• Why the Twin Towers collapsed: new theory

    Materials scientist says that a mixture of water from sprinkler systems and molten aluminum from melted aircraft hulls created explosions that led to the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11

  • Expert questions DHS grants for rural communities following 9/11

    In the decade since 9/11, the U.S. government has poured more than $1.3 million into the rural community of Ross County, Ohio, which some argue is a waste of federal resources; the funds were ostensibly designed to prevent terrorism, but much of the money has been spent to bolster emergency response capabilities in the event of a major disaster whether it be natural or manmade

  • More than $2.1 billion in DHS preparedness grants announced

    DHS announced the final allocation for twelve preparedness grant programs totaling more than $2.1 billion in federal grants; DHS grants were reduced by $780 million for the FY 2010 enacted level, nearly a quarter of FY 2010 DHS grant funding

  • Budget cuts could hurt biodefense efforts

    With lawmakers struggling to reduce spending and cut the deficit, funding for government programs aimed at thwarting biological threats could face severe budget cuts; while the budget for overall civilian biodefense increased by 17 percent, that number is deceiving as federal agencies consolidated and combined several key programs under larger budget line item headings

  • Natural disasters stretch NGO relief teams to the limit

    The recent spate of natural disaster has stretched the nation’s third largest NGO disaster relief program to the limit; in the last several months, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has sent more than 3,300 volunteers to five natural disasters across the United States

  • Pentagon agrees to pay for National Guard deployment along border

    After months of debate, the Pentagon has agreed to pay the expenses for keeping 1,200 National Guard troops stationed along the U.S.— Mexico border; the Pentagon will pay roughly $10 million each month for the Guard’s deployment through the end of this year

  • DHS failed to prevent abuse of purchase cards

    A new DHS Inspector General report found that more than 90 percent of DHS’ purchase card transactions did not comply with guidelines established by the Office of Management and Budget; investigators found two Federal Aviation Administration employees had used the cards to purchase more than $150,000 worth of personal goods and services

  • Michigan could dodge defense cuts

    With Congress seeking to make potential cuts in defense spending and contractors bracing for reductions across the country, Michigan’s $385 billion defense industrial base remains optimistic as it could get by unscathed; key lawmakers say the types of services that Michigan’s defense industry provides could keep it from becoming the target of the newly formed Joint Selection Committee on Deficit Reduction

  • DHS announces 2011 grants, $800 million less than 2010

    Last week DHS announced that it would begin distributing more than $2.1 billion in grant money to state and local agencies for fiscal year 2011, nearly $800 million less than last year; the reduction in grant money comes as a reflection of the U.S. government’s attempts to cut spending and find cost savings

  • TSA seeks to reduce workforce to cut costs

    In an effort to reduce the size of its workforce the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is seeking to offer early retirements to its employees

  • Poor oversight, cost overruns plague Coast Guard’s modernization efforts

    More than $7 billion and ten years later, the U.S. Coast Guard has only built two ships out of its original twenty-five year, $24.2 billion plan to replace its aging fleet with more than 250 new or upgraded vessels; given the service’s procurement track record, Congress is hesitant to continue funding a program plagued by cost overruns, delays, and management problems

  • DHS wastes billions in procurement process

    A recent DHS Inspector General report found that the agency had not leveraged its collective buying power thereby losing billions of dollars in potential cost savings; the report found that DHS’s various agencies individually bought $170 million worth of small x-ray machines, metal detectors, and hand-held radiation detectors rather than purchasing those items together, in a practice known as strategic sourcing.

  • Improving disaster response amidst budget crunch

    As lawmakers struggle to cut the budget and reduce spending, some are seeking find ways to be more efficient with disaster response and recovery funds; the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee held a hearing to explore ways to make the Federal Emergency Management Administration’s (FEMA) disaster response more efficient

  • Troubled radiation screening program gets additional $300 million

    The Advanced Spectroscopic Portal (ASP) procurement program has hit another snag in its short-lived, yet troubled life; a recent unreleased Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that DHS plans to spend more than $300 million dollars to purchase several hundred ASPs, radiation detection equipment, that has not been fully tested and may not even work at all

  • Mica cuts 40 percent from House transportation spending

    Last Thursday, Representative John Mica (R-Florida) unveiled the House Transportation Reauthorization bill which would allocate $230 billion to infrastructure projects over the next six years; the bill has generated fierce criticism as it would cut transportation spending for America’s roadways by nearly 40 percent