Coast Guard takes control from Deepwater's integrators

The Coast Guard has taken full control of developing a new flagship vessel from an embattled industry team and is determined to stay on schedule and keep costs from skyrocketing, a senior Homeland Security official told House lawmakers Tuesday.

The transition marks the end of the Homeland Security Department's reliance on a team headed by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman as "lead systems integrators," coordinating development of the fourth national security cutter under the Coast Guard's Deepwater recapitalization plan, said Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Jane Holl Lute.

She told a House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee hearing that the department has reorganized its acquisition review process to better manage major procurements.

The intention, she said, is to address Government Accountability Office findings that the department lacked the involvement of senior leadership in major procurement efforts.

House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman David Price, D-N.C., and ranking member Hal Rogers, R-Ky., said Deepwater represents a major federal acquisition program that went astray.

Integrated Coast Guard Systems, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, was awarded the Deepwater program contract in June 2002. After heavily publicized cost overruns, schedule delays and design problems, the Coast Guard began to take over more responsibility for the program.

"The Coast Guard now has two of these vessels, but problems were identified with the design that would shorten the service life of these ships, costs have escalated significantly, and the production timetable has slipped," Price said.

"While supporters of the program say the vessels are extremely capable, critics have charged that the Deepwater acquisition process was more focused on the contractors designing a profitable ship instead of giving the Coast Guard what it needed to accomplish its missions," Price added.

Lute said Homeland Security previously relied on an acquisition process modeled after the Defense Department.

"However, as DHS acquisition is generally focused on service and information technology programs, we revised the acquisition review process to match our needs, effectively queuing programs for leadership review and decision based on milestones and risk management," she said in written testimony.

"This review process provides a clear insight into each program's overall performance and controls related to cost, schedule and contract performance. It allows us to make a risk assessment for each major program and then take appropriate actions to mitigate risk and align our resources," she added.

The department is seeking about $540 million in its fiscal 2011 budget request for a fifth national security cutter. But the department has yet to give appropriators an expenditure plan for the Deepwater program.

Rogers said he would not vote in favor of Deepwater funding until the expenditure plan is submitted.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.