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tv   Dept. of Homeland Security 20 Years After 911  CSPAN  January 4, 2022 3:03pm-4:19pm EST

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>> u.s. capitol police chief tom manger talks about the cost of defending lawmakers with a senate committee, nearly one year since the january 6 attack. want to leave wednesday at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span, online at or follow on c-span now, our new video app. >> now, a hearing on management and operations of the department of homeland security, almost 20 years after it was founded in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. a california congressman, lou correa, chairs the subcommittee hearing. >> subcommittee on oversight management accountability will come to order. without objection, the chair is authorized to declare the
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subcommittee in recess at any time. let me begin by thanking everyone for joining us today. this month, as you know, we commemorated 20 years since the tragic 9/11 cowardly attack on our country that essentially led to the creation of homeland security and this committee. as we look back on the last two decades, it is impossible to ignore how much has changed. the threats to our homeland and the ones we face today have grown beyond foreign terrorists to include cyber attacks, climate change and domestic violence extremism. to meet these new threats, the department of homeland security has evolved as well. a department that was once barely more than a collection of 22 federal agencies has matured to become more cohesive and thus more effective.
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ensuring that apartments many components work together, coordinated in tandem, is a daily effort that still needs much more work. over the years, several secretaries of homeland security have made a priority to unify the department and consolidate management functions within a strong centralized headquarters. many dhs components exist as independent agencies that existed as independent agencies -- existed as independent agencies and each have their own needs. these agencies have been brought together under one umbrella, they do not always work together as they should. at dhs headquarters -- dhs headquarters often lacks the ability to coordinate these resources and oversight as a whole. we have made progress. to date, dhs has created new
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offices to better coordinate strategic planning and overlapping operations. today, i look forward to hearing from two representatives from dhs management directorate about how the department has changed and evolved over the last 20 years and how it is taking on new and evolving challenges. i also look forward to hearing from the government accountability office, which has provided consistent oversight over the department since its creation, especially through its biannual high risk list, a report that identifies government operations with significant vulnerabilities to fraud, waste and abuse. when this department was first created, gao added implementing the new department of homeland security to its high risk list. in 2003, gao noted that such a task was an enormous undertaking
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that will take time to achieve in an effective and efficient manner. failure to do so would expose our nation to potentially very serious consequences. dhs has -- itself over the last 20 years and its designation on the high risk list has changed as well. now, gao plus recommendations are more focused -- gao's recommendations are more focused. it continues to struggle with integrating and strengthening the core functions that affect every aspect of the agency. this includes the management of information technology, human capitol -- human capital and finances. all of which are housed in the
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department of management directorate. these remain on the list in many ways because they are issues that offer the most -- challenges for a decentralized headquarters. the constant push and pull between operational components and headquarters have hampered the departments ability to develop a strong, unified approach to these issues. taking on these problems is key to ensuring that dhs can continue to protect the homeland from all threats. those we faced 20 years ago, those we face now, and those we will face in the future. i look forward to hearing more about how dhs has grown into the agency it is today as well as how we can help them continue to mature and meet these enduring and evolving challenges. with that, i thank you again for joining us today and i would like to recognize the ranking
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member of the subcommittee mr. peter mayer, for his opening statement. >> thank you mr. chairman for holding this important hearing today. thank you to our witnesses from dhs. this hearing comes at a critical time for the department. dhs was created in the wake of the most devastating terror attacks to occur on u.s. soil where we lost nearly 3000 americans. we vouched to prevent any such attack from occurring again. we passed the 20 year anniversary of 9/11 this month and find ourselves facing a multifaceted threat landscape that is evolving. as new threats continue to emerge, we are seeing conditions that resemble those that existed in the days leading up to the attacks. the united states has withdrawn from afghanistan and there is concern this swift taliban takeover of the country, coupled with the mismanaged withdrawal, has left a vacuum in which terrorists groups will
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reconstitute. dhs is leading the enormous task of resettling 60,000 evacuees into the united states. operation allies welcome will be a complicated effort for the department and dhs does not have the luxury of focusing solely on this issue. the threat landscape has expanded beyond the actions of foreign terrorist organizations like al qaeda that served as the original catalyst as the creation of the department. dhs must be prepared to handle cyber attacks, challenges on the border and encroachment by u.s. economic security by foreign actors seeking ways to influence our democracy. dhs must be able to prove -- must be able to handle all of these and more. it is no easy task to create a new organization and even more difficult to combine 22 distinct
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entities into one cohesive unit. what date -- while dhs has made great strides over the years, the government accountability office published its most recent high risk list in march. this delineates high risk government operations as well as providing a status report of the government's efforts to address these high risk areas. this year, gao emphasized the department must continue implementing its integrated strategy for high risk management which outlines progress related to strengthening and integrating information technology, financial management, human capital management and acquisitions. dhs is still lacking in areas to build capacity in its acquisition programs and financial systems. these areas are critical to supporting the safety and security of dhs' numerous missions. of the five management functions gao assesses, dhs is meeting
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three of them. but only partially meeting two, capacity andi cannot stress hows that the missions have the proper people, resources and systems in place to reduce risks and operations. this could not be more clear than in the efforts to help afghan evacuees. the dhs appointed a fema administrator to lead the interagency unified coordination group in charge of vetting and resettling evacuees. this gives the dhs of the responsibility for the lives of tens of thousands of evacuees while still dealing with other to mystic challenges, including the ongoing covid-19 pandemic and the fallout from the worst hurricane season on record. the demands on dhs are compounded by shortages of personnel across the department, which gao cited as limiting factors in a 2021 report. i witnessed firsthand how the
