Site Map - Government Reports (GAO etc.)


- In January, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implemented phase one of the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology, or US-VISIT, a program to collect, maintain, and share information on foreign nationals.

School Crime Did Not Rise in 2005

- A student is 50 times more likely to be murdered away from school, says the Department of Justice.

Weapons at risk

- Department of Defense policies are not addressing the risk of foreign software developers inserting malicious code or backdoors that could jeopardize weapons systems, concludes a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. GAO investigators found that "11 of the 16 software intensive weapon systems we reviewed did not make foreign involvement in software development a specific element of their risk management efforts." Pentagon officials agreed with many of the GAO's findings, and pointed out that "risk attributable to software vulnerabilities are not limited to foreign suppliers." @ Knowledge of Software Suppliers Needed to Manage Risks " is at SM Online.

Airport security

- The GAO report notes that the TSA still does not require criminal record checks or security awareness training for all airport employees as required by law. Similarly, the TSA has not required airport vendors to develop security programs. And while programs have been launched to investigate perimeter security and biometrics technology, implementation and funding plans remain nebulous.

Aviation safety

- A new GAO report has studied the Federal Aviation Administration's enforcement efforts related to safety violations.

SEVIS at Your Service

- The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), which was criticized when it was started by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in July 2002, is now showing signs of improvement, according to the GAO.

SEVIS at Your Service

- The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), which was criticized when it was started by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in July 2002, is now showing signs of improvement, according to the GAO.

White House Wants to Cut Homeland Security Programs

- A leaked budget memo, obtained by the Associated Press, calls for deep cuts to local homeland security programs.

Fire safety

- Nursing home fires in Hartford, Connecticut, and Nashville, Tennessee, last year killed 31 residents. As old facilities grandfathered from federal fire-safety standards on new facilities, neither had sprinkler systems. The GAO has called for the federal government to work with the National Fire Protection Association to strengthen fire-safety standards and to improve oversight of nursing home fire safety, such as by reviewing exemptions granted to facilities without sprinklers.

First responders

- No one is really sure how interoperable public safety wireless communications systems are with one another. The DHS intends to do a survey on the topic, with results available by next year. In the meantime, the GAO suggests that the federal government develop national requirements and a national architecture for such systems, create nationwide databases, and provide financial and technical support to states and localities to help them make their systems interoperable. For their part, states should establish bodies to develop interoperability improvement plans.

Information sharing

- Although the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has taken actions to implement the public-private partnership called for by federal critical infrastructure protection policy, "it has not yet developed a plan that describes how it would carry out its information-sharing responsibilities and relationships." GAO auditors recommend that DHS describe the roles and responsibilities of DHS, information sharing and analysis centers (ISACs), and other stakeholders. The GAO also recommends that the DHS create policies and procedures for sharing information provided by ISACs amongst its departments.


- An interim rule expands the US-VISIT program to the 50 most highly trafficked land border ports of entry in the United States.

Law enforcement responsibilities

- Two new reports look into changing responsibilities of federal law enforcement. One explores the transfer of the Federal Protective Service (FPS) to the Department of Homeland Security, noting that although FPS's mission has expanded, it does not have a transformation strategy to address this expanding mission. A second report analyzes the FBI's transformation to increase its focus on homeland security. Have the FBI's efforts to combat drug, white-collar, and violent crime suffered as a result? The results are mixed, say GAO auditors.

Beyond Print

SM Online

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