Washington, D.C. – The Research and Technology Subcommittee today held a joint hearing with the Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies to review the strategy, mission, programs, projects, and other activities of the Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS S&T).

Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “DHS S&T has yet to provide the necessary strategy and technology to control our nation’s borders.  A nation that has lost control of its border has lost control of its future. But not only is the Directorate in a position to help secure our physical border, but also can better protect our virtual borders related to network and information technology. On a daily basis, our nation’s economy and security are threatened by cyber criminals and hackers. While the Senate remains immobile, we will continue our work on solutions here in the House.  Unsecure physical and virtual borders threaten our national and economic security.”

In July, the Science Committee held a hearing on technologies that would help to secure the border. At that hearing, witnesses discussed the need for a unified strategy and consistent metrics for developing border technologies. Testimony from today’s hearing will help inform a potential reauthorization of the DHS S&T. 

Research and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.): “Twelve years ago, the Homeland Security Act tasked the S&T Directorate with the coordination and integration of the research, development, demonstration, and testing and evaluation activities of DHS.  Unfortunately, the DHS S&T has not yet been able to accomplish this task.”

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found DHS’s research and development (R&D) efforts to be “fragmented and overlapping.” In previous years, the GAO found hundreds of millions of dollars being spent each year on duplicative R&D projects by other offices within the department.  DHS S&T will spend $1.2 billion this year on numerous projects. 

Testifying today was DHS Under Secretary for S&T Reginald Brothers and Mr. David C. Maurer, Director of Homeland Security and Justice at GAO.  For more information about the hearing, including witness testimony, please visit the Science, Space, and Technology Committee website.