For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
A report released today by our Inspector General notes the “significant progress” we’ve made since I’ve been Secretary to address DHS’s many management challenges:
“Progress has been made both in tone and substance. In the last 3 years, DHS leadership has taken steps to forge multiple components into a single organization. New polices and directives have been created to ensure cohesive budgeting planning and execution, including ensuring a joint requirements process. The Department also has a process to identity and analyze its mission responsibilities and capabilities, with an eye toward understanding how components fit together and how each adds value to the enterprise. A new method for coordinating operations, the Southern Border and Approaches Campaign, was created to try to reduce the silos and redundancy.”
The report goes on to note, correctly, that “[t]his progress has been the result of the force of will of a small team within the Department’s leadership,” and that there is a risk that “[f]uture leaders may not have the focus, capability or desire to engage in the coercive task of cultural change.”
It is my profound hope that the incoming Administration will continue to focus on the management reform of DHS.
Thirteen years after its creation, the Department of Homeland Security, as a collective entity, is still a work in progress. We are the third largest and newest cabinet-level department of the U. S. Government, and likely the most decentralized and diverse in its mission set.
Through our Unity of Effort initiative launched in 2014, we have in fact improved decision-making around budgets and acquisitions, stood up joint task forces for border security, improved the hiring and promotion process, financed a new headquarters, and raised employee morale. For the first time, we now have a unifying mission statement for our 22-component, 232,000-person workforce, “with honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland and our values.”
Meanwhile, day-to-day and every day, the men and women across the Department of Homeland Security do an outstanding job protecting our homeland -- on land, at the borders, at sea, in the air, and in cyberspace. Continued focus by leadership on (in addition to our vital missions) improving the manner in which the Department conducts business is essential to support these men and women on the front lines, and the public we are all committed to protecting.