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country struggled with crises across the world. i lead operations in the u.s. and abroad, assisting communities impacted by natural disasters. and i spent close to two years in afghanistan as a conflict analyst with humanitarian aid community, working to protect workers protecting and assisting those in need. without the full support of my coworkers come i would've been at a loss in these efforts. without proper capacity at every level in dhs, each of its components will struggle for success. in terms of their ability to demonstrate progress, i am interested to learn what steps dhs takes to resolve these high-risk areas. it is imperative we see the department's acquisition processes, i.t. systems and financial oversight capacity, as well as management functioning at the highest possible levels. with the current landscape in massive flux, we cannot leave anything to chance with the
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programs meant to keep her homeland security. thank you again for holding this hearing. i look forward to hearing testimony today and working closely with the department to ensure it reaches its full and vital potential. chairman correa: i want to thank the ranking member for his comments, and also for your service to our country. duly noted. members are reminded that the committee will operate according to the guidelines laid out by the chairman and ranking member in the february 3 colloquy regarding remote procedures. members on the subcommittee shall be permitted to sit and question the witnesses, that is members not on the subcommittee shall be permitted to sit and question the witnesses. if i can, i would like to turn out to a panel of witnesses. first, mr. chris currie, director of the homeland security and justice team at the government accountability
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office. he leads work on emergency management, disaster response and recovery, and dhs management and high risk issues. he has been with gao since 2002 and has been the recipient of numerous agency awards, including meritorious service award in 2008. welcome. our second witness is mr. alles, acting under secretary for management at dhs. he oversees all aspects of the department's management functions, including financial, human capital, information technology, procurement security and asset management. mr. alles has served in many senior leadership roles since joining the department in 2012, and most recently served as director of the secret service. our final witness is angela bailey, chief human capital
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officer at dhs. she is responsible for the human capital program, including human resource policy, recruitment and hiring, and employee development. she has dedicated more than 40 years in public service with 34 of those in human resources. ms. bailey was appointed to her current position in january of 2016. without objection, full statements will be inserted into the witnesses' records. i will ask each to summarize their statements in five minutes. i will begin with mr. currie. welcome. mr. currie: thank you, it is an honor to be here to discuss gao's work on dhs. as you and the ranking member said, dhs has been on gao's high-risk list since it opened in 2003. we did this because combining 22
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separate agencies was a massive challenge. many agencies have already had major challenges from the start and the affective creation was could go to national security, as well. i think it is important to reflect over the last 20 years on how dhs has evolved and their tremendous transformational progress and they have made. there are several reasons for the progress, which you talked about in your opening statement. first has been leadership commitment. we have more than 30 high-risk areas across government and many more we have taken off the list over the years. there is not an agency or management team more committed or involved in addressing these issues than the ones that dhs. they meet with us quarterly, they do a strategy twice a year, and we have seen tremendous commitment to these issues. dhs diverts resources to these issues and measures progress. for example, dedicated teams manage each individual outcome area and ensure accountability in the agency.
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and of the reason for progress has been consistent congressional oversight over 20 years. hearings like this one, and of those in the senate, keep the spotlight on this issue and encourage progress. as a result, dhs has transformed from a fragmented department to the third largest cabinet agency with almost 250,000 people, and arguably the most diverse and difficult mission in all of government. i have personally seen it over the last 19 years working with the department. however, while progress has been made, it is still the newest department and more work is needed before we can take it off of our high-risk list. specifically, we monitor dhs progress across key areas, including human capital, i.t. management, acquisitions in financial management. so far, dhs has addressed 18 of the 30 areas we measure and is working to address the remaining 12. i want to highlight some of the most challenging areas. in the area of acquisitions, dhs
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continues to implement more discipline processes to better manage acquisitions across the department. in our most recent look, however, we found that 10 of the 24 major acquisition programs did not meet costs or schedule goals. in some cases it was because dhs underestimated a program's complexity. financial management has been another very challenging area. while dhs has made progress, the initial challenge it wasn't so great that there is still a long way to go. to using private sector analogy, you can imagine 22 large corporations had to combine financial systems. dhs has now received a clean audit opinion on its financial statements for eight years straight, a major achievement, however it struggles to modernizes several systems, specifically dhs needs to effectively implement its long-term systems modernization efforts at the coast guard and
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particularly at fema, who manages much of the dollars and grants. fema's system is over 25 years old and manages a huge, $100 billion portfolio. they have only begun steps to begin the modernization of fema and it will be many years before there is a new system in place. lastly, i have to talk about employee morale. it has been a focus of much attention, and the story is way more complicated than simply saying dhs ranks last among the large departments. no issue likely frustrates cloaks on this hearing more. we have seen efforts to understand the root causes of the issue and determine how to address it. some components have high morale scores, some do not. some rank lower and bring the collective departmental scores
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down. what we have seen is more focus and attention is needed on the components, and more accountability by their leadership. it is hard for top level dhs action to trickle deep into the components to.make change management is the key to making progress. and we recently made a number of recommendations to make sure this happens. i look forward to questions. mr. alles: thank you -- chairman correa: thank you. i want to recognize mr. alles now for five minutes. mr. alles:. good afternoon. it is a privilege to appear before you, along with angie bailey, to discusses the department of maturation, the department's functions. our employees rise to many challenges. the director provides vital mission support services designed to enable frontline operation to a more effectively
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respond to these challenges. since the founding of the department, the challenge for djs leadership has been to integrate the numerous diverse organizations brought together in the aftermath of 9/11. most of these organizations had unique and sometimes long-standing management practices and systems in place. because of these challenges, the gao designated implementing and transforming dhs as an area of high-risk in 2003. after a decade of work, they have acknowledged their progress in 2013, narrowing the high-risk areas to focus on five key functions, acquisition and program management, information technology, financial management, human capital and -- management functions across the department. dhs has addressed a 22 of the 30 high-risk outcomes and gao is a partner in this effort. we are working closely with gao to narrow the scope for high-risk designation for ghs's management functions.
