"By using strategic sourcing -- in other words, buying these licenses as one department -- we expect to save over $47 million per year and $283 million over the next six years." -- DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano (pictured)

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano today --- while the waters rose in North Dakota and Minnesota and a volcano erupted in Alaska -- briefed the nation on DHS efforts in those areas and on the Department's efficiency initiatives designed to save money while allowing DHS to continue to respond to natural and man-made emergencies.

Speaking from The Transportation Security Administration's transportation systems integration facility, Napolitano said that while DHS has no control over weather or volcanoes, it can and will control its own management and funds, and that was the subject of the efficiency initiative.

Among the example IT-related efficiency projects Napolitano cited were:

  • DHS's Science and Technology Directorate has partnered with the Secret Service to digitize over 9,000 ink samples used to analyze evidence in investigations of financial and other crimes. This searchable database has improved matching times from days to minutes.
  • Customs and Border Protection (CBP) started an initiative to convert its leave and earning statements from paper to online. This change by itself is expected to save a quarter of a million dollars annually.
  • IT Acquisition Management -- "Within the next 60 days," said Napolitano, "we're going to improve how we acquire new software licenses for the department's computers and IT systems. Right now, our components purchase computer software and negotiate contracts independently ... By using strategic sourcing -- in other words, buying these licenses as one department -- we expect to save over $47 million per year and $283 million over the next six years by focusing on a single software company's licenses."
  • Cost Containment -- "We will eliminate non-mission-critical travel for employees," continued Napolitano, "and maximize the use of the conference calls and Web-based trainings and meetings ... And we will eliminate the printing and distribution of all reports and documents that can be sent electronically or posted online." She also said that DHS will buy multi-purpose office equipment, such as combined copier, printer, fax and scanner machines. DHS will also begin using electronic fuel-tracking systems, and acquiring hybrid vehicles where possible.
Wayne Hanson  |  Senior Executive Editor, Center For Digital Government