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Where are the bucks at DHS?

Coast Guard is the big spender on products, services and R&D

Government contractors serving the Homeland Security Department can expect to see more spending in the Coast Guard than through its other components, with most of that spending happening through products.

The Office of Procurement Operations is also seeing a lot of the department’s spending, through both services and through research and development.

Two representatives from the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group gave a breakdown of the DHS spending  over the past few years, highlighting its fiscal 2011 spending in three major areas: products, services, and research and development.

In 2011, most spending went toward services, accounting for $9.6 billion dollars of the department’s spending that year. Products saw $4.1 billion in spending, while $500 million was spent on research and development, the study showed.

The representatives also gave a walkthrough of the department’s main components, into which the department’s spending goes. 

What follows is a breakdown of the seven components, and the amount of spending by each in FY2011.

Coast Guard – $3.7 billion

Customs and Border Protection – $2 billion

FEMA – $1.4 billion

Immigrations and Custom Enforcement – $1.3 billion

Office of Procurement Operations – $2.8 billion

Transportation Security Administration – $1.9 billion

Other – $1.1 billion

The U.S. Coast Guard, while being responsible for getting the most spending from the department, is also responsible for most of the department’s products spending, in the amount of $2.1 billion.

As for services, the study pointed to the Office of Procurement Operations as being responsible for the most spending, in the amount of $2.4 billion.

Most research and development spending also went toward the Office of Procurement Operations, in the amount of $230 million; this was likely due to the fact that the office covers contracting for the science and technology directorate.

CSIS Deputy director and senior fellow of the Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group, Guy Ben-Ari, said that what he found interesting, overall, is the “lack of long term stability in research and development spending.

He was referring to how the department might have much research and development spending in one of its component one year, and put that spending in a completely different component the next. 

About the Author

Mark Hoover is a staff writer with Washington Technology. You can contact him at mhoover@washingtontechnology.com, or connect with him on Twitter at @mhooverWT.

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