Fitzpatrick pushes first bill through House of Representatives
Freshman Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, R-8, of Middletown, saw his first authored bill pass through the House of Representatives on Monday with a decisive 409-0 vote.
The bill, named the DHS Multiyear Acquisition Strategy Act, will streamline the acquisition program used by the Department of Homeland Security to grow its resources.
"The Department of Homeland Security has faced longstanding problems with its major acquisition programs, resulting in systems that are late, underperform, and impose a higher cost than expected onto the taxpayer," said Fitzpatrick in a statement. "My bill will ensure the DHS develops a plan to safeguard tax dollars while assuring that frontline operators have the necessary resources to keep our nation safe."
Under the bill, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security has one year following passage of the act to develop a multiyear acquisition strategy that would guide the agency's future spending on technologies and resources.
The strategy will include a prioritized list of investments DHS is considering for acquisition, such as tools and technology that could be used for border and coastal security, the protection of the U.S. aviation system and cyberdefense.
The report also will include an inventory of currently held assets, a plan to address funding gaps between potential acquisitions and available resources to purchase the tools, and a focus on incentives to save taxpayer dollars.
Following publication of the first report, the Government Accountability Office will be tasked to review the document and analyze its viability. The DHS will have to provide regular updates to the strategy.
"Representative Fitzpatrick’s bill is critical to ensuring the Department of Homeland Security better manages vital acquisition programs," said Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul, a Republican from Texas. "His bill puts important safeguards in place to reduce waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement at the Department."
The bill now heads to Senate for consideration.