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so, i want to highlight some of those challenges and successes. dhs leadership has long made supporting and strengthening the workforce a priority. all the more so during the covid-19 pandemic. bailey will discuss these efforts in more detail. as the chief acquisition officer of the department, oversee all programs and i reckon eyes the critical role of sound acquisition management in meeting needs. of the five outcomes, all are formally -- fully addressed and we want to demonstrate existing initiatives and program staffing and oversight, specifically maturing and enhancing our acquisition program health assessment procedures. dhs is making substantial progress in maturing the department's i.t. security capabilities and it has been recognized for the past five or six outcomes as fully addressed. the enhanced i.t. security was previously considered most addressed, and in january of
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2021, gao informed the cio of their intention to say it was partially addressed. over the last year, the ceo has made progress, highlighted in my statement for the record. the department is proud of obtaining its eighth consecutive financial audit opinion, we are optimistic we will earn a ninth opinion in fiscal year 21, and all remaining challenges are rooted in outdated financial systems, sorry financial modernization program will provide components for modern and compliant systems, including financial procurement and asset management functions. the remaining financial management outcomes focus on modernizing procurement and asset management systems used by these federal fema and dhs is moving forward with a system that serves those components. we expect to report progress in the next three to five years. the undersecretary of management is responsible for driving progress across the department with respect to management functions, so even while dealing
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with the immediate threat of covid, the director remains focused on long-term issues. for example, environmental and financial benefits to the national capital region real property strategy that includes consolidation of dhs organizations on saint elizabeth's campus and within the national capital region. we remain focused on opportunities for small business, and in soon so have been recognized -- and in doing so have been reckon eyes within a plus rate by small businesses for the past 12 years. since being placed in the high-risk list, dhs has made progress in addressing central issues that result in the high-risk designation. we appreciate gao's partnership and helping us to continue our discussions about rescuing and eventually removing management functions from the high-risk list. thank you again for the opportunity to be here to discuss the department's management functions and challenges and i welcome any questions you have. chairman correa: thank you. now i want to recognize ms.
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bailey to summarize her statement in five minutes. ms. bailey: thank you. it is a privilege to appear before you today alongside the deputy under secretary for management to provide additional information about our human capital outcome. and our employee engagement efforts. i was here last year talking to this subcommittee about employee engagement and morale, and i am pleased to report continued progress, despite challenges we face. dhs is a living, breathing organization made up of more than 240,000 human beings. they worry about the same things all americans worry about. they struggle with student loan debt, child care responsibilities, taking care of sick family members or missing another family vacation, birthday or anniversary because of work obligations. on top of that, every day our people perform some of the most difficult, dangerous, and at
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times heartbreaking, thankless work in the nation and they do it well. our people work through holidays, night and weekends, they are vigilant and ready, but the work that they do is often directly affected by some of the most article issues facing society, like the pandemic and natural disasters that dominate media headlines. for example, over 80% of dhs employees worked unpaid during previous government shutdowns and 65% have held the front lines during covid-19. we cannot change the work, but we can continue to explore and implement ways to support our people affected by that work. through our efforts in initiatives like employee and family readiness and leadership and other developmental programs, we have increased support for our employees and their families across the department. our operational components continue to work to meet family
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needs so that their efforts like resilience and suicide prevention programs at u.s. customs and border protection, intensive local action planning at select airports by the tsa, emergency backup childcare and fema, diversity and inclusion, education and awareness programs within the u.s. coast guard, consisting of over 100 change agents, an takingd action to rebuild morale and provide opportunities for employees to voice their concerns and share feedback at the uscis after the furlough threatened 2020. we also share ideas and best practices with each other, for example, leading to u.s. customs enforcement, adapting tsa's a successful local action planning to their own organization, resources, structures and needs, headquarters and implementing backup childcare as well. federal survey scores reflect the positive effects of these efforts. for example, cbp's engagement
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index, known as eei, increased 15% points since 2015 and tsa's eei has increased 11 percentage points. the overall score has increased by 13 percentage points, five of our components equal or surpass the government wide average. in an agency as large as dhs, this is a significant. this is so significant that opm and gao have recognized the hard work gone into these positive trends. and i would like to thank the gao further continuous support and productive relationship that they have had with us. all of this hard work has really led to being us -- lead to us being able to address all but one human capital outcome and we are so close to the wind that remains. it is a very productive partnership. as mr. currie and mr. alles
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noted, the department made significant progress with continued implementation and sustainment of a variety of programs. the remaining work is to institutionalize the use of dhs wide training data to inform capital programs in '22. thank you again for the opportunity to testify. the department would not be successful without your support and the work of our brave men and women who sacrifice each today to make their country safe. i look forward to your questions. chairman correa: i want to thank again the witnesses for their time and testimony. i will remind the subcommittee each one will have five minutes to ask questions of the panelists. i'll recognize myself now for five minutes. um, firv minutes -- five minutes is not long. let me start with ms. bailey. it looks like you are doing good work at homeland security.
