H.R. 4398, DHS Acquisition Documentation Integrity Act of 2016

H.R. 4398

DHS Acquisition Documentation Integrity Act of 2016

February 23, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, February 23, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 4398, the DHS Acquisition Documentation Integrity Act of 2016. The bill was introduced on February 1, 2016, by Rep. Bonnie Watson Colemand (D-NJ) and was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security, which ordered it reported, by voice vote, on February 2, 2016.

Bill Summary

H.R. 4398 directs the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to require component heads to maintain specific types of acquisition documentation including: operational requirements; complete life-cycle cost estimates with a verification of such cost estimate against individual cost estimates; a cost-benefit analysis; and a schedule consistent with best practices. These requirements can be waived only if the program has not entered full-rate production, has established a reasonable cost estimate, or has a fully-defined system configuration. Any waiver provided by the Secretary must be included in an annual report to the House and Senate Homeland Security Committees.


The Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security has identified numerous challenges in DHS’s management of acquisition programs. Most major acquisition programs cost more than expected, take longer to deploy than originally planned, or deliver less capability than promised. Despite utilizing best practices, DHS has routinely approved major acquisition programs to move forward without appropriate internal oversight. [1]

A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found only 2 of the 22 DHS programs it reviewed were on track to meet the initial schedule and cost parameters established after current acquisition policy went into effect in November 2008. Fourteen programs experience schedule slips or cost growths, including five that were at risk for poor outcomes.[2]

[1] See House Report 114-297 at 35.
[2] See GAO Report-15-171SP at 2.


The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates enacting H.R. 4398 would cost less then $500,000 annually. Because this legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Jake Vreeburg with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 3-1555.