WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, the top-ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is calling for answers on why the Department of Homeland Security has spent nearly $25 million on a contract for a system that helps with employee training and evaluations—even though there have been serious problems, including that parts of the system do not work.
“Wasteful spending like this just shouldn’t happen,” said McCaskill, a former Missouri State Auditor. “We’ve got to get to the bottom of who was responsible for oversight over this contract, why proper oversight didn’t occur, and what the Department of Homeland Security will do in the future to avoid needlessly wasting millions more of taxpayer dollars.”
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a contract for a Performance and Learning Management System that’s intended to be used across the agency to improve efficiency in employee training and evaluation. However, a recent report found that the agency did not properly oversee the contract, and the system has multiple problems including that it does not fit necessary requirements for various parts of DHS, and aspects of the system do not work. “According to the [DHS Office of the Inspector General], DHS has spent $24.2 million as of February 2017 for a system that does not address the Department’s needs,” McCaskill wrote in a letter to the DHS Under Secretary for Management. “I am concerned that DHS is not doing enough to ensure that waste does not continue with the [Performance and Learning Management System] program.”
McCaskill has been a leading voice in Missouri and Washington for cutting wasteful government spending. Earlier this month, a McCaskill-backed bill cracking down on abuse of government-issued purchase cards passed the Senate. The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has also unanimously approved two of her bills with Republican Senator Steve Daines of Montana to eliminate wasteful spending at the Department of Homeland Security. McCaskill also introduced the Stop Improper Federal Bonuses Act alongside Republican Senators Deb Fischer of Nebraska and Dean Heller of Nevada to prohibit bonuses to federal employees who have engaged in serious misconduct. She has also successfully expanded whistleblower protections to government contractors, subcontractors, and others who the federal government directly or indirectly hires through bipartisan bills that have been signed into law. During her first term in the Senate, McCaskill waged a successful six-year effort to crack down on waste, fraud, and abuse in wartime contracting.