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tv   Homeland Security Department Reauthorization  CSPAN  February 10, 2018 11:30am-1:25pm EST

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. for the words you and me, grace wins. for the people on the cross, wins. ,or the world that is lost there is no war between guilty -- guilt and grace, and they are fighting for a sacred space, but we are living proof that grace wins every time. hey, hey, hey. , we areore lying down rising up and victory, singing hallelujah, grace wins every time. i believe, every single time. yes. we are all just living proof ♪ t grace wins every time
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amen. thank you. [applause] >> let us pray. father, we continue to thank you for this day. lord, this is a day that you have made, and we shall continue to rejoice and be glad in it. father, we thank you for the privilege of being able to call on your name. for youryou, father, love and protection, for the president, for his family. for thed, we thank you seed of life, and we pray that , andontinue to restore continue to strengthen his family. we rank you for cedric and his
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family -- we thank you percent of and his family and the precious gift of friendship, and we ask you that you will continue to bless major smiley and his wife tiffany as they stand on your word, which is for do all thingsan through christ who gives me strength. fromlord, as we depart this place, we know that we will not depart from your grace. is sufficient for any obstacle, any barrier that may try to stand between you and us. father, we pray that you will continue to strengthen the tie that binds our hearts together as a nation, and binds our heart together to our friends and allies around the world. prayer in pray this the name of the only one who can
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keep us from falling. thank you, lord. amen. [applause] >> sunday on c-span's q&a, new york times staff photographer doug mills talks about the photos he took while covering president trump. >> he enjoys having us around, i really believe, despite his constant, you know, comments about fake news in the media and so forth, i really, really feel like he enjoys having us around because it helps drive his message and drives the news of
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the day that he can do every day and does every day. he is constantly driving a message, so therefore, having us around billy allows him to do that. >> q&a, sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span. >> next weekend, the c-span sadiq khan detour takes you -- next week in, c-span takes you to virginia to see historic sites. -- watch nextkend p.m. working00 with our cable affiliates as we explore america. homeland security officials sat down and because members of the homeland security committee to discuss department operations and potential security threats to the u.s.
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among the participants, deputy homeland security secretary elaine duke from the homeland's inspector general, representatives from the government accountability office. from capitol hill, this is just under two hours. >> good morning. this is a roundtable of the secretary of homeland security welcome to order. i want to welcome our participants. we had the honorable elaine duke from the honorable clare grady,
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george scott, and john kelly from dhs and the office of the inspector general. his roundtable will discuss -- this roundtable will discuss the attempt to reauthorize dhs. the house has passed their bill. they had a memoranda to consolidate the entire process committee of homeland security and the house. the committee has passed authorization for the coast guard. they have a number of components. 50% of dhsys 40% to is under authorization. that is what we are here to talk about today. it is accurate to say what the house authorization does is take what dhs currently does, take the recommendations, and by the
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way, reading your testimonies, it is pleasing to see how many of the recommendations the department has made over a number of administrations to improve their operation. let's get bent this has not been -- let's admit this is not been an easy department to establish and operate. 22 agencies cobbled together with different missions trying to get the unity of a mission. we were working on some of the authorization of the unity of effort. but we are trying to codify these things. there are a couple of key changes, or a department that int to codify the -- encountering weapons of mass destruction. we want to figure out some way to focus its mission into the renaming and we talked about do we do that on a must-past piece of legislation?
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there is a great desire to do that. it is a matter of how we get those efforts signed into law? a couple of items need to be worked out, like the authorization for fema grants. my last point is i do want to talk about the one glaring omission out of the house authorization, and something, maybe it is too controversial, but something i think the department really needs is a very serious look at all of the committees and jurisdictions that you are responsible to. in my briefing, we got this little chart of all the , i don't people know how many committees and that you have the responsibility to report to and
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have jurisdiction over you, but some of the information is pretty interesting. the number of hearings that dhs members to dissipate it -- members participated. 211 and the 14th congress. -- 211 in the 14th congress. as the oversight committee, we strongly believe in agency responsibility in terms of reporting to us and transparency. but it needs to be more streamlined. one of the things we are suggesting is -- i am not quite sure of any other way to do this, but establishing some kind of commission to work with house and senate committees. from my standpoint, i want to make sure the department is focusing on its primary mission, which is keeping america safe and secure. that, i would like my
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opening statement to be admitted into the record. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i am a little confused as to why this is a roundtable instead of a hearing. i hope someone could speak to that. this is an administration that prides itself on getting rid of census regulation, and i am being told that we are being -- and i'm being told that we are doing this because you had to get permission from omb. we felt this would be the best way to make this discussion. it is not a big difference one way or the other. >> you know, i think it is really important for the beyond authorization of dhs. it rises to the level of a hearing. i did not know -- i was under the impression that the
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department did not have ample opportunity to prepare for a hearing because of the approval , but if it was just the choice of the chairman, you and i just have a difference of opinion as to whether or not this rises to the level of a hearing. i got a number of things i would like to take time to talk about today. i probably won't have time to talk about all of them. i continue to be very concerned about acquisitions, and how well the department handles acquisitions. we have seen press about the most egregious examples. obviously, the recent one, we have a contractor who clearly has a very troubled history with the federal government, but yet, we entered into a contract for them to deliver meals, and they did not deliver on that contract did not perform under that contract. we have to really drill down about department and suspension, and why that is such a hard
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thing to do in the federal government? that mysure you colleague, if you had a private business and someone was a supplier that screwed up time after time, you know what that business would do? they would quit doing business with them, but the federal government doesn't seem to quit doing business with anyone who screws up, and i don't get it. i would like to get to the bottom of that. and i have questions about that i will spend some time on. i am very concerned about the privileged dispute in the i.t. report. this is groundbreaking, unprecedented, and it is very, very bad. and i want to get to the bottom of it. and i will put my written statement in the record -- on the record. let's move to questions and i will ask my written statement to be put in the record. >> it is my understanding that each of you have an opening
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statement. why don't we start out with the honorable elaine duke from the department of homeland security. will -- thank you, and we just have one opening, ok. thank you. one openinggive statement for the department. thank you for having both of us here today. clare grady as the under secretary for management, and i is the deputy secretary, acting as her chief operating officer. there is a strong linkage to that, and hopefully we can cover all the areas today. you have been great partners and we are really looking forward to having some open and honest dialogue. s is cleare for dh and it is clever with the threats to our country, and we welcome an authorization act that would give us updated authority, updated support, and updated accountability even for
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the country, which we support. that we have to ensure that we carry out the mission on behalf of the country, and that we are serving our employees. when we think passage of the authorization act would be helpful in us executing our responsibilities. over the past year at dhs, i have been working on the unity of effort at dhs and it is critical and hopefully we can talk about it today. it is really looking at how we at the headquarters operate to enable and support the headquarters. and i see three roles for the headquarters element -- meeting community of practice, being subject matter experts, and servicing the headquarters. i think your proposal, mr. chairman, consolidating some of the committees would really be a great parallel to what we are trying to do at the headquarters in streamlining it better. we have made great progress.
