiatives currently planned, Secretary Napolitano continues to encourage employees and offices to develop additional ways to save money, streamline operations and increase transparency.