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my question is focused on morale. we have talked about this in the past. this is what i see as an interesting challenge at homeland. 240,000 employees, that is bigger than most of my cities in california. yet each one of those individuals working for you is part of that line of defense for the homeland. fbi officers, nobody can deny the fact that they should be paid well, that they should have benefits, they should be 30 year career agents. they have to be the best at what they are doing, yet you have tsa employees at the airport, where many are part-time and they are struggling to get help, get health benefits with the tsa. turn over is unbelievable, yet most of those folks are watching the monitor, looking at people and trying to figure out if there is something there that
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can get into an airplane that we do with major harm. how can we help you, not by yourself, but how can we the legislature help you make the argument that we need to bring these people up to speed, we need to make them professionals, we need to pay them well and make sure that their attitude, you know, that they know that their mission -- that we pay them accordingly, please? ms. bailey: thank you for the question. with tsa, you raise an important point and when we have put attention and effort into. i know that there's support for the efforts that we make sure we raise the pay of our employees, because in some locations and they can actually be paid more to work at a local retail or fast food restaurant than they can further tsa.
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so it is a primary concern of ours, something we intend to address. the second issue is also having to do with making sure that we provide them mspb appeal rates. this week, we were able to report with the mspb, to make sure that employees have those appeal rights available. and with regards to their actual morale or the engagement and working life, with some of the things we are pleased about are the initiatives we have put into our employee and family readiness initiative. chairman correa: what about those folks working full-time, not part-time? flipping hamburgers, my daughter did that last summer. she got paid well. but she wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible. i want to make sure our tsa employees are not there part-time and wanting to get out of that job for the next job for a dollar more in our. -- hour.
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ms. bailey: that is a good question as well. one of the things we are striving to do is find a balance between part-time and full-time. because there are instances where we found our employees want part-time so that they can raise their families, or so they can continue to go to school and have different opportunities. the other thing we stress within tsa is that it is also a foot into the federal government, into dhs, and we find many of our tsos have the opportunity to go onto the secret service, cbp, or then onto ice. we have found that by having career progression for them in the law enforcement community is a that they have really valued and that they look forward to us putting more effort into that as will be read chairman correa: i would argue -- as well. chairman correa: i would argue
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the typical fbi agent knows they can go part-time, depending on the family situation. tsa employees, they get an opportunity to become an fbi agent, move on, but how do you make it attractive for them to be there for 30 years? i have 30 seconds left. these are some of the issues we need to work on, because again, the weakest link in the chain is one that will break. and we cannot afford any, any, you know, failures in our defense of the homeland. i look forward to working with all of you. i will criticize you on the work, we need to make sure it is a win-win situation. now i will recognize our ranking member for five minutes with his questions. >> thank you to those statements from all of our witnesses here
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today. mr. currie, i wanted to follow up on what they chairman mentioned in terms of concerns on the employment side and on the morale side. mr. currie, you mentioned that if you take out, um, i believe it was the coast guard and tsa from the broader dhs workforce, then it would be a much different picture. can you elaborate a little bit more on what is distinctive about the tsa and coast guard relative to the rest of the dhs workforce? and also, in that, to what extent both they tsa being a wholly new creation with a very unique mission relative to the rest of dhs, and the coast guard having that dueling role of, you know, uniform defense and a
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because i military capacity, depending on its orientation? -- quasi-military capacity, depending on its orientation? mr. currie: that is a great question, i will break that down. >> also, if you could truncate how you view those cultural differences. mr. currie: you make a great point, because the coast guard's morale is high, comparatively, because they were a legacy component before tsa had a tie to the department of defense. let me talk about tsa. there's a couple things going on. they are the largest components, 100,000 employees together. i think secondly, they really do represent what ms. bailey said, the front line. it has to be there every day, day in, day out, no break kind of employees protecting our border, scanning international
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passengers and cargo. and all the tough things we think about at dhs. and i have to tip my cap, we have tremendous respect for those folks. they do not have the luxury of working remotely, like a lot of us in the professional world have been able to do over the last year and a half. they have no choice, and covid has impacted them in part, but i think they have the toughest mission. everything that they do is under constant public scrutiny. you think about other federal workers, they do not have some buddy watching them do their job, so i think they have a very difficult mission. and what we talked about with tsa, this is white in our view it is so critical that we zone in on these components and figure out how to make changes culturally, and older leadership accountable. ms. bailey and mr. alles can do a lot, and that they have, but