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we have to do more in this area. what we are looking for in the authorization bill overall a something that does what you say and codifies some of the efforts we are making already. but it doesn't go so far as to dictate and legislative areas that really would be difficult to change, or takes away flexibilities of the secretary in the leadership of the department to finding the right balance. we do feel like areas -- we do feel there are areas in authorization bill that would help us, like management of our employees would be helpful. we can discuss it in detail now on subsequent discussions later. department cyber infrastructure security, we have a senior official performing the duties of the under secretary
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that is here today to talk about this area, and weapons of mass destruction. we are looking forward to coming , providingeements information that could help inform your authorization bill. thank you. managingis the --ector -- george steam george scott is a managing director. >> thank you. tom pleased to be here today discuss opportunities to strengthen the department of homeland security. over the past 15 years, dhs has implemented a range of operations while making progress in addressing transforming the department and strengthening its management functions. we consider dhs to be a model of how other agencies should work to address their high risk issues. there are a number of key issues with the department can improve. the authorization provides us an
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opportunity to reflect on the progress the department has made, and how best to align the dhs missions and responsibilities to better counter new and emerging threats to the homeland. i would like to discuss some examples where we think legislation to authorize the department would help. in terms of department organization, codifying the roles and responsibilities of programs would strengthen the focus and responsibilities on cyber security. too, renaming the office better reflect those responsibilities would be a positive step. in the area of protecting critical infrastructure, congress could require dhs to evaluate the information you provide stakeholders protections. those sectors that were the department on a voluntary basis, particularly. it is important congress and dhs understand what degree they are
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yielding positive results. significant challenges remain, and the department continues to struggle with its financial system and additional oversight is warranted. continue tods to manage its workforce with the skills to uphold a strong internal control environment, and congress could require the department to develop a comprehensive strategy to do so. finally, no discussion of the department would not be complete about touching on the issue of acquisition management. the department has taken steps to improve oversight of its acquisitions. -- example, it reestablished found --they follow ensuring they follow sound practices.
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this concludes my statement and i look forward to answering any questions you might have. thank you. >> our final witness is the inspector general. >> good morning. me toyou for inviting discuss the dhs we authorization act. dhs hass establishment, progressed to addressing challenges, but to fulfill its vital mission,, dhs must continue to overcome challenges that hinders its efforts. my officeast years, has issued reports addressing the challenges that face dhs. many of those challenges congress addressed. with implementation of our recommendations in your
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legislation, dhs can continue to improve its operations and reduce fraud, waste, and abuse. however, if the department ignores these challenges, it will be difficult for dhs to address reemerging threats to the homeland. the last two annual reports on the challenges, we highlighted two of the most long-standing challenges. first, dhs's leadership, committing that it operates more as a single entity rather than a consideration of components. they must also establish a strong control environment -- a strong internal control environment. of thects all aspects mission, including border protection, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and cyber security. the dhs authorization act reinforces the need for department unity by streamlining
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accountability and redundancy. another important area is acquisition management. dhs spentyear 2017, more than $33 billion on contractual services, supplies, and assets. their management system is critical in fulfilling its mission. by implementing an effective system, it is complex. spends tens of billions of dollars including aircraft, financial and human resources, systems and information technology systems. to its credit, they have improved some of the processes, but challenges remain. provisions of the authorization act, which strengthens the role of the undersecretary of management, addresses and deficiencies.
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deficiencies. dhs must also strengthen aviation security. no more is the threat to aviation security. we cannot afford to miss a single threat without potential results.rophic we require libel equipment and well-trained transportation security officers. our work has identified vulnerabilities. you have conducted nine covert penetration audits on passenger baggage and screening operations. i cannot provide you with result in an unclassified setting, but can characterize them as troubling and disappointing. tsa failures were caused by technology and human error.
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am pleased that they are moving to address those. we audited air marshals, tsa security, although the detailed results are classified, i can state some of the funding could be discontinued and reallocated to higher priority areas. finally, our primary focus at dhs is the integrity of roughly 240,000 departmental employees. dhse the vast majority of employees and contractors are hard-working public servants, much of our investigative caseload concerns allegations of corruptions on the parts of dhs law enforcement personnel and contractors. while the authorization act grants them first refusal, we suggest the act grant that right to us.
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inspector generals play a critical role and being transparent. the american public must have a --damental trust mr. chairman, this concludes my comments and i'm open to answer questions. >> the reason i like this roundtable approach is that it questionse-flowing and answers. we do have a timer set for five minutes. accept, but if you have a question pertinent to what another member is asking for "of the topic right then and there is opposed to 15 minutes, half-hour later and rehash it, just raise your hand.
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i really want to do this in one shot per member on a particular topic and it has to be pertinent. that would just add to the discussion. i will turn it over to senator mccaskill. mccaskill: i am a little confused about the process here, but we will forge ahead. >> it will be good. senator mccaskill: if this is a roundtable, i hope we are not cutting people off to ask as many questions as they want. let's start about the thing that concerns me as a former auditor. inspector general conducted an extensive review of the department's travel ban. roadblock when the inspector general refused to release his findings. only did it take months for the department to respond to the inspector general regarding
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privileged claims, in the end, the departments decided to assert a privilege that it never been asserted before, invoking a deliberate process privilege. is you are invoking a deliberate process privilege and information of the travel ban. if there was ever anything that wasn't deliberate, it was that because it occurred without adequate notice to the department, without adequate preparation. anybody with common sense could look at it and see that. are is aony is you deliberative process, privileged to block information from the public. are we allowed to see this information, ms. duke? over the concern delivery process is that it has to be protected. we have to be able to have discussions with the president, the administration. additionally, it is under
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litigation, and that is the issue here. it is important that we protect this. we will provide the report as it is to the congress. i think the important thing to know is even with the redaction, it does state what the process was. and we believe that even with the deliberative process, it gives adequate information about what happened at the travel ban. mccaskill: i just think it is outrageous. i don't understand it. we cannot use litigation as an excuse to stop information from the inspector generals. we can do that because in every other department will say, we are under litigation. is this an executive privilege or deliberative process privilege? is this your department? ms. duke: there were different pieces that came under different privileges. the ig got all of the information.
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it was an issue of whether it would be made public through a public report. so the ig does have the information. sen. mccaskill: so, but the ig cannot share that with me? ms. duke: correct. sen. mccaskill: for the chairman of this committee? ms. duke: we would be happy to have a discussion about that with you if you like to go over the findings of the report. we could come in and talk to you about that. sen. mccaskill: i will need more explanation about this because this could be a trend. all of a sudden, we could have ig's all over government saying this is a deliberative process and we cannot talk about it. and all of a sudden, our oversight is done. ms. duke: we find it highly unusual for an id report to be solely focused on discussions within the executive branch. a lot of the report was focused on female notifications and those types of things were normally an ig report will be focused on how did dhs invoke
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the travel restrictions? sen. mccaskill: as someone who has read so many reports -- as many reports, emails are -- ms. duke: the deliberative process remains in the early thees of how we deal in decision process. sen. mccaskill: i will ask for a one-on-one briefing on this. i want to know what is being hidden from the public. and then we can go from there. on >> on acquisition carry at the recruiting contract. we have asked for information on this recording contract. -- recruiting contract. we still have not got anything. was it competitively bid? >> yes. >> the best deal we could get was paying $40,000 for every job? thee looked at it from
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perspective of competitive selection and representing what best met our needs at a fair price. we look at it it our best in its entirety. -- in its entirety. despite the efforts of losing a range of options -- using a range of options including defense perspectives and recruiting options we had a net average of 400 positions for border patrol agent every year. this year in the first quarter we are down another hundred. we need to do something above and beyond what we were able to do specifically with the intent to hire another 5000 border patrol agent. we looked at it carefully and said this is a surge need. we need to continue to push. surge we need systems over and above what we had. we had ordered the contract to a company let a proven track record and the ability to
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accomplish just that. employee iser outrageously high. paying $40,000 to hire somebody we are going to pay $40,000. , the people who think the government has lost its mind, that would be exhibited. >> i understand the concern and one of the things that was important about that contract was structuring it so that we pay for on boarding when we get formal job offers. we are not paying for results. >> $40,000 per. >> approximately. that includes an initial startup costs that are granted to was -- towards recruiting efforts and all the branding and efforts up front. division youet could come up with a figure close to that. we are focused on getting the results.
