Homeland IT at high risk

The Homeland Security Department in general, and its IT operations in particular, are areas of high risk for failure, according to the General Accounting Office and the leaders of the Senate Governmental Affairs and House Government Reform committees.

"A lot of this risk is related to systems," said Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., chairman of the House committee. "We are operating with too many stovepiped systems. One of the reasons the Homeland Security Department was put together was to get people talking to each other."

Davis said the government's systems difficulties would take "two, four or six years to solve," because they present complicated problems with major systems.

GAO said Homeland Security is on its high-risk list because the new agency is an enormous undertaking: The agencies to be folded into it already face problems, and the consequences of homeland security failures could be severe.

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