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unless the managers within those components feel accountable for morale, i do not think it will be a huge priority. >> thank you for that. i want to pull up a little bit to the 40,000 foot level. you mentioned it specific things at the supervisory level, but on the whole, you know, the gao's high-risk list is something that dhs has been offered 20 years. gi us a sense of how unique that isve -- give us a sense of how unique that is for dhs. tell us about others that have been on it for a long time. dod is in a special category, but among the more comparable executive branch agencies. mr. currie: as you know, they dod is always in a special category, but there are some that have been on since the 1990's. medicare, proper payments with medicare have been on there for that whole time, but there are
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others that have been on for less than that, that have gone on, come back off. some have gone on, come off, gone on again a couple years later because the problems came back. i wouldn't say that it's out of the realm of ordinary that something as big and complicated as the department -- here is the other part, it is not just management, it is the criticality for national security. i wouldn't say it is odd that they are still on the list. >> my time is running short. i want to ask mr. alles, gao narrowed down there high-risk list area, recognizing key mission areas such as homeland security review, but dhs has not published a qhsr since 2014, any plans for completing that in the short term? mr. alles: the secretary has promised to produce that, it is
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produced in the office of plans and policy, so i can direct a more specific answer, so they can get back to you with that. >> i yield back. chairman correa: thank you. now the chair recognizes other members for questions that they may ask of the witnesses in accordance with the guidelines laid out by the chairman and ranking member in the february 3 colloquy. i will recognize them in order of seniority, alternating between the minority and majority, and members are reminded to mute themselves when they are not recognized. the gentleman from new york. >> i think that there is a more senior member on, so i am happy to defer. chairman correa: alternating between them. who is the other member? let's see.
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mr. langevan, is that who we are talking about? >> congresswoman titus. chairman correa: welcome. thank you, mr. torres. >> thank you. i do not every man to cut a line, that i appreciate you recognizing me. i would like to direct my questions to ms. bailey. it is about the diversification of the workforce. i think we strengthen the workforce if we diversify. so that is something that i have been working on. there's a number of hbcus, hispanic serving institutions, our veterans -- the more we reach out to them and try to bring them in, the stronger we become. i had a bill that passed out of this committee, passed the house and it was in the ndaa, but now
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we have to get it out of the is called the homeland security acquisition professional career program act and it codifies training programs in these institutions i mentioned for our workforce. i wonder if you could comment on the importance of having a qualified and diverse professional supply for the things that we need to keep our country safe. ms. bailey: thank you for the question. it's something that we have been working extremely hard at. one of the things i am proud about is the dhs workforce is 47% diverse, and we are higher than the governmentwide average of 38%. often i am asked about, what about the tsa and cbp, but even if you take them out we are 40% diverse. our hispanic population is at 22%, women represent 35%, and in our non-leo occupations, we are
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up to 48%. in the ses, we have 31% women representation. veterans are at 26%. we have maintained an exemplary rating since fy 17. so we put a tremendous amount of effort into recruiting, going out and making sure that we seek talent from all segments of society. we also put much effort into making sure that our leadership development programs really help raise up everyone within the department, s that they are readyo, capable to be able to go into ses ranks. so the one area i would say that i would say has been a challenge for us is our representation of women in law enforcement and mr. mayorkas has challenged us to be able to get to 30% by 2023. there's an initiative going on within the women in law enforcement community, i think 30% by 2030, but we challenged
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ourselves to meet that by 2023. so with that, we look forward to working with you to ensure that we can improve our diversity even more, but we really are heading towards 50% of dhs will have some type of diverse representation across all of our components. >> i am glad to hear those numbers. i also hope that you target minority serving institutions when you do recruiting, because often they are not aware that these career opportunities exist. furthermore, i do not know what your policy is on internships or mentor ships, but those often work well to bring young people into some of these professions. ms. bailey: absolutely, congresswoman. you hit the nail on the head. our internship program, this summer we just did a cyber sprint and we hired over 300 people and put another 500 tentative job offers out, so
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about 800 people, you to be created a cyber honors program, the secretary created a cyber honors program, and we have put folks into that as well. internship programs are hugely beneficial for us. an going tod the minority serving institutions is where we have found tremendous talent, so we are very supportive of those efforts. >> go over to the senate and tell them that so they will pass this bill. thank you. i yield back. chairman correa: thank you. ms. arch burger -- h artzburger. >> thank you.