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it is a scalable contract. i will be anxious to get the contract file. will it come soon? >> we would be happy to discuss the specifics. >> will it come soon? >> i will look into the exact date. withll have issues protected information within that competitive source selection information. we are committed to providing that information to you and being transparent. >> two weeks? >> two weeks. >> there is a boatload of money that is coming your way. if we can't trust that you are spending it right, if we can't trust that the decisions are being made based on evidence and by professionals, this is not going to go well. these issues that we are confronting today are critical.
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i think senator mccaskill has done a great job of outlining two areas where we have concern. if we can't see an ig report we are not doing oversight. if we have a problem hiring people, you have a problem retaining people. what are you doing, who are you talking to, what are the other strategies being deployed to maintain staff? i spend a lot of time on the northern border and i talked to border patrol and i talked to the challenges. with a few tweaks you could get that the state. instead of paying $40,000 you could walk into a high school and recruit high school students. you guys aren't being creative enough. this is hard work and it is going to require different inking. $40,000 to hire a job that pays 40,000, there is no one who thinks that is a good idea. you raise a good
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point about retention and other activity. you may have heard about our leadership. exactlyfocused on having a concerted effort on why we are losing people and looking at that from the leadership, management, and a supervisory perspective. the fact that we went up in the survey, the largest increase, shows that is working. we are hearing what they want from a cultural perspective. we are addressing that. we can talk more about that or it additionally -- that. in order to show where it is difficult to recruit -- in border patrol where it is difficult to recruit we're looking at legislative proposal that might help. including if someone goes to a location where it is not desirable, and they have first choice? we are looking at what we can do internally. >> you need to get this house in
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order. we are being asked to authorize an appropriate a lot of money. if that money is just going to be poofed. if we look back on this and say if we -- in our rush to get this done we did not have oversight, shame on us. i want to talk about chairman johnson's chart. this was one of the recommendations. improving this, government oversight, by bringing in more of a defense authorization structure to the department of homeland security. i think that is the direction we need to head. that is the direction that the 9/11 commission made that was not followed through, partly because we had jurisdictional turf battles that go with this. what? if we are going to do the right kind of oversight we can't have
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this kind of disparate jurisdictional challenges. this is more to the chairman then the ranking member, we have to start asserting our jurisdiction. we have to start talking about how we're going to do a broader oversight. if it makes sense for you guys to be consolidated into the agency you are consolidated into it makes sense for the committee on homeland security to have brought and consistent oversight with the mission of the agency. when we don't have that we don't have a plan. we don't have oversight. maybe there are ways to tear down these barriers. i know the house is trying a different kind of select committee or whatever method. in any of you comment on the kind of authorization process at the house is going through and whether you think that is a more to give you narrow focus point of contact on oversight? >> i can't specifically comment
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on the house process, but we agree on the consolidation of authority. we are hoping an authorization bill would be a step in that direction. what we seek from this committee is a list of looks. when we talk about acquisition we talk about a program and the system. the reason you are talking about the system is because of your committee. the others have such a narrow slice that we are not looking at the full system. i agree with everything you are saying. i know the house is trying to do similar efforts to consolidate some of the authority. we think we would get more comprehensive oversight with a consolidation of jurisdiction. >> you can't force that. we have to assert jurisdiction here. that we areetend going to get a broad reauthorization oversight capacity here with this kind of mixed jurisdiction.
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i really encourage this committee to start asserting its jurisdiction and start talking about this as a problem. >> we can't pretend we are going to solve that problem overnight. it is going to require -- >> how old is the agency? >> 17 years. 15 years. >> not overnight. pretending that 15 years of dispersed jurisdiction is acceptable and we have to wait longer. we have to get this problem fixed. the best way is to get 25 billion extra dollars. are recommending some sort of commission with highly respected individual serving to point out, we are literally putting our nation's security at risk by having dhs so scattered. i understand.
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congress didn't follow it. we are on the same page here. senator peters? >> i think i will follow on the theme of accountability. the deals with some of grantmaking that occurs within your agency. tens of billions of dollars have been put out in various grants since 9/11. the taxpayers have a right to know whether or not that money has made us safer, and if it hasn't we need to make some changes accordingly. is kelly, i understand fema reviewing the threat hazard identification and risk assessment, the process that agencies and states used to undertake -- are notue that these currently being used to draw grant applications? >> i don't have that answer to you right now. >> that would be important.
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i think we need to look at that. my understanding is that they are not. yet they are making these assessments, and at some point they should get to the point where they have data, the actual metrics to be looking at before grants are provided. >> conceptually i would agree with you on that, but i can't give you an actual answer. that, scott, related to as the language in the draft legislation require assessment and information, the state preparedness reports, do they have the potential? >> i'm not exactly familiar with that. i'm calling my colleague. bill general, the house does essentially what we have been recommending for over a decade, which is encourage fema to better assess from year to year the effect of the preparedness grant.
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you mentioned the thira process. that is mostly developed by the state and ima relies on -- fema relies on the state's assessment. will we don't know is how these grants are making us safer. we don't know what our investment of 50 billion over the last 15 years is really buying us your in and year out. >> that is pretty troubling. we don't know if $50 billion has bought us. what would be your recommendation? >> what we have been saying for over a decade is that fema is to come up with its own quantitative measure on how these preparedness grants are building our capabilities. that is not what is being done now and that is what we would like to see. with all of this investment on preparedness and predisaster grants, it is not clear what the impact is on the post disaster side. that is exploding. we are spending more and more every year on that. it may not be buying down the
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cost on the backend either. post disaster. >> i appreciate that. question back to mr. kelly and mr. scott. there have been proposals to consolidate some of this grant process which is right now fairly fragmented. done anoig or the gao assessment over whether the action of consolidation would increase efficiency in this program's -- these programs or better align them with national priorities? >> we have not initiated a review in that area. we are looking at preparedness grants and we do a lot of work on the disaster assistance grants. we have identified a number of challenges that exist and we sent chairman johnson and senator mccaskill a letter in june making suggestions on how fema can improve their structure and oversight of the disaster assistance grants. there are a number of legislative proposals,
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administrative changes in that proposal. >> ok. mr. scott? acrosshe extent that raise programs there are attempts to harmonize programs, opportunities to streamline. there are always opportunities to bring out additional efficiencies in the grantmaking process and also any grant administration process. the extent that actions can be taken to streamline grantmaking, i think that is a positive thing. as long as it does with the necessary oversight of the grant . it is important to not just get the money out the door, but to make sure we have the necessary oversight mechanisms to ensure grant money is properly spent. >> thank you. youne duke, question for related to cyber security. when we are dealing with cyber threats, the challenge is making sure that we are hardening the weakest link because the bad guys are always looking for the weakest link.
