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Homeland Security? What’s That? DHS Neglected to Collect THOUSANDS of Security Cards From Former Employees

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Published on: December 24, 2022

You have to understand: the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has had far more important things to do than worry about minor things such as, you know, homeland security. The agency has been too busy, too dreadfully, frightfully busy, to be concerned with enforcing the most elementary safety procedures and collecting security cards from employees who have left the organization. After all, what could possibly go wrong? What could a disgruntled former employee do at the wholly innocuous DHS that would cause any difficulty for anyone?

report that was published Thursday from the DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) stated that “the Department of Homeland Security did not always terminate personal identity verification (PIV) card access or withdraw security clearances for separated employees and contractors in accordance with Federal regulations and Department policies.” This negligence has been going on for at least four years: “In 2018, we identified weaknesses in DHS’ controls over PIV card collection, revocation, destruction, and management oversight.” Yet nothing has been done:

Many of the issues we previously reported remain, and further work is required to improve and enhance processes. Specifically, DHS has not prioritized ensuring that PIV cards are terminated when individuals no longer require access. We determined that, in thousands of cases, DHS did not promptly revoke PIV card access privileges or destroy PIV cards of individuals who separated from the Department. In addition, DHS did not always promptly withdraw security clearances of individuals who separated from DHS.

The report noted that it was impossible even to tell how big this problem is, but there are at very least “thousands” of problematic incidents: “We determined that, in thousands of cases, DHS did not promptly revoke PIV card access privileges or destroy PIV cards of individuals who separated from the Department.” But the problem could be much, much bigger than even that: “In addition, DHS did not always promptly withdraw security clearances of individuals who separated from DHS. Unfortunately, we could not determine the exact magnitude of the problem because records in DHS’ information systems were incomplete.”

This has potentially catastrophic consequences: “DHS cannot ensure only authorized individuals have access to its controlled systems and facilities. As a result, there is a risk that individuals who no longer require access to systems and facilities could circumvent controls and enter DHS buildings and controlled areas.”

Clearly the DHS has been far too consumed with its duties to care about such trivial matters. Last spring, rather than worry itself about trivialities such as unauthorized people gaining access to areas containing sensitive or classified information, it rolled out the Disinformation Governance Board. According to the office of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), “the Disinformation Governance Board was originally conceived in part to monitor domestic speech regarding ‘conspiracy theories about the validity and security of elections’ and ‘disinformation related to the origins and effects of COVID-19 vaccines or the efficacy of masks.’”

There is more. Read the rest here.

Article posted with permission from Robert Spencer

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