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Alexander Garza: DHS Pressing Forward on Bioweapon Sensor Tech Buy

The Department of Homeland Security will not delay the process of acquiring new technology for detecting signs of a biological weapons attack, Assistant DHS Secretary Alexander Garza said Thursday, Nextgov reports.

Garza made the remarks at a joint hearing held by two House Homeland Security subcommittees, adding that department officials are also looking at alternatives to incorporate testing, Diane Barnes reports.

In written remarks, Garza said those tests would include a small number of detector units from each competitively selected vendor but will not conduct performance tests until those documents are complete.

According to Barnes’ report, the Government Accountability Office recommended DHS develop performance, schedule and cost information on the program.

GAO found the department did not evaluate if the new equipment was necessary or would prove effective once deployed.

Laura Richardson (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Homeland Security subcommittee on emergency preparedness, said during the hearing that the government could potentially pay for a technology it may never use.

In October, GAO said DHS still needs to develop a biometric exit system and new explosive detection technology for checked baggage at airports.

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