Congressional culpability and Homeland SecurityTweet
February 3, 2005
In our last post below (or just click here to see it) someone anonymously commented that POGO simply posted what amounts to a summary of the Washington Post article on struggles within and out of the Department of Homeland Security. They wanted to know what POGO's take on the issue (it was late in the day when we posted it hence the lack commentary--we were sleepy and wanted to go home). Here you go.
What the Post story didn't really address (and POGO isn't knocking Mintz, the author, at all) was Congress' culpability in this problem. Since its inception, Homeland Security has been a latch-key kid: no parental supervision, fending for itself. Congressmen and senators are always quick to (rightfully) criticize agencies like TSA, but they never follow up with aggressive or consistent oversight. The former department inspector general, Clark Kent Ervin, issued report after report deriding the DHS' policies and performance.
What does Congress do?
Bark a lot and never really bite. Administration officials have to know they'll be held accountable for failures. Congress needs to wake up and do something, rather than relegating its oversight responsibilites to the evening news sound bites. Getting Ervin his job back also might not be a bad idea.
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The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) raises this important issue in our latest podcast. POGO investigator Mia Steinle talks about the woefully outdated royalty programs for the mining and drilling of natural resources on public lands.