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GAO: DHS’ CIO Office Should Take Principal Role in Joint Requirements Council

acquisition policyThe Government Accountability Office has said that the Department of Homeland Security‘s Office of the Chief Information Officer should serve as a principal on the reinstated Joint Requirements Council to help minimize risks in information technology programs.

GAO said Monday a formal and consistent role for OCIO could help address “poorly developed requirements” that served as a factor in DHS’ failed IT programs.

Auditors reviewed efforts of the current JRC, which DHS established in 2008 then reinstated in 2014 to review and manage requirements across department components such as the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection.

GAO found that JRC’s structure and management approach generally aligns with key practices for mergers and organizational transformations.

JRC has started to evaluate DHS components’ capability and requirements documents such as the Coast Guard and CBP’s joint-operational requirements document for a common aircraft mission system.

GAO said some components do not have the capacity to develop capability and requirements documents to submit to JRC and DHS plans to address this issue.

The council also implemented a new joint assessment of requirements process in efforts to prioritize requirements and inform DHS’ investment decisions, according to the congressional watchdog.

JRC will brief senior officials responsible for DHS’ budget requests on the process as it evolves, GAO added.

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