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my concern is, although the federal government has a lot to do to strengthen our cyber security efforts, i'm concerned about state and local governments that simply don't have the same kind of resources that we have here at the federal level and are certainly that weak link in the overall system. i am working with a colleague of to look ator pardue, ways in which we can get the department of homeland security to work with state and local governments that are voluntarily asking for assistance and expertise within your department. if you could talk a bit about what you believe we can do to help state and local governments and if there are any specific actions we should be taking here in the committee to assist you. >> thank you, senator. we agree that state and locals can be assisted by the federal government on a voluntary basis. federal government can play a role in the integration, not in
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involuntary way. i think the cyber security agency act will help with that. what we are looking at is, we already have deployed tools, that is the number one thing we ,an do is let state and locals let critical infrastructure use the tools we have deployed. that could be done more. we are doing evaluations. the election subsector is an example of come to when asked, we are going out and doing risk assessment. for the state government, for the local government. we think the collaboration -- training is another area. pre-positioned protective security agents, psa's throughout the jurisdictions to do on site assistance and help her mediation.
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those are federal employees. we think more needs to be done in this area. the act,e things with we think it would do that by having critical infrastructure in cyber and realizing that cyber is a crosscut across everything. it is not a standalone function. >> thank you. >> sen. peters: a one thing we know about fema grants is that state and local governments love them. combine that with the fact that we don't know that they are working, that is definitely a concern. >> i would like to piggyback on the cyber issue. one of the questions i wanted to ask was about workforce. in 2014 we wrote bipartisan legislation to upgrade your abilities in the cyberspace, very concerned about the lack of retention and also being able to attract top-level talent. that was three years ago. we asked for a report three years out.
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i am pleased to say that we got the report just a few days ago, which is great. i sought for the first time last night. your report says that dhs has missed all kinds of deadlines. need to helpthe state and local, i understand the need to hard now or own, but we don't have the personnel to do it and that makes it incredibly challenging. quickly, mr. scott, tell us your specific recommendations as to how we get dhs back on track and begin to attract his workforce we need. >> thank you. as you mentioned we issued a report highlighting the urgent need for the department to take additional steps to identify the cyber security positions and critical skill requirements. the department has made some progress categorizing and signing certain codes. there are some concerns with the accuracy of some of the information they provided. estimated about 95%
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of the position identifier. we did an analysis and found it is about 79% because the department excluded they can positions and did not cap is on the back. we made six recommendations including for dhs to enhance procedures around identifying these vacant positions, improving the workforce data, and developing specific lands to identify and report on a critical cyber need. the department concurred with our expectations that within the next two years they should be further along in addressing some of their critical cyber workforce needs. nowcting secretary, and secretary duke, one of your recommendations was to have accountability, someone responsible for every component. i think that is something that you two should focus on, given your management responsibilities. in 2002 in the legislation that created the department. i have wondered since then whether we created a behemoth,
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something that is too difficult to manage. having said that, the risk that we face is increasingly deigned -- in an increasingly dangerous and volatile world involves having an agency that is keeping us safe. we try to align the committee's structure with the department. 9/11 report, this was talked about, but i agree with what the chairman and other colleagues have said about that. the chairman talked about the number of testimonies you have had to get over the last year and the inability for you all to focus on your core function, because you are dealing with so many committees and subcommittees. i do think it is a good idea mr. chairman. the first step is to have an authorization from this committee. we have the bulk of the jurisdiction. if we are taking that jurisdiction seriously and ensuring that we do have authorizations, we are going to continue to have more erosion of that responsibility.
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this is good. we tried this back in 2011. we were able to get it out of committee, but never able to get it across the floor. i'm glad you are doing this. this authorization is a little more narrow. i hope we can do this in a bipartisan basis. how do you manage this department that has so many different silos and make it work better as a single entity? --oversight, i have to raise we push, we write letters. let me give you three quickly. 2017 we in april of asked some questions about the management of the chief information office. i will get into details because we don't make these investigations public until we report. we need that information. minimalbeen given a
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amount of documents, most of which are not responsive to the request. in december we asked about your privately run immigration dissension facilities. -- detention facilities. you guys are not been responsive or produced any documents. we have made phone calls and sent emails. we need that information. we ask youthis year for information -- asked you for information about -- deep concern about the lack of accountability. whate simply looking for we were told of the time you all were doing, which was a member rent an agreement you would have between hhs and dhs. this is february 2, 2017. you still have not done it. we need to figure out a way to get that information to us, figure out why you have not accomplished to that and what we dhs and hhs to
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get that memorandum of understanding to protect these kids. on all of these issues. can i get a commitment, i want to ask for four weeks. we need to have a response. >> my apology senator. i was not personally aware of that and i do commit that to you. i will give th -- this committee and update next week. >> my last point. with regard to the hearing and report from last week on the chemicals,angerous synthetic opioids are coming into our country through our own u.s. mail system and your customs and border protection people are not able to stop it because we don't have the information. we need to pass the stop act. my colleagues for the most part are sponsors for that. we also ask for other things in the report, that the dhs work better with the chinese government to shut down these labs, stop the shippers, to deal with it in china.
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i know that you and attorney general sessions had a session on the broader issue of security issues with china last year. can you tell us what has happened with regard to china and their willingness to help us to stop this poison from coming into our communities by stopping in at the source? >> we have made progress with china. the biggest thing is that the percentage of packages that we can track, which is key to shutting it down, has over double. -- doubled. we need to be able to track all of them, but the chinese government has been very -- beingve in that able to track packages. >> how are they being cooperative? >> they're are helping us institute a tracking system with the mail service. we don't have a mail service tracking system and the united states, there is an international one. we have very good tracking of
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dhl, ups, and fedex. >> we should require the post office to do the same thing. only half of the package is coming in of increased volume from china has that kind of electronic data on it. they are not there yet. my goal is not just to have that haveing information, but you actually get china to do what they say they want to do? the chinese government official spokespeople said they want to cooperate more the united states . that was an extension of some kind of an olive branch to you while to get with them and begin to crack down, not just a have codes and the information, but to stop these labs. there are thousands of them in china that are creating this poison. to begin to prosecute some of these people who are involved. indictments, they have yet to arrest these individuals. they are chinese nationals. my question is, what more can we do on that front and what have you done?
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>> we have been working with them regularly. principally to the department of state in terms of working with china. it isn't just a china problem. we have an open you on conference going on in miami that i leave for tonight to look at how we -- on opioid conference going on in miami that i leave for tonight. it is hard to discuss everything in this environment, but the transit to some countries, we are looking at that and stopping it not only in china, but the transit. council onesident's the deterrence for opioid. we are hitting it from many angles. it is a challenging problem. >> we could go on and on. your own people tell us that primarily our own system -- mail system and from china. maybe even some new routes that are being developed. we know we have a new issue -- huge issue here. it is the number one killer in ohio.
