DHS indifferent to special acquisition rules: GAO

Department supports allowing rules to expire

The Homeland Security Department has never used the streamlined acquisition authorities granted by Congress when the department was created 2002, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.

"Use of the special authorities has not been needed, because existing authorities have been sufficient to meet DHS requirements," wrote William Woods, director of acquisition and sourcing management for GAO, in a June 20 letter to Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairwoman Susan Collins (R-Maine).

Under the special authorities granted under Section 833 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, DHS officials can:
  • Raise the micro-purchase threshold from $2,500 to $7,500 for certain procurements
  • Use simplified acquisition procedures up to $200,000, rather than $100,000, for contracts within the United States.
  • Increase the ceiling for the use of special simplified procedures to acquire property to $7.5 million from $5 million.

However, DHS said it frequently uses an alternative micro-purchase procedure for purchases up to $15,000 in support of contingency operations if certain conditions are met. In addition, the department officials said raising the $200,000 would only affect 100 procurements annually.

Overall, DHS officials view the additional authorities as "not worth the time and effort required to justify their use," and supports allowing the authorities to expire at the end of September 2007, GAO said.

About the Author

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

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here
close

Trending

  • Dive into our Contract Award database

    In an exclusive for WT Insider members, we are collecting all of the contract awards we cover into a database that you can sort by contractor, agency, value and other parameters. You can also download it into a spreadsheet. Our databases track awards back to 2013. Read More

  • Navigating the trends and issues of 2016 Nick Wakeman

    In our latest WT Insider Report, we pull together our best advice, insights and reporting on the trends and issues that will shape the market in 2016 and beyond. Read More

contracts DB

Washington Technology Daily

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.