The business of homeland security: Aligning capabilities, responsibilities, engagement and innovation

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homeland security t-shirt back viewGrant Thornton LLP has partnered with the Homeland Security and Defense Business Council on a five-year project to encourage government officials responsible for homeland security and their industry partners to work more closely together to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our efforts to protect the homeland.  The project is called the 20/20 Project on the Homeland Security Enterprise and seeks to develop insights and recommendations on how to improve the processes, programs and policies that contribute to the nation’s security.

During this third year of the project, with the transition to a new administration and changing priorities, we decided to focus on how government and industry can work together to strengthen the “business of homeland security” by building on shared values, developing higher levels of trust, and moving to better alignment between the two sectors.  We collected data, insights, and recommendation from over 200 participants through one-on-one interviews, 7 focus groups and an online survey.

The data and observations we collected are summarized in our 3rd annual report, “The Business of Homeland Security: Aligning Capabilities, Responsibilities, Engagement and Innovation”.  It contains a wealth of information and insights that come straight from current and former government executives and industry experts working to keep our homeland secure.

Most importantly, the report includes three actionable recommendations that build on the progress made to date to enhance alignment between government and industry:
  1. Strengthen communications and engagement between government and industry throughout the acquisition lifecycle.  This includes more frequent information sharing and communication between government and industry that focuses on specific problems that need to be solved, particularly early in the planning of the acquisition.
  2. Identify and address the underlying causes of contract protests.  Contract protests were almost universally agreed to impede the speed and effectiveness of homeland security programs and initiatives.  Both government and industry should commit to identify, understand, and eliminate the causes of excessive contract protests.
  3. Find ways for government and industry to foster innovation in the homeland security enterprise.  Build a shared understanding of how, and perhaps more importantly, when the problem at hand requires an innovative process or technology to help accomplish the mission.

Read the full report, “The Business of Homeland Security: Aligning Capabilities, Responsibilities, Engagement & Innovation.”

David Haun
Director, Public Sector Advisory Practice