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61% of deaths were from fentanyl. thank you for pushing the chinese on helping to stop this. >> thank you sent -- thank you, senator portman. >> thank you, mr. chair. i will just add to what senator portman said. on enforcement deterrents fentanyl coming into the country are important. so his treatment so we can reduce the demand for opioids. you would take that back to your college throughout the administration, we can't arrest our way out of this. have to do everything to get out of this. we would love the administration's hell. duke, desk we would love the administration's help -- we would love the administration's help. secretary duke, you talked about critical infrastructure, i wanted to ask you to share with us in more detail the scope of activities the dhs has a two undertake to help secure our
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nation's infrastructure. what specific actions has the department taken in 2017 and 2018 to advance the mission? >> i will have chris come get into the specifics. presently we are doing inspections as requested by state and local government. we have also made available our save system for checking rosters that on the critical cyber security side is principally focused around assessment. i think you all know chris. >> i'm a senior official performing the duties -- >> say that again. [laughter] to principle of information sharing, technical support, and incident response -- instant response planning. where working with the multistate information sharing and analysis center that has direct relationship with state and locals to provide best practices, information on strategic and targeted risks.
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also providing security clearances to state and local officials. >> that was going to be my next question. you're working to ensure the state election officials -- >> we have kicked off that line of effort. we have a number of 50 senior election officials, we are about 37 into giving into the interim. >> just adding to that. while we are making progress on the longer clearances, we are giving one day clearances in the interim gap. >> are you working to provide election officials with access -- >> that is part of the relationship with the sbi. we're not going to give them skipped but coordinate ways they can come into skips, whether in d.c. or in their local office. >> are you working to ensure that state election officials are coordinating with at the homeland security advisor and the state's chief
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information officer? of the state's learning experience we have come to understand that there is essentially a triumvirate per state that you just highlighted. the senior election official, the state cio, and homeland security advisor. each state has a different security arrangement. we are developing separate individual information sharing protocols per state. i'm a follow-up on this a little bit with mr. scott and mr. kelly about your own assessment about whether dhs is doing enough. just because of time i want to move on to another couple of issues. two secretaries duke and grady, i would look to talk -- as i understand it, the dhs stated framework initiative is the department's effort to unify underisparate data sets
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one technological architecture in order to enhance dhs possibility to identify terrorist threats in our travel system. it, our existing framework is in its initial phase of development, but it promises to bring important capabilities to dhs analysts in their effort to try and keep out foreign fighters and those who wish to do us harm. could you describe the value of the dhs data framework project and the priorities the department places on this initiative? i can't you how strong, and it is a top priority. the data framework is essential for moving forward against terrorism and drug. it does several things. one is a systems issue at the pikes area. area.es we are looking at better communicating between law enforcement and intelligence information. also coordinating intelligence. undersecretary has a major
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initiative as part of this data network to be the chief intelligence officer of the department as part of the overall unity of effort. that is going to be helpful. not just having intelligence, but having intelligence communicate with lawn at the law enforcement sensitive level. enforcement at the law enforcement sensitive level. things are moving at light speed, and with radicalization we don't have years of tracking a criminal anymore. we are all focused on this. it requires management from the pipe standpoint. me from a leadership. >> certainly there of those of supportose who want to you and i look forward to working with you on it. i have one more issue. you have been talking about the mpd d change and wanted to put cyber security into the title. i am concerned that cyber security is more important than that and i am wondering what
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authorities what an independent -- what an independent cyber security operation need to retain in order to be successful. what any non-cyber functions suffer if the cyber security mission was pulled out and turn into an independent component. i'm over time if you want to give a brief answer and then marketed to the rest of the discussion. i think cyber isn't just the name change. it does come with the authorities and the undersecretary. i think that cyber's critical infrastructure works well together. we can talk more about that. >> thank you. senator langford? >> is interesting we bring all these issues, and some of it is 15 years of pent-up energy and questions. for gao to begin the reports, which as -- gao typically brings us the bad news first.
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gao led with there's a lot of good news here. there are a lot of things that are changing in making this adaptation. we had hearings just two years ago talking about the hr system and how difficult this has been for dhs. now i am hearing that numbers are changing as far as the time period for hiring. it used to be for customs and border until it was threaded 50 plusplus, it -- 350 days and it got closer to 400, where we now in the process? -- where are we now in that process? downose numbers are coming and the other thing we look at is the number of applicants we need to hire a single person. that number was well into triple digits. we have that now into the double digits, which is still too high. combination of streamlined processes, combining multiple steps in a recruiting event and other actions that we have taken, we've been able to drive that down.
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one of the things we're looking --is, we have been taking keeping the numbers as a complete average on a metric. in some cases an individual can be an extreme outlier with 800 days, that is literally the worst i have seen. we are at what is the average for 80% of the we don't have outlier started the metric. it is headed in the right direction, but not as fast as we would like. it continues to be a focused and i meet with the head of human capital and the chief financial officer for each of the components that have hiring challenges and mission-critical operations attract that. >> that is something i've worked on a lot and we are still committed to working on. a specific legislative request you need for that we need to know so we can help work through that process. there are 120 different hiring authorities that are out there, it is a mess. if there are things you see, we are doing our own work, but it's you see things we are glad to hear that. >> sen. lankford: we do have a couple. one of those would be an
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expanded way polygraph. for local law enforcement that have been cleared. we can give you more detail. also some expanded hiring authority. delegation similar to the department of defense. i can articulate those for you and your staff to be able to do some flexibility without having to ask permission. >> i will stop your time. talk about polygraphs. there haveto cbp been improvements there and it is more streamlined, we are not rejecting so many. i think getting good information. >> first of all we went to the fbi to get some best practices and time and the type the polygraph they do. we changed the type of polygraph. it is still effective, but it has pushed up the numbers. additionally, we were looking for the ability to waive on certain classes of low-risk people. that would include local law
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enforcement, we have the dod with the current ts clearances, those types of things would be helpful. i think the all-in-one hiring that this grady -- ms. grady talked about would be good. .> we do have some ongoing work we are currently looking at the challenges the department is facing in terms of border patrol agent hiring and we anticipate reporting on that later this year. i wouldhe things caution is that, it is important to understand the root causes, in terms of what is preventing you from hiring the right people and targeting them initially, but also the need to balance the goal of hiring additional agents and making sure we are not potentially compromising the quality of the agents we are getting. sitting next to claire, i know that is something we are well aware of. i think it is important to
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emphasize having a goal to hire is one thing, having a process to make sure you hire the right people is a different thing. i want to make sure that balance is lost in the rush to hire more agents. >> i would completely agree with that i don't think there is anyone at this table that would disagree. >> and additional area that is challenging is, what they hire them is training them. having facilities available to provide training to those individuals. >> is there a specific need that you see already on the location of facilities for training? some work that is identifying limitations in their abilities trained individuals that they are hiring. >> will there be recommendations attached to that as well? >> i can't give you a hard date. >> try. >> july. >> in secret service there are training constraints. we are working on expanding the facility for secret service also. >> how much facility sharing can we use?
