DHS Spends Nearly Half A Billion Dollars On Radios For Incompetent Agents

The Department of Homeland Security spent $430 million on radios over the past nine years for nearly 123,000 employees, but according to a report issued by the department’s Inspector General, Charles K. Edwards, none of the employees seem to understand how to operate them.

The report slams DHS over the waste and lack of oversight in its communication:

DHS did not provide effective oversight to ensure that its components achieved Department-wide interoperable radio communications. It did not establish an effective governing structure that had the authority and responsibility to oversee its goal of achieving Department-wide interoperability. Without a governing structure, DHS had limited interoperability policies and procedures, and component personnel did not have interoperable radio communications. As a result, only 1 of 479 radio users tested could access and communicate using the specified common channel. Further, of the 382 radios tested, only 20 percent (78) contained all the correct program settings for the common channel. Until DHS develops an effective governing structure and makes a concerted effort to attain Department-wide interoperability, overall progress will remain limited.

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Well it seems this report could almost have been written for the naked body scanners at the airport as they have been a miserable $18 billion failure.

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According to ProPublica:

The radios are supposed to help employees of Customs and Border Patrol, the Transportation Security Administration, the Coast Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Secret Service, and other agencies with DHS communicate during crises, as well as normal operations.

DHS officials did not immediately respond to questions from ProPublica about what effect the radio problems could have on how the agency handles an emergency.

The $430 million paid for radio infrastructure and maintenance as well as the actual radios.

Though the IG gave several recommendations to DHS, they rejected the recommendations to grant more authority to the department that coordinates the use of the radios. What was DHS’ reasoning for rejecting the recommendations, you ask? They claim that their current efforts are sufficient! Must be why only 1 in 479 of the users of the radios actually knows what they are doing. Typical big brother, wasting taxpayer dollars to give the illusion of efficiency and security.

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