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thank you to all of the guests here. i have a question and i do not know who will answer it, but i live in a rural district with a smaller airport, and the executive order from the president on vaccination for the federal employees is set to take effect prior to thanksgiving. that's the heavy travel time and one of the busiest weeks of the year. my question is, in a smaller airport like in my district, could there be -- there will be a vexing requirement -- a vaccine requirement, so can you tell us what the plan is for those that will not be vaccinated at that time? it could be detrimental not just to dhs or csa employees, but to many different facilities. can anybody answer that? mr. alles: first off, we want to
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make sure we get fully engaged with the workforce on what the intent is on the vaccination program. first, lay out the timeline for the vaccinations. and they make available the locations where they can get vaccinated, which are fairly wide, even in numerous locations, like at your local pharmacies. then we want to encourage them. we do not want to lose employees over vaccinations. that is our starting point, as the work comes down. and i think that really communicating with them and making available vaccines, is a critical part of the effort. angie? ms. bailey: i would say that we had our oval, our operation vaccinate our workforce, where we made sure to partner with the v.a. to provide as much a vaccinations support as you could to are mission-critical
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positions, including tsa operations like in the small airports. 77% of those folks eligible that had requested it actually did get there vaccinations. on the whole, dhs is 64% where employees have responded, 64% of our workforce has been vaccinated. and that is one part with the nation. to that point, we will put a full-court press on educating our workforce, get them as many facts as we can so they can make an informed decision. we have provided a timetable on when they need to have their first and second shots, and we are working with omb to make sure that we have a reasonable accommodation process put in place to address anybody who has a medical or religious exemption. so we are not in the business of removing employees. we are in the business of trying
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to make sure we educate them, that we provide them every opportunity to get vaccinated or to put in for a reasonable accommodation because this nation's security and safety is a national security issue for us to make sure all employees are on board. >> it is a national security risk, because if you have a role areas, that is where i am -- rural areas, that is where i am sitting from. and we look at the statistics nationwide, the rural areas are the ones that can -- i guess they have a lower percentage of vaccinations, so my question is, what is the plan when we do not have employees to work? i looked at paycheck in rural areas, people do not know what they do not know. we want them to know if they are lower risk, that they can sign up for the precheck. but we cannot afford to close a
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smaller airports, so is there a plan to fill those spots in case they have to be laid off or that -- for that? mr. alles: i would say that our intent is to encourage employees towards vaccination. if there are shortages in the airports, we will have to do additional hiring or temporarily moving employees. i think that the question would be best referred to tsa to how they would address the operations part of it. >> well, i know it is coming up pretty quickly, in about a month and a half. we need to get a strategy put together. thank you for your answers. chairman correa: thank you. i will not recognize mr. torres. rep. torres: i think that there
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is someone more senior. chairman correa: there is, but they are not on the committee. i wanted him to be on the committee. rep. torres: i was just assuming i was the least senior. as you know, january 6 was a wake-up call about the depths of domestic terrorism, particularly within the ranks of law enforcement and dhs, the largest law enforcement agency in the federal government. -- said he would conduct a review of how to best prevent, detect and respond to domestic terrorism, particularly within the ranks of extremism. i'm curious to know the status of the review and link and we expect to see the findings of the review? -- and when can we expect to see
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the findings of the review? mr. alles: the secretary just testified on this topic and made the note that this is one of our most important missions, to cannot only provide actual intelligence about the domestic violence, but also to ensure that our headquarters, not our headquarters, but department is secure in that regard. so that means increasing opportunities and other support in identifying individuals at risk of radicalization. rep. torres: i asked when we can expect a report? mr. alles: he did commit to providing a report to the committee, ok, the whole committee, due back to him in october, depending on his timeline sometime after that. rep. torres: i know that
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you identified tsa as a troubled entity within dhs, as well as border patrol. i'm curious what is your assessment of ice? mr. currie: in terms of the morale, sir? rep. torres: you classified dhs as a high risk agency, if i understood your testimony correctly, tsa is a disproportionate driver of that. where does ice rank? mr. currie: it is under the management areas. there are some issues. we do have morale concerns there, they being a law enforcement organization within the department that does not have as high aim morale as other components. that needs to be addressed. it's not like i'm less concerned about ice, but you talk about overall morale of the department, they are smaller. obviously, they have a difficult mission right now, too, so i am
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concerned about their workforce. the other thing we look at is in the management areas, their financial systems, there are one of the three components as one of the oldest legacy financial systems left over from before the department started. and they have a way to go before they can modernize. so we have some concerns there. rep. torres: do they have their own financial -- like, why not have a shared or centralized system? mr. currie: that question is the question. rep. torres: i will have to ask the secretary. mr. currie: that was the goal, from the beginning, to centralize everything. at the idea was to take 22 legacy agencies, some created and some existing, and we will put them into one system. and very quickly we realized that was not possible, so right now we have a hybrid. some have the old systems, like
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fema. rep. torres: flight is it not possible? -- why is it not possible? mr. currie: for fema, they got started late trying to modernize it, and there are just many different things within their system, at one point they had 20 different grant programs in their system, so they managed a ton of money. it has taken a long time. rep. torres: it is impossible to have one system to administer the grants? mr. currie: nothing is impossible, but over 20 years, to do this across the dhs with one system is incredibly difficult. they have been able to do it in some components, i think they are now down to the most challenging components. rep. torres: i heard a contradiction between the testimonies. you identify 30 management areas and said dhs had made progress in 18 of those.
