December 05, 2007

New CREW DHS Report Details Massive Failures & Billions Wasted - Upon Agency’s Fifth Anniversary

Homeland Security for Sale - DHS: Five Years of Mismanagement

Washington, D.C. – Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) released a new report entitled Homeland Security for Sale – DHS: Five Years of Mismanagement. The report and video document the past five years of the agency’s most serious problems and troubling practices.

Every day, the American people read new stories about DHS and its gross overruns on projects, the worst employee morale in the federal government, the inoperability of information technology, our exposure to cyber-terrorism or FEMA’s fake press conference. CREW is releasing its report to hold those who run the agency accountable for its massive failures and to spark a public debate about how DHS can and must be improved in the next administration.

In its report, CREW details billions of dollars in waste and mismanagement of taxpayer dollars, for example:

  • $24 billion has been spent, and at least $178 million wasted, on the failed Coast Guard Deepwater program;
  • over $600 million has been allocated for unworkable radiation border scanners;
  • $1.3 billion has been lost on the US-VISIT program, which was never fully implemented and
  • projected $2 billion loss on the SBInet “virtual fence” border program.

CREW’s report consists of five sections:

I. Most Troubled DHS Component: FEMA -- Dishonorable Mention: TSA

II. Most Outrageous Contract: Deepwater -- Dishonorable Mention: Radiation Detection Portal Monitors

III. Failed Program: US-VISIT -- Dishonorable Mention: SBInet

IV. Component with the Most Serious Crime Problem: CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) -- Dishonorable Mention: TSA

V. Beneficiary of the Revolving Door: Tom Ridge -- Dishonorable Mentions: Holman, Buchholz, Davis, Hutchison

“While the Bush administration continues to protest that there is not enough funding for programs including veteran’s healthcare, wasteful and ineffective DHS projects continue to be funded at extraordinary levels,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW.

“The Department of Homeland Security is an embarrassment that would be comical if only our national security were not at stake. The agency and its leadership must be held accountable for its failures and pushed to do better.”

“The question now is how will the next administration fix DHS? The presidential candidates must do more than simply complain about the state of the agency. They should provide the American people with a blueprint – just like some have on healthcare – explaining how they would address this national security crisis.”

Rand Beers, former NSC staff member in both Republican and Democratic administrations, and president of the National Security Network, is available for analysis on CREW’s report. Beers can be reached at 202.289.7211.


Homeland Security for Sale Report

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non-profit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions. For more information, please visit or contact Jordan Libowitz at 202.408.5565 or

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