Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Follow-up on OIP Personnel Problems

A little over a week ago I did a post on some personnel issues in NPPD’s Office of Infrastructure Protection that were identified to me in a copy of an email sent to the DHS IG. As one would expect I have had problems finding someone in DHS that would talk with me about these issues on the record. Even off the record no one wants to provide any details about the alleged improprieties in OIP.

I have, however, been told by a former senior staffer from Infrastructure Protection that these types of allegations are not new. That former staffer notes:

“Jobs are given to those in favor with senior IP leadership without regard to process or to qualifications. Many if not most of the difficulties with IP programs can be traced to unqualified managers and distraught employees whose morale has been shattered by these shenanigans.”

Apparently formal complaints to the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer of DHS go back at least 5 years. Supposedly there have been numerous specific complaints to the DHS Inspector General that have gone nowhere. Complaints have even been made to members of Congress with no apparent results. Everyone seems to want to sweep the problems under rug.

We saw last week in a Congressional oversight hearing that Congress pays little or no attention to the root cause of the problems at CFATS. It seems to me that these types of personnel issues are a sign of the underlying problem with the CFATS program and other programs being run by the Office of Infrastructure Protection.

Someone needs to start asking some hard questions of the management of NPPD. Congress will have another chance to redeem itself in its oversight responsibility on Thursday when the Homeland Security Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee has Deputy Undersecretary Spaulding before it in a resumption of its CFATS hearing. Maybe they will take the opportunity to ask some hard questions about the personnel issues that have led to the problems at ISCD.

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