IGs to investigate major homeland security deals

Major homeland security IT contracts awarded to Northrop Grumman Corp., Accenture Ltd. and Unisys Corp. are among more than a dozen IT programs coming under scrutiny in the coming months by the Homeland Security Department's Office of the Inspector General.

The inspector general has released an updated fiscal 2005 Annual Performance Plan listing more than 12 IT audits the office will perform in the coming months, along with several dozen other general program audits. Some of the reviews will be completed by July, while others will extend as late as February 2006.

The IG will audit the department's three-year, $175 million blanket purchase agreement with Northrop Grumman to modernize human resources IT by developing performance measures, integration, project management, labor relations and other services.

In a report to be completed in February 2006, the IG's Office of Information Technology will determine the effectiveness of the proposed strategy and system for human resources, the IG plan said.

The U.S. Visit visitor screening program, which includes a five year, $10 billion contract with Accenture, will be reviewed by the IG's Office of Audits to determine how well it meets program requirements. The report is due by February 2006.

The IG's Office of Information Technology will judge by August whether U.S. Visit "provides adequate system security controls over sensitive and biometric data," the report said.

Unisys' $1 billion task order to establish IT and telecommunications infrastructure support and services to the Transportation Security Administration is the subject of an IG report to be completed by August. The audit is being performed at the request of Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The audit will determine the status of the task order to date, whether costs are running higher than what was planned, how the contractor is performing to the required performance measures and whether small business and new technology is being used in the contract, the IG's office said.

The IG's annual performance plan also lists many other IT program reviews, including audits of IT strategies and programs for critical infrastructure, information-sharing, cybersecurity, information security, border surveillance, customs and procurement systems.

In addition, the IG will audit the effectiveness of many other Homeland Security programs, including port security, mass transit security and grant programs.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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