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  • DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

    Office of Inspector General

    Management of

    Department of Homeland Security

    International Activities and Interests

    June 2008OIG-08-71

  • Office of Inspector General

    U.S. Department of Homeland Security Washington, DC 20528

    June 24, 2008

    Preface

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) was established by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-296) by amendment to the Inspector General Act of 1978. This is one of a series of audit, inspection, and special reports prepared as part of our oversight responsibilities to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness within the department.

    This report addresses the strengths and weaknesses of DHS management of its overseas activities and interests. It is based on interviews with employees and officials of relevant agencies and institutions, direct observations, and a review of applicable documents.

    The recommendations herein have been developed to the best knowledge available to our office, and have been discussed in draft with those responsible for implementation. It is our hope that this report will result in more effective, efficient, and economical operations. We express our appreciation to all of those who contributed to the preparation of this report

    Richard L. Skinner

    Inspector General

  • Table of Contents/Abbreviations

    Executive Summary ...............................................................................................................................1

    Background............................................................................................................................................2

    Overview of DHS International Engagement ............................................................................2

    The Basis for DHS International Engagement...........................................................................5

    Overview of DHS International Management .........................................................................13

    Results of Review ................................................................................................................................17

    DHS Should Strengthen Headquarters Management of its International Enterprise...............17

    Systematized, Well-Funded International Training, Technical Assistance, and

    Information Exchange Activities Would Advance the DHS Mission ...............................38

    DHS Should Refine Its Approach to International Field Requirements..................................49

    DHS Can Address the Specialized Needs of its International Staff and Their Families

    More Effectively ................................................................................................................66

    Management Comments and OIG Analysis ........................................................................................81

    Appendices

    Appendix A: Purpose, Scope, and Methodology.........................................................................94

    Appendix B: Management’s Comments to the Draft Report ......................................................96

    Appendix C: Recommendations................................................................................................113

    Appendix D: DHS International Programs................................................................................116

    Appendix E: Major Contributors to This Report ......................................................................133

    Appendix F: Report Distribution ..............................................................................................134

    Tables

    Table 1: DHS Dotted-Line Authority Comparison..............................................................36

    Table 2: DHS International Field Requirements..................................................................55

    Table 3: Foreign Posts with DHS Representatives ..............................................................57

    Figures

    Figure 1: DHS Components with International Activities ....................................................13

    Figure 2: OIA Organization...................................................................................................18 Figure 3: Defense Attaché and Department of Justice Models .............................................52

  • Table of Contents/Abbreviations

    Abbreviations

    BTS Border and Transportation Security Directorate (former) CBP Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security DEA U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice DHS Department of Homeland Security DOD Department of Defense EPA Environmental Protection Agency FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security FLETC Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Department of Homeland Security FY Fiscal Year GAO Government Accountability Office ICASS International Cooperative Administrative Support Services ICE Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security INS Immigration and Naturalization Service (former) OIA Office of International Affairs, Office of Policy,

    Department of Homeland Security OIG Office of Inspector General SAFE Security and Accountability for Every Port Act SHSR Senior Homeland Security Representative S&T Science and Technology Directorate, Department of Homeland Security TSA Transportation Security Administration, Department of Homeland Security TSAR Transportation Security Administration Representative T&TA Training and Technical Assistance USCIS United States Citizenship and Immigration Services,

    Department of Homeland Security

    US-VISIT United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology,

    Department of Homeland Security

  • OIG

    Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General

    Executive Summary

    The Department of Homeland Security has extensive international activities and interests. Nearly 2,000 staff abroad are based in 79 countries, and a range of international interests and activities are managed out of domestic offices. We reviewed the department’s management of its international enterprise with a focus on strategic management, coordination across activities, and representation in international settings. To evaluate work in these areas, we conducted more than 240 interviews with department staff and representatives of other federal agencies. We met with employees in 13 cities in seven countries, and reviewed department guidance and communications.

    The department’s international activities and interests require management attention at headquarters and at posts abroad. At headquarters, the Office of International Affairs is the only office with a department-wide international focus covering all mission areas. The office has a number of key mandates, but for several years was only able to address one, its responsibility to advise and support senior department officials, due to staffing limitations. The office significantly increased its staff size, and has begun to develop regional engagement plans for different parts of the world and sponsor forums for department-wide exchange on international issues. These efforts do not completely satisfy the office’s obligations. Toward that end, the office should also develop an international strategic plan and prepare guidance on training and technical assistance abroad. Even so, the office will require more support from component international affairs units and some authority over them to fully execute its responsibilities.

    Department of Homeland Security international efforts also require management attention in the field. The department has pursued two approaches to address its international field management needs. In some locations, it has designated component staff to represent the department on a part-time basis. In other areas, it has selected and assigned full-time department attachés. Neither approach has been completely successful and we are recommending corrective actions to address those issues. The department must also improve its systems for preparing, supporting, and redeploying international staff. Overall, we are making 18 recommendations to improve the management of the DHS international affairs enterprise. Department managers generally agreed with our findings, concurred with 16 recommendations, and required more time to consider the remaining two.

    Management of DHS International Activities and Interests

    Page 1

  • Background

    In this section, we discuss the broad outlines of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) international activities and interests, the basis for the department’s current international engagement, the configuration of the management apparatus presiding over DHS international activities, and the management decisions that have shaped this apparatus.

    Overview of DHS International Engagement

    DHS has nearly 2,000 staff abroad and a range of international interests and activities managed out of domestic offices.1 DHS international staff are based in 142 cities in 79 countries. The department’s international programs are expansive. DHS staff assess the security condi