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there are a lot of law enforcement training facilities nationwide. are any of those that we can share facilities? >> the undersecretary can talk more. we're looking at not only facilities for initial training but shooting ranges and those types of facilities for consolidation. >> we have explored things like mobile firing ranges to allow people to obtain certain proficiencies and obtain that. we're looking at available facilities across central and local to make sure we are taking full advantage of what is available instead of duplicating. >> there is no reason to rebuild something that exists already. lavinia couple of quick comments. -- let me make a couple of quick comments. on cyber security and elections, senator harris and i have done a lot of work on this. it is one of the frustration that we had in going through this was how long it took after the last election for individual states to even be notified, the common answer was we don't have anyne clearance or
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method to do that. to hear you are actively pursuing that is good to know. that is something we are china to put into legislative language to makers is -- to make persistent. -- consistent. we're going to continue to be able to work cooperatively with you. we think that is exceptionally important. i can make this one comment here for senator mccaskill. this whole table has talked about metrics. i am very pleased say here that. this committee passed out unanimously a bill that senator mccaskill and i have called "the taxpayer's right to know your cap -- no." -- know.". anyway we can get that done it will help us all. it is a nonpartisan bill on basic transparency. >> senator harris? >> thank you. more, sen.agree
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lankford. troubled by the exchanges sen. portman: you are asked with you ared if familiar with request it may. i would expect when you come to testify before you would look into an inventory of the status of question of whether they have been answered. on the issue of cyber security, the midterm elections are around the corner. in texas i believe the voters 6.l go to the polls on march while dhs have provided a risk and vulnerability assessment to some states, other states remain on a long waiting list. the waiting list being as long as nine months. what is your timeline for getting these done? >> chris will talk about the specific timeline. we have made measures in terms
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of prioritizing and making the list. >> can you give me a date by which it will be done? >> starting with the nine months. that waitlist is probably about six months old. what we have done is reprioritize, that is the benefit of the critical infrastructure designation. i can take election infrastructure and put it on the top of the list. >> when will they get done? >> we have conducted five and we have another 10 or 11 in the hopper ready for schedule through the beginning of april. the dependency here is whether we get requested for risk and vulnerability assessments. there are states, south carolina for example, that have the capacity to conduct their own technical assessment of the security of their network. while some states have their own abilities, we are focusing on doing awareness for the state that it additional help. >> how many states have requested that it be done? >> at this point, five have been done and another 11 are in the
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queue. >> my question is how many states have requested? >> 16. >> when will all 16 be completed? >> mid-april. >> do you have a date certain? >> i don't have an april 15 or anything like that, but april is the timeline for completing the requested. my hope is that we have more common over the course of the next several weeks. >> where is texas on that list, since their primary is march 6? >> i would have to get back to you on that. i would want to know that you are aware of the 16 states and what their dates are for their primary, and that it would be your goal to have their assessment complete the or their primaries actually occur, before voters go to pull. >> yes-man. >> i'm concerned that you don't know the timeline given that we have unanimous consensus among our intelligence community that
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russia interfere in the election of the president of the united states. it would seem to me that this would be a high priority for the department of homeland security. have other questions. -- i have other questions. part of my understanding is that this delay in processing these requests are that you do not have skilled workers to complete the scans, is that correct or is that not the problem? i'm trying to understand the problem with the delay. >> the delay is that the risk and vulnerability assessment capability is also servicing other critical infrastructure sectors, in fact also federal high-value asset assessment. what we have done is put at the top of the pile the state and local election officials right now. we have de-prioritized others and put those of the top. we're trying to do more. we're looking at ways to increase training, to bring additional personnel on, and
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also there is an equipment requirement that we are picturing additional equipment. >> if we can be a little more precise, you have the necessary personnel and funding and other forms of resources to provide the states with the request and get them completed in a timely manner? for those completed right now we have the capabilities to conduct on an existing, during >> how many state election officials have -- >> how many state election officials have applied? >> we have a proximally 37 have submitted their paperwork. we have one final secret issue. we have about 17 interim secrets , this changes on a daily basis. we have the opportunity to do daily one day regions on -- read
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and's on any issue. where going to do a number of briefings over the next couple of weeks. dailyse elite read -- want to mean if you have consistent information about what is happening you would have to call in every day to get a one-day? >> it depends on the bulk of the information and intelligence you want to share. it would require me to be in person with those folks or have local intelligence officials read them in that day. >> that seems externally bureaucratic. that is the reason -- >> the goal is to get them permanently receiving security clearance. >> not just senior election officials in the state, but additional staff. onee at the point where is senior election official in the state and two additional staff with security clearances. >> what percentage of those that should receive security clearances have actually received is clearances? >> i don't have percentages in
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front of me. probably, today, probably had about a 30% rate for the 50 senior election officials. that is including an interim secret level. an interim secret gets you effectively the same access as a permanent secret. we have prioritized this process of vetting and issuing the clearances. we will continue to do so in advance of the 2018 election. >> let's keep going with texas as the example. march 6 is their primary, have they received their security clearance? >> i would have to come back to you with the specifics of texas. please respond to this committee and give us a precise timeline when this will be completed. we would like to see when each of these states are actually conducting their primaries to see if you'll actually get this done by the time people start voting. thank you, i've nothing else. >> let me follow up.
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in 2016 one of the problems was identifying who the contact in the states. the question i have for you, have we identified in every state the individual or individuals that do need to be identified that can effectively handle whatever information is provided to them? we have an individual state-by-state protocol for identifying whether it is a state commissioner of elections or a secretary of state. we're working through those individual processes right now. each state will have that triumvirate. >> do we have those individuals identified for every state? >> yes sir. yes, we have been identified. >> i want to major be clear that hurdle. senator jones? >> mr. chairman, i want to talk a little bit about a focus on budgeting --
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obviously it is an unusual situation with some of us sworn in as u.s. senator, we start shutting down the government. that has been a concern of budgeting at her during the campaign. have heard secretary mattis being pretty vocal about the defense department and the negative affect that these continuing crs have on defense. the pseudo-homeland security and can you outline the effects that , some people call crisis budgeting or hostage budgeting, whatever it is from kicking the can down the road. can you address that? >> shutdowns are destructive. i will start with our employees. we have 240,000 employees that go through a period where they are not sure if they're going to get paid, and those that must come to work have to come to work and others don't. issue.s a true employee
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focus on the mission. or a shutdown cr pic constricts us in adapting to priorities. we can't do new stars. if any emerging need comes up, we can't address it, because we can't start something new. in a missionary area as dynamic as homeland security that is very constricting. issue,e jurisdictional it is disruptive. our new undersecretary has spent quite a bit of time with planning and reacting to shutdowns. it is administratively a huge burden that detracts from the mission. burdens also a huge operationally because you are operating under a continuing resolution, you don't know what your budget will be for the next year. you have a problem with any new start that you can't begin. we are in the middle of the
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fiscal year without a full budget telling us what we have for the year. in terms of operational planning and routing at unimportant hiring efforts and important position's we are hamstrung until that gets resolved. the has a ripple effect throughout. especially when you try to compress spending of very important resources are very important capabilities, now it is in a compressed period of time. it has a huge operational impact. it added ministry to burden and it is difficult to operate on, especially a number of short-term crs? -- crs. >> does it at cost? -- does it add cost? >> it does because you make short-term decisions that you would not make if you have the full budget available at the beginning of the fiscal year. >> the ranking member mentioned acquisition, which is always a high interest for all of us.
