Former DHS Official Recommends Reorganizing the Department

By Matthew Harwood

Schneider also said DHS component agencies need to be relieved of their acquisition responsibilities.

"The basis for this recommendation is simple," he said. "The majority of DHS operational people wears badges and carry guns. Is it smart to hold a major component head, for example the head of CBP, with approximately 65,000 people, responsible for his 24X7 day law enforcement responsibilities around the world and at the same time, ask him to be responsible for developing and fielding complex systems that must integrate with other complex systems?"

Separating acquisition from operations is a lesson the miltiary learned long ago, said Schneider. "That is why the Air Force's Air Combat Command deploys planes and does not develop the F-35, and why the Navy's COMSUBLANT operates submarines but does not develop the Virginia Class Submarines."

Rep. Yvette Clark (D-NY) asked skeptically whether DHS was ready for such a dramatic Goldwater-Nichols-type reorganization.

"It is ready," replied Schneider, adding, "I'm not sure there is any right time."

♦ SBINet concept by GAO


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