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the secretary said 22. i want to know the disconnect between the two testimonies. mr. currie: i was referring to the ones fully addressed and completed, there are others partially completed, so i think that was the difference. rep. torres: what is the most urgent of those? mr. currie: i think right now the most urgent, uh, i classify urgent and challenging as the same because the most challenging to me will be the hardest to address, they need the most resources. i think that financial management is the one that will take the longest to address across the department, that has the most work to be done. dhs has a said it could be at least five years, so i am very concerned about that. but i continued to be concerned about morale, too. while we give dhs a lot of credit because there's been
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consistent progress and improvements last year, almost every agency in government was approved last year. i do not think anybody would say they are where they want to be in terms of employee morale. it affects recruitment, retention and it has a huge impact on the mission. and i think that that is another major area i'm concerned about. rep. torres: my time has expired. chairman correa: thank you. unless you object, do you have any other republican members? >> i am not seeing any of my colleagues, so no objection. chairman correa: i will not go to mr. land event -- langevin. >> thank you for allowing me to sit in on this subcommittee. i do not have the pleasure of serving this subcommittee, but
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may be in the future. i want to thank the witnesses further testimony. i want to start with miss bailey. what percentage of cybersecurity -- within the private homeland security are unfulfilled right now? obviously, sub security is the national security challenge of our time, we need all hands on deck, we need every position filled, and i know that dhs is still under resourced there in terms of bodies. can you give me an idea of how many are unfilled right now? ms. bailey: thank you for the question, congressman. i'm not sure. i will have to get back with you on the exact number. i know we have close to 10,000 positions identified as being cyber.
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one thing we were trying to do with our sprint was addressed at least a 10% of our vacancies. i think that we are somewhere around 80%, but i need to get back to you, 80% filled. so i need to get back to you with regard to the exact number. >> approximately 20% to 30% is a reasonable estimation? ms. bailey: about 10% to 20% because we did have a push this summer and we far exceeded where we wanted to be. i think somewhere around 2000 vacancies, if i am not mistaken, so this summer we were able to get about 1000 of those filled. >> i certainly hope that when you look at the actual numbers, that it is closer to 10%, not 20% or more because i would even think that 20% was a rate that is unacceptable. and feel that it is very
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troubling, a troubling statistic. can you explain to the committee what you plan to do to address this vacancy rate going forward? ms. bailey: certainly. i do want to make sure that i am clear, we have about 2000 or we had around 2000 vacancies this summer and we filled about 800 of them, so we have made progress in making sure we have all of our positions filled. with regard to things that have been done, one thing i am pleased to say, with congress's support we were able to implement our cyber talent management system, which will give us the ability to recruit and hire, pay and retain our cyber workforce in a way we have never been able to do within the federal government. so that will give us the ability to reach out and established partnerships with minority serving institutions, as well as
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being able to qualify folks who have maybe been successful at a hack-athon, won a national award. so by being creative and inventive and actually breaking apart everything that is known as far as civil-service goes, we will have the advantage of being able to really go after the talent, pay them in accordance with market pay, and be able to retain them anyway we have not been able to before. >> thank you. congress granted dhs of authority to implement its cyber program, but right now the department is preparing to launch that system. if they give them the ability to create new positions to carry out necessary responsibilities, what does the department envision om filling -- and
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what resources do they required to meet goals? ms. bailey: we would use it for a variety of cybersecurity needs, everything from forensics to network investigations, to what you would consider typical cybersecurity positions, so in working with cisa and with our cio, we have been able to identify the skills we need to get the talent into those positions. we anticipate right off the bat of bringing in close to 150 people, then keep expanding from their. and -- there. and across-the-board. so i think you will be pleased with where we are by next spring, considering we will have it fully implemented and ready to recruit and hire on day one. >> thank you. one last question, but -- chairman correa: go ahead. >> thank you.
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basically, the last question, i want to focus on cybersecurity and infrastructure security, given that this is a new agency with a critical mission, it is important to hire the cybersecurity talent necessary to execute that mission, for example giving the system the opportunity to grant -- for outside talent. how is the department supporting and empowering cisa to ensure it can bring in the cybersecurity talent it needs? ms. bailey: one of the things we are doing is working closely -- i have a good relationship with both the director and deputy director of cisa, which gives us the opportunity to dive in and figure out exactly where they have needs. we will make use of our cyber talent management system to address many of the needs you have addressed. the fellowship programs, the internship programs, those will exist as well, so we are not
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just simply going to ctms as the only thing we will do, we will make use of all the hiring authorities, including the schedule a hiring authorities we have to reach down and get the talent we need. >> i certainly hope so. it is a vital mission. is it possible that you could come and brief us on ct ms in december or so? ms. bailey: absolutely. yes. absolutely, congressman. i'm more than happy to come brief you on ctms. >> i appreciate the extra time, allowing me to ask questions, so thank you very much. chairman correa: come by anytime. we love to have your questions. any other members on the committee that i have not asked to ask a question? i would ask mr. peter mayer, --
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meijer if he is interested in going for a second round of questions. are you ok with that? >> absolutely. chairman correa: i want to follow up with some of those thoughts. in my prior life, i chaired a committee in sacramento that had jurisdiction over calpers, some of the biggest pension funds in the western world. the challenge was always trying to keep the good asset managers working for calpers. once wall street found out that they were good, they were torn away because we could not afford them, the multimillion dollar salaries that wall street could afford to pay them. i mean, how do we keep the good cyber folks on your payroll and not have them essentially be taken away by the private sector? mr. alles: i think there are a
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couple aspects. one is what answers the doctor the cyber talent. we discussed it yesterday, it is the appeal for the mission. i have had people call me and want to work for the department coming not before it pays -- not because it pays well, it is because they want to protect the nation and i think that is in important part of it. as we discussed yesterday. obviously, that is how the military appeals to people, they are not doing the job because they get paid a lot of money, they feel it is a service to the nation. that is a key part. chairman correa: ms. bailey? ms. bailey: i would also say that to add to what was said, one of the other things is we understand that this is a field in which they will not stay with us for 30 years, they will not stay in any business, it does not matter, so what we have done
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is create a system in which they can come in and out of federal government in an easy way. under the current civil-service rules, you cannot do that, like when you come in, often what happens is whenever you leave and come back, basically you cannot be paid for any of your experience or education you have received, although opm is working to change those rules. but when we designed ctms, we knew that this was not only a generation, but also an occupation that will not stay with us. we are ok with that. we need to make sure that when they are here, they are given the kinds of resources and experiences they are looking for, them whenever they go back out to the private sector, we keep track of them. and when we have new opportunities, we reach out and bring them back in. it's something that we have planned for, rather than trying to assume that they will all want a 30 year career.