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the federal government traditionally spends too much in the fourth quarter anyway. these short-term crs push it even further into awarding quickly in the fourth quarter and spending maybe not in the most judicious way. up a sorebring subject, this past week a cnn reporter found some pretty sensitive documents in the back of an airplane which could have jeopardized a lot of things. what happened, what was found, and what can be done to stop that? that was a serious breach in my opinion. >> the actual leading up the documents we will be handling under a personnel matter -- leaving of the documents we will be handling under a personnel matter. that is a breach of responsibilities of our employees. in terms of the material in the documents, that is something we are working on. it is old information. it is what we tend to call a hot
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wash of what we see and are looking forward to. that will be handled through our personnel system. >> is there anything that can be done to try to stop that? are you looking at ways to try to figure out how to keep that -- i know it may be an isolated incident, but it could be a very serious isolate incident. >> protecting both official use only and classified information is very important. this is a reminder to all employees of how careful we need to be. important responsibility of being a civil servant is protecting that. a slightly bigger response. from an insider threat we have expanded our insider threat program to go beyond -- >> that are essential to our
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mission to ensure that we are monitoring for usage and taking appropriate action if we identify a potential vulnerability. we have gone beyond the definition of an insider threat to look across the information that we can control and make sure we are safeguarding against exfiltration and inappropriate use of that information. >> thank you, mr. chairman. would likejones, i to pick up on senator jones talking about shutdowns. what percent of the personnel in dhs were considered essential and required to come to work, approximately? >> it was about 70%. individuals that were determined to be nonessential are individuals who work on longer-term actions. we did nothing that would any way jeopardize national security. individuals who are doing things forward -- moving things forward in terms of policy -- policy initiative and budget,
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longer-term strategic efforts tended to be the individuals and the sorts of functions -- >> you sent 30% of your workforce home. unfortunately i have been around we had a shutdown. what matters is everyone gets paid eventually. is there anything, she was talking about authorization, anything we can do in the authorization to make this more clear cut and protect your department? we can talk about doing a government wide. i support the end government shutdown act which was if we don't get our act together we would start funding the government at the current level. disciplinary action after 90 days or hundred days. andaside a government wide government shutdown act, is something in his authorization we can take advantage of?
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that, itn't considered is not just the day of. it is the weeks leading up to the shutdown where there is asked. portions ofbiggest our workforce, say transportation security officers, are on the low end of the scale. even having to wait for the money could be critical for them. >> give that some thought. . am open to mark this bill up if we can't do it by next week we will be holding a markup and maybe the following week. if we delay it there are more complex issues. give that some thought. his situation is, every time there has been a government shutdown, everyone gets the back pay. it is incredibly unfortunate that there is this level of dysfunction. here, maybe address that i could potentially be an example for other parts of government. >> while we are talking about personnel waiting, disaster
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workforce flexibility is something that could help us in responding to future disasters. we have a major core workforce in fema that aren't career employees. we have no ability to transition the best of those into the federal workforce. that is one of the personnel provisions we would look at under an authorization bill. in addition, having some ability to do noncompetitive temporary appointments, we are looking at some of the things with recruiting from high schools and the pathways program. some of those workforce structure flexibilities that we could have similar to dod's, within cbp, puerto chill specifically, we're looking at incentives for families in some of the -- border patrol specifically we're looking at incentives for families and some of the isolated areas. benefits for spouses that would
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make this not as non-desirable. >> we have held something like 25 informational meetings with staff between dhs and minority staff. if those things are outside of comments made during those meetings, get a list of those compiled, get some proposal. i am assuming these things are not in the house authorization bill. >> no. >> let's list all these things and if we can come to an agreement here on a bipartisan basis, i think those are some good initiatives that should be included here. >> we have a list of what will the call our asked things that will be helpful for a spirit -- helpful for us. >> you have those today? >> those of an largely the subject of the ongoing conversation with staff. we can make sure -- >> we can formalize it for the record. senator mccaskill? >> but thought about this
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contract and suspension and disbarment. for the contract big tribute meals and fema? >> yes. -- this wasn't any wasn't a small business situation? >> no, that is my understanding. up, youhad no heads have no ability to find the previous problems with their failure and their default? >> we are digging into this one right now and looking at what happened. it was terminated quickly. i don't have information i have seen in regards to due diligence for responsibility of determination. that is something we are looking at. understanding what happened associated with that. we do a robust suspension and disbarment program. we suspended and disbarred about 190 people last year or firms. the third-largest in the federal government. process ofhe
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updating our suspension and disbarment instructions to make sure we are fully reflecting best practices. where going to be moving to a case management system to ensure we have more complete documentation and tracking. tribute is going to show up again, maybe not it dod, how are we going to ding them so we quit hiring them? terminate there is a notification that is provided. it provides past performance information to inform that and proceed with suspension and department at -- disbarment activities great -- activities. they clearly had defaulted on a number of government contracts, they were much smaller, but they had a number of government contract they defaulted on. it, yout i read about all did not have any flag in the system that would have shown up. >> my suspicion, based on my
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professional judgment not facts, is because the dollar value they were below the simplified acquisition trestle. that may have been a loophole in terms of reporting. sen. mccaskill: we are going to date intuit. -- dig into it. in terms of the process, what has happened, rather than go through the disbarment, you default the contract and move on, and that actor remains a viable contractor in the federal system. >> i agree. because of due process has been taken to an extreme, it is an ordinate -- sen. mccaskill: how long does it take? >> over two years because you
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typically allow things to go through the process. as is the case of the contractor we are discussing, the company has disputed the termination, so we are going through that under the contracts dispute act. while that is being resolved, you cannot put them on the disbarment list. the company has the opportunity to present the information as they saw it relative to their performance. we require our contracting offices look at past performances of companies. our goal is to deal with companies that perform well. sen. mccaskill: but you're only looking at your apartment? >> across the central government. we are looking into it. sen. mccaskill: on the responsibility termination, which is separate, there is a
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government-wide repository of information. information is not regularly entered into that. if you matched a number of contracts against contracts and the performance system, it is woefully underreported. sen. mccaskill: i will like to get to the bottom of that and see if we could get something authorization department that would be helpful. and what i want to say about fema, it does not -- it's not like you don't know you are not going to buy meals. handinghave some qualification -- can you have thatstanding qualification you can draw from these occurrences happen? the idea that we go with an unknown company to deliver 30 million meals seems bizarre to me.
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plan and have vehicles available, i think the combination of the number of storms, the response, and the isolated location in puerto rico put a challenge on the system. for example, another contract that did not go well, we had a number of instances where we went beyond what we would normally use. amount of response and effort in multiple spots, we were expanding -- sen. mccaskill: because you have three simultaneous situations you were trying to deal with? that makes me feel a little better. >> and the meal mission in puerto rico was bigger and longer than anyone had anticipated and historic in nature. sen. mccaskill: thank goodness
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for all the terrible work -- thank goodness for all the charitable work that went on because a government failed to do its job. i wonder briefly ask about the vetting center. i am worried about the vetting center. we have got six or seven different things in government that do this. why are we creating a new one? >> the intent of the national vetting center is the consolidation. sen. mccaskill: u consolidating? -- sen. mccaskill: what are you consolidating? >> the details are to be worked out now that the president has announced it. ist we are looking for having intelligence, better available for vetting and law enforcement people. that is one of the biggest vettingight now is
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law-enforcement enforcement personnel to get intelligence information. sen. mccaskill: so some of these will go away? we are not going to have the fbi's screening center, the national crime center, the national terrorism center, the state department lookout and support system, and the national targeting center? >> we are looking at reducing the need for all of those standalones by having a multi agency presence. i cannot commit to that now, but we can keep you apprised. sen. mccaskill: i will be cranky if it is just an add-on. it will drive me nuts. >> i can't imagine that. the infoessential for -sharing and the speed. sen. mccaskill: i want to be a fly on the wall when the fbi and state department, and all of
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these people give up their centers. if you can do that, we can get jurisdiction away from the finance -- >> not a problem. sen. mccaskill: we will watch you were, secretary duke. once you get this done, you can teach us because i have a bad feeling this will be an add-on and another layer of complexity. >> just to clarify them a what you are saying is we went over the capacity of the predetermined suppliers already in place? >> yes, sir. >> so we had to find additional suppliers? >> and we're always seeking to bring in new vendors and complete requirements whenever possible to meet our needs. >> that you have the suppliers pre-vetted, preapproved, just exceeded their capacity, which is understandable. >> thank you very much. thank you, is that better?
