Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contract spending for numerous services nearly doubled from $5.4 billion in 2004 to $10 billion in 2010, according to a new report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
In particular, fixed-price contracts increased steadily over the past four years to reach 10.3 percent, or $7.5 billion in fiscal 2010 according to the DHS Contract Spending and the Supporting Industrial Base report. The increase in fixed-price contracts by the DHS coincided with reduced use of purchase orders and contracts awarded without competition, the report noted.
The report also revealed that multiple-contract awards by the DHS doubled and single-contract awards declined by 10.6 percent annually. The value of contracts awarded without competition declined from $7 billion in 2006 to $1.6 billion in 2010. Contract spending on products increased at 23 percent from 2004 to 2010, driven primarily by contracts for the Coast Guard and Customs and Border Patrol.
In 2005, the DHS relied on the top 20 of the primary 34 contractors to supply 43 percent of its security-related products and services. Yet by 2009, this share dropped to 34 percent, which reveals an absence of natural or man-made disasters and a general leveling of total DHS contract awards, by value, across the industrial base, the report noted.
The DHS has doubled its use of multiple-contract awards and has had a 10.6 percent yearly decline in single-contract awards, the report found.
The report also revealed that, each year, the DHS spends more money on administration and oversight of research-and-development programs than it does on actual R&D. In contrast, the Defense Department spends 14 times as much on research and development than it does on support services associated with those activities. DHS spends on average twice as much on support than on actual research and development.