Washington, D.C. – The House Science, Space and Technology Committee today held a hearing to review the activities of the Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS S&T), which is the primary research and development (R&D) arm of DHS.

Chairman Smith: “America’s economy and security are threatened every day by cyber criminals and hackers.  Unfriendly foreign governments launch regular cyber-attacks to undermine our national security and steal military and technological secrets. With each new breach of private and public electronic networks, it’s clear the full scope of the threat we face has yet to be realized. There are not enough agents and screeners available to do this work.  Instead, we must adapt, invent and, when necessary, create better technological solutions that are smarter, faster, less expensive, and more effective.”

A series of Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports have been critical of the DHS technology development efforts, calling them “fragmented and overlapping.” These problems risk wasting taxpayer money through R&D delays and duplication, as well as slowing development of technology to address homeland security threats.

Testifying today, the Undersecretary for Science and Technology at DHS S&T, Dr. Reginald Brothers, discussed progress that has been made in addressing problems with management and coordination of R&D within DHS.            

At a subcommittee hearing last week, members heard about the threat of cyber-attacks to the power grid.  Witnesses said that if just one major city were attacked in this way, the economic and societal consequences would be devastating. The House Science Committee approved the only cyber legislation in the last Congress, the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014, which was signed into law.            

For more information on today’s hearing, including witness testimony and the hearing webcast, visit the Science, Space, and Technology Committee website.