GAO: CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION — DHS Could Better Manage Security Surveys and Vulnerability Assessments

GAO today released the May 2012 report attached below.  GAO found,

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has conducted about 2,800 security surveys and vulnerability assessments on critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR). DHS directs its protective security advisors to contact owners and operators of high-priority CIKR to offer to conduct surveys and assessments. However, DHS is not positioned to track the extent to which these are performed at high-priority CIKR because of inconsistencies between the databases used to identify these assets and those used to identify surveys and assessments conducted. GAO compared the two databases and found that of the 2,195 security surveys and 655 vulnerability assessments conducted for fiscal years 2009 through 2011, 135 surveys and 44 assessments matched and another 106 surveys and 23 assessments were potential matches for high-priority facilities. GAO could not match additional high-priority facilities because of inconsistencies in the way data were recorded in the two databases, for example, assets with the same company name had different addresses or an asset at one address had different names. DHS officials acknowledged that the data did not match and have begun to take actions to improve the collection and organization of the data. However, DHS does not have milestones and timelines for completing these efforts consistent with standards for project management. By developing a plan with time frames and milestones consistent with these standards DHS would be better positioned to provide a more complete picture of its progress.

GAO recommended,

GAO recommends that, among other things, DHS develop plans for its efforts to improve the collection and organization of data and the timeliness of survey and assessment results, and gather and act upon additional information from asset owners and operators about why improvements were or were not made. DHS concurred with the recommendations.

GAO.DHS Could Better Manage Security Surveys and Vulnerability Assessments





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