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chairman correa: thank you for that. i will call on peter now for his questioning. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ms. bailey, during covid congress gave agencies special schedule a hiring authority. can you share more about how dhs utilized that and it do you think the hiring authority might be a positive model for the future? ms. bailey: yes, thank you for the question. it was an important authority. i will tell you it was mostly used by cisa, where they could go out and get the talent they needed. we only used it for about 52 positions. and headquarters used it for other positions as well. so it was important, sure. every time we are given a new hiring authority, we make full use of it, i will tell you that. one thing i would say that i
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would love the csdo is we have over 100 special hiring authorities in the books and one thing we want to do is tick that down and have our enhanced hiring act, which has actually made it to the last congress, but one thing we love with that is the ability to have one streamlined hiring authority for our veterans. and make sure we maintain 20% veterans onboard at all times within dhs, an have thed ability to make partnerships and relationships with all of the different academia is as well as the universities, as well as the private sector and a different specialized groups to be able to bring that talent onboard within dhs. so that is, if i had my dream, that would be it, that we could really have our enhanced hiring act be something that complements what we are trying to do with our cyber talent management system. ms. bailey: thank you.
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>> i wanted to visit over to the acquisition side of the house. i know that dhs has faced challenges in executing that portfolio. we have seen that with the coast guard cutter acquisitions and national. cybersecurity protection system the gao report mentioned one action that remains for dhs to establish and effectively operate the joint requirements counsel to review and validate component driven capability requirements that drive the departmentwide acquisitions and also worked to identify and eliminate unintended redundancies. can you share to what extent there has been progress in the area and conclude with what remains to be done? mr. currie: there has been a lot of progress. i think we have seen the jrc in existence long enough to know that it is the right organization with the right processes to oversee requirements development. they are close to addressing
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that, maybe in another six months. w wante to spend time validating -- we want to spend time validating this and see results in the next six months. w stille have concerns about acquisition discipline and process. we want to see more programs within cost and schedule, we want to see more successes. i just do not think we are seeing enough successes. it's not just about having the discipline and the processes. you want to see effective implementation of these programs in the homeland to achieve the mission, and we have not seen enough of that yet. >> are there any other acquisition programs across the government, whether within dod or with a more specialized agencies or components that you look at as a model for the areas you would suggest that dhs emulate? mr. currie: there is no doubt that acquisitions is tough
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across all federal government, especially at the dod. it is hard for me to say that the dod is better, because they have challenges, you know that well. but i think that dhs has a unique challenge here, because many times and they are trying to apply commercially available technologies or other sort of things to a very specific homeland application. and i think that is where sometimes we run into some challenges. for example, the usm and i talk to the other day about the bio detection system, where they dhs is trying to implement a system where within minutes a bio attack could be detected in our homeland. it is difficult because the technology is not available yet. the idea is good, but it is not ready to go in the homeland, where you may be able to use technology like that on an experimental basis in the
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theater or something like that. there's unique challenges at dhs. >> my time is expiring. and i think that we just had a vote called, for your awareness. >> did you want to ask a couple of questions? go ahead. >> actually, i have a bill -- it would issue departmentwide guidance to require contractors to submit identifying the origin of materials as a response. my question for the other secretary is what action has the agency taken? >> in the wake, we are developing security models that
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are more complex than just looking at scores. this is what we call a zero day exploit. risk management systems and communication protections. based on cybersecurity, it will make sure that the supply chain -- that it will help ensure that contractors are secure. it will include implementation of supply chain risk management. it will enhance our cybersecurity program. >> i have a question in
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particular. my understanding is that i find the capacity to detect a threat. is not accurate in what we are doing to address? >> yes, sir. it was formed to address known threats. it will not be protected. >> are you put -- are you creating an entire new capacity for known threats? >> it would be zero capacity, securing the supply chain, making sure that contractors are secure, on their side. >> what is the timeline for securing that? >> we are just getting them underway. i would give it a couple of years before it is fully implemented. >> that is the extent of my question. i just wanted to follow-up. i do not know if they have any
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thoughts on dhs's preparedness, in relation to a supply chain attack. >> yes, sir. i can get you that information >> that is the extent of my questions. thank you. >> i think i am good. if i have a question, i will give it to you in writing. >> i want to thank all of you and thank the witnesses for being here, for your testimony. members of the committee may have additional questions of the witnesses. we ask that you respond expeditiously to them.
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