This bill would comprehensively reauthorize the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) and enact various reforms to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), DHS acquisition programs, maritime security, and intelligence sharing while providing for emergency preparedness and response. The bill would authorize Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the first time, while reauthorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the TSA, and the Secret Service. It also consolidates and eliminates unnecessary programs and offices.
Acquisition Accountability & Efficiency
This section would give the Chief Acquisitions Officer authority to approve, pause, modify, or cancel major acquisition programs. All major acquisition programs would be required to have documentation showing its department-approved cost, schedule, and performance requirements. An internal notification system would be established for cost overruns or delays, and any cost overrun greater than 15 percent of the program’s baseline or delay longer than 180 days would trigger a notification of Congress.
DHS would be required to provide congressional homeland security with a multiyear acquisition strategy within one year of the bill’s enactment, and every year thereafter it would update and include the strategy in its report to Congress. The strategy would include a prioritized list of acquisition investments; a plan to develop a DHS-wide inventory of investments and property, addressing funding gaps, delays and bid protests; and a plan to ensure competition or the option of competition for major acquisition programs.
Intelligence & Information Sharing
The Secretary of Homeland Security and DHS’s Chief Intelligence Officer would develop and disseminate a department-wide guidance about the processing, analysis, production, and dissemination of information related to homeland security and terrorism. The guidance would be in an unclassified format, with a classified annex included as needed.
DHS’s annual homeland terrorist threat assessment — which considers threats to cyber, transportation, and border security — would be required to be completed within 180 days of enactment. Congress would receive the assessment in a classified format, with unclassified summaries available as appropriate.
The Coast Guard would be given operational control over cybersecurity at ports. It would also be required to inspect every security at every port facility at least once per year, with additional inspections carried out in a risk-based manner instead of being required to carry out two inspections per year.
Every three years DHS would be required to submit a strategic plan to Congress to address threats to the international supply chain
Transportation Security Administration
The TSA Administrator would be required to develop a plan and timeline for reducing the number of Senior Executive Service positions in the agency by 20 percent. TSA’s use of advanced technologies such as biometrics, explosives detection dogs, and next-generation bomb detection would be expanded.
By the end of 2018, TSA would be required to implement a secure, automated system at all airports for verifying travel and identity documents of passengers who aren’t part of a DHS trusted traveler program. The system would assess the need for screening personnel to verify identity and travel documents for such passengers, reduce the average wait time of passengers, reduce operating costs, and be integrated with the TSA’s watch list matching programs to allow for risk-based screening.
Emergency Preparedness, Response, & Communications
DHS’s Urban Area Security Initiative would require states to provide a detailed accounting of items, services, or activities it acquires using funds from the initiative to avoid duplication of efforts by states and urban areas. For each fiscal year from 2018 through 2022, $800 million would be provided for the initiative.
States participating in the State Homeland Security Grant Program would be required to submit a threat and hazard identification and risk assessment that includes input from local and tribal governments, including their first responders. For each fiscal year from 2018 through 2022, $600 million would be provided for the grant program.
This section of the bill makes minor adjustments to reports produced by DHS executives, such as the Chief Privacy Officer and the Chief Security Officer, among others. It would also specify the offices that make up DHS headquarters and outlines the functions of headquarters as:
Establishing an overall strategy to further the mission of DHS;
Establishing initiatives that improve DHS’s overall performance;
Managing and encouraging shared services between units of DHS;
Establishing and implementing policies in consultation with the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties that preserve individual liberty, fairness, and equality under the law.