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roundtable tothis all of you and to the chair committee member. i want to return to the issue of cyber security. the advocates of the bill that has passed the house said that m morale,ed to raise the and attract the best and brightest cyber professionals. i do have a hard time thinking that a name change really does all that, and i understand you are saying it is more than a name change. the cyber director, policy task force at the center for strategic and international studies cochaired by michael mccaul called for an independent operation cyber component and dhs on par with the coast guard. beyond just changing the name,
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this committee needs to hold hearings and consider the possibility of creating a separate cyber security component and dhs. i understand your first answer to me was, look, it is all of a piece. i do understand that, but i think cyber security is as important as border security. it is important as marine security. and so, i am having a hard time understanding why we would not follow the independent report, and really elevate this to the command that he needs to be elevated to. being elevated to an operating component, and that is essential in the distinction that it will have everything it needs to operate. it will have its own procurement. it will be our eighth operating agency. that is important because it
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carries authority and mission support with it. what i think, and it is a judgment call him what goes together -- and it is a judgment call. we have trade. we have customs within it because it was a decision that even though those are independent, they go together. so it is a judgment call on sauber -- call on cyber and critical infrastructure. i think that in the current draft, having the undersecretary of cyber, and having the cyber and a critical infrastructure under two political appointees will allow for the integration, but also allow for one big piece of the organization to truly focus on cyber. but it is a judgment call. >> and to follow-up up on that, mr. scott a mr. kelly, have you all assessed the feasibility of
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creating an independent cyber security component at dhs? have you assessed the likelihood that the name change would impact morale and recruitment efforts in a manner that the bill suggested? >> to answer whether or not we are looking into that, the answer is yes. we are starting engagement focusing on infrastructure protection, which would include the cyber security function. have we looked at the name change is being and morale issue, we have not. >> i have, actually. ofo, office of field operations, they have lost their branding and that is an issue for them. love doing aople part of an organization. i think it is an issue. again,derstand that, but cyber security is a whole different kind of border. and it really does concern me
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because it takes a different mindset and a different type of expertise and maybe protecting i think itoes so, would be good for us to explain this as a committee, and mr. scott commute like you are ready to say something. 1997, federal considered aas high risk area. we have been on this for a long time. in 2003, we added on, excuse me, to include the critical cyber aspect of this. in terms of nppd, we do believe that the focus on cyber is , to supportwe also secretary duke there, name change would help in terms of clarifying this, and recruitment. i think it is important that as we go to this transformation
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into the new organization, and making an operational component is very important, but once we go through this transformation, it is important to build core expectations as to what the roles are unclear measures of effectiveness. it is important that when we create something new, it is clear what we wanted to do and to know that it is working or not. >> we like the provision in the current draft that says that the , and wey can consider would support a similar that wouldf whether detract from the mission. chris to step up to play here. my guess is you were itching to say something. [laughter] youryou quickly talk about
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background and your perspective of how important a name change in. just talk about that. >> three quick things. i did come out of the private sector to do an administration in march from microsoft. asking, is exactly what the nppd did. it creates a critical infrastructure component. two,mport linkages of the that is how it is going into the industry. --y are extra currently link they are linked. they have to look across an entire enterprise and say, what is our physical risk? what is our cyber security risk? and they are merging when you think of the internet of things. industrial control systems. we keepportant that
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them together because what i need to be doing from a field force perspective is when i go and engage any company out there, and you know, when we are knocking on the door, we need to be a single point of entry. if they have physical requirements, we could work with those. if they has cyber security requirements, we could work with those. it is not dhs knocking day after day after day. if we could consolidate that any single storefront, that is the way to do this. >> i appreciate that. and this has been helpful. what i am concerned about is --ing >> these are hard microphones. there it is. what i am concerned about is the possibility of the cyber function kind of getting supplemented. >> there is no greater risk
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right now to our country, at least that is my perspective. --isagree, but that is what that will not be coordinated to any other element. reports of a number of attempted attacks, and we need to keep up with it. >> absolutely. , ma'am. >> briefly, the committee was furnished with a g 30 and 2017 suggesting a number of recommendations. how are you coming along with those? are there any of those recommendations you got particular problems with? problems we can help with? just briefly on that? yeah, we are trying to figure out who that was addressed to? >> who ever can answer it does. >> i will take a shot at it.
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we do have a number, every six months, we are sending over priority recommendations letter to the department. thus far, we continue to receive strong brutal bus -- we continue to receive strong, robust responses to the letter. agencies, a really seem to take this seriously, and so, they are continuing to make progress. our expectation is we will be providing the secretary with a new letter in the next month or so. >> regarding the priority recommendations, we track the high-priority ones, we focus on, making sure we are completing. some of them are short-term. some of them take much longer. if it is a recommendation that will take three to four years to track, we track when it should be completed, and track the
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milestones associated with the completion of those. but not all of the recommendations make a quick fix. a lot of them are systemic, and take an effort and we work very close with them. >> is there anything in that letter you think that this bill could help with? get that to us as soon as you can. jones.k you, senator i don't think we have any further questions. obviously, we want to work with the very closely with the members and staff to do whatever we can to improve his authorization. and add the think we can add that can be passed. get this thing done, ok. i want to thank all of the witnesses for your service and spending time and doing a good
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job answering our questions. this roundtable is closed. adjourned. >> thank you. >> pleasure to meet you.
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>> a lot of that is contemplated in the authorizations. it is just a matter of following through. it is a complex issue. the issues she rates was really appropriate, but the answer is a magnitude of these disasters, we have the contract preapproved and the supplies preapproved that just exceeded their capacity. you have to react -- your reaction to various situations will not be perfect. again, this is a really difficult department to manage, but the results of the inspector general shows they are making improvements. ok, thanks.
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>> on newsmakers this weekend, our guest is new mexico chairssman ben ray who the congressional campaign committee talking about the 2010 midterm elections in some of the issues that the committee is focused on a year ahead. watch the interview tomorrow, 10:00 a.m. here on c-span. sunday night on afterwards, black with medical founder
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patrice with her book "when they call you a terrorist: a blacklist matter memoir." she is interviewed. >> as we created black with matter, we knew that we had to get people on board. interrupt when people have to -- people try to co-opt black lives matter. challenging people in our own movement sometimes, people that we love, to not say our lives matter, and the other communities matter, but to really focus on black people, and to be allies and be of solidarity with black people. and then we took it out to the world. >> watch afterwards sunday night 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's book tv. >> defense secretary james mattis and joint chiefs of staff, paul

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