Highlights of GAO-08-979, a report to congressional committees
The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) is responsible for addressing the threat of nuclear smuggling. Radiation detection portal monitors are part of the U.S. defense against such threats. In 2007, Congress required that funds for new advanced spectroscopic portal (ASP) monitors could not be spent until the Secretary of DHS certified that these machines represented a significant increase in operational effectiveness over currently deployed portal monitors.
What GAO Recommends
GAO’s recommendations include proposing that the Secretary of DHS revise the Phase 3 report to better disclose test results and limitations if it is to be used in any certification decision for ASP acquisition. DHS disagreed with two of GAO’s recommendations but agreed to take action on a third. GAO continues to believe that all of its recommendations need to be implemented.