Tough times could make Homeland Security more productive

Admiral James Loy Admiral James Loy U.S. Coast Guard

Budget austerity could help increase productivity at the Homeland Security Department, according to panelists hosted by a Washington security think tank on Thursday.

Speakers at an event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies to discuss the future of DHS, said more synergies could be found through combining key back-office functions -- such as information technology, human resources and procurement. Chad Sweet, CEO of the Chertoff Group and chief of staff to former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, said looming budget cuts could be the key to spur “jointness” in the department’s core missions.

“This is the golden moment when you have the opportunity to streamline,” Sweet said.

Other panelists suggested Homeland Security engage better with the private sector to take advantage of outside innovation. Adm. James Loy, a senior counselor with The Cohen Group, said industry has the potential to answer some of the toughest challenges the department faces, including the imminent threat of cyberattacks.

“We need to have a dramatically better way of reaching the private sector,” Loy said

Another obstacle DHS must deal with, according to panelists, is the tangled web of congressional committees that oversee the department. This complicated model can hinder budgeting and planning, panelists said. CSIS Senior Vice President David Berteau said DHS should look to the Defense Department for ideas on how to confront this challenge.  

“DHS has not figured out how to have institutional processes that manage changes in political leadership,” Berteau said.

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

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

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


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