Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

December 28, 2005

Tough OIG report on DHS management

Filed under: DHS News,Organizational Issues — by Christian Beckner on December 28, 2005

The Washington Post has a story on a new DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) report entitled “Major Management Challenges Facing the Department of Homeland Security.”

From the Post story:

Nearly three years after it was formed, the mammoth Department of Homeland Security remains hampered by severe management and financial problems that contributed to the flawed response to Hurricane Katrina, according to an independent audit released yesterday.

The report by Homeland Security Inspector General Richard L. Skinner aimed some of its most pointed criticism at one of DHS’s major entities, the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Katrina and a subsequent storm, Rita, added to FEMA’s “already overburdened resources and infrastructure,” the report said.

I think the arguments in the report are essentially correct, but other than the warnings on the importance of Katrina oversight, there’s not much new in the report. It’s basically a summary of the OIG’s current and recent work, and it reads similar to the “material risks” section of a company’s annual report or IPO filing in the way that it lists everything that is going wrong or could go wrong. It would be more helpful to DHS if the OIG wrote a report that said “these are the top 3 or 5 management challenges with which you need to be concerned.”

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1 Comment »

Comment by Harol G Hardy

March 14, 2007 @ 11:03 am

3618 Seton Hall Way
Decatur, Georgia 30034
Phone (770) 630-6998

March 14, 2007



Dear Inspector General: Richard L. Skinner


I would like to bring to your attention of the mandated course regarding National Incident Management System (NIMS) an Introduction Course IS-00700 FEMA Certification and FEMA Certification IS-00100.LE Introduction to the Incident Command System I-100 for Law Enforcement issue date 03/29/06. Upon learning that the courses were mandatory for all law enforcement officers here in the state of Georgia by Channel 2 News reported investigator Eric Philips regarding cheating in the LaGrange Police Department in Georgia On October 2, 2006 on the 5:00 p.m. news where officers were given answers to the exam on the computer within their department that launched an internal investigation where several officers was cheating that involved an open book examination. The officers were given the answers to pass the FEMA mandatory examination. In Douglas County Sheriff’s Office there was no study material of any kind; I doubt any officer could pass a mandated course such as FEMA without studying or have something to study from in order to meet the requirements of the mandated course. Well, I’m bringing this issue to your attention, the same thing occurred within the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department where I and other deputies that were mandated were given the answers to the test questions from a 3×5 card and never read the questions or have no idea what it involves or how serious the material was in case of a disaster or a hurricane such as we experienced in the past as with Hurricane Katrina. I was instructed by my supervisor to place the correct answer to each question while utilizing the computer which was located in the patrol room area at the Douglas County Sheriff office completing both phases of the examination within 5 or 10 minutes, as well as all other deputies with the Douglas County Sheriff Office. I didn’t know at the time it was mandatory that all officers must pass this FEMA examination by October 1, 2006. After gaining knowledge by the channel 2 news reported by Investigator Eric Philips, I am certain that the Sheriff, Chief, and Major had knowledge of this illegal practice and fraudulent act of intent to manipulate the Federal Government of Homeland Security in carrying out a mandatory requirement.

I feel the true victims in the event of a disaster of any kind would be the citizens of Douglas County because the deputies in law enforcement in Douglas County have zero knowledge as to what they should do in time of a crisis. I am a retired police officer from the City of Atlanta Police Department as of 03-23-99 and I joined the Douglas County Sheriff Department 10-03-2003 and I resigned 08-14-2006. I am a college graduate from Tennessee State University with a Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice and also attended Tennessee State Graduate School Masters Degree Program major Criminology.
I am sending you copies of my Georgia POST credits for the two certificates that I received, that were not earned nor did I obtain the information to carry out the duties that would have been expected of me in law enforcement with the Douglas County Sheriff Department as well as my fellow co-workers with the Sheriff Office which warranted an investigation from your department on behalf of the citizens of Douglas County.
I wish to remain anonymous while conducting your investigation of the Douglas County Sheriff Office. There are some good hard working Deputies that still remain with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, but this infraction was inspired by the department heads.
If you have any questions regarding this matter while conducting your investigation, I can be contacted @ (770) 630-6998.


Harol G. Hardy

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