Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction: Opportunities for DHS to Better Address Longstanding Program Challenges

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GAO File Photo

July 20, 2021 | Originally published by U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on July 16, 2021

What the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) Found

In April 2016, GAO evaluated Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to consolidate chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear security programs into the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) office. GAO recommended DHS use, where appropriate, the key mergers and organizational transformation practices identified in prior work, such as conducting adequate stakeholder outreach. DHS agreed with and addressed the recommendation by soliciting employee feedback on the transformation and formed a leadership team for the consolidation, among other practices. However, GAO observed that significant challenges remained at the CWMD office—such as low employee morale and questions about program efficacy. GAO has ongoing work evaluating these issues and plans to issue a report in early 2022.

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