back to article DHS battles Axis of Exorbitance with software overhaul

The US Department of Homeland Security said on Friday it's seeking a "leaner, smarter" way to preserve our freedoms and fight the global war on terror by launching an agency-wide efficiency program to cut wasteful spending. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced her first hostilities against the axis of exorbitance will …


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  1. Dennis Healey
    Paris Hilton

    W... T.. F...

    What the fuck is credentialing, or on-boarding.

    Perhaps the later is some sort of torcher by submersion under a sea of Americanisms and butched English.

    Paris cos she is sensitive when she gets her tongue around the English

  2. RW

    Color me doubtful

    The DHS is sure to be like other large, unwieldy organizations: top-heavy as all get-out. If Napolitano really wants to make a splash, she should get rid of half the management caste now and another quarter come January 2010. If it takes picking numbers out of a hat to select those to be made redundant, so be it.

    She also needs to ask difficult questions about costs and benefits: "For all the money spent on airline security, just how many, and how severe and potentially costly, have been the terrorist threats averted? Factor in lost traveller time and delays at $20 an hour. All estimates must be justified. Anyone erecting a smokescreen to protect their little empire will be made redundant."

    She could also greatly improve the effectiveness of DHS by insisting that all operatives must be polite and helpful, no exceptions. No police-state tactics or rudeness. Without the heart-felt cooperation of those affected (primarily the traveling public), it's all a Potemkin village that does little to improve security and may, in fact, make things less secure.

  3. John Smith Gold badge


    " No police-state tactics or rudeness"

    I hate to disappoint you but for some this was the reaason they took the job.

  4. Walking Turtle
    Black Helicopters

    Terrorstate Phase Two On Track and Within Budget, SIR!

    ..."Penny-pinching will hit six main categories, according to Napolitano: "acquisition management, asset management, real property management, ...

    All three are indeed sensible fields to mow a little bit shorter in hard times.

    ...employee vetting/credentialing, hiring/on-boarding,...

    Now that bit worries me. Slashing ones' vetting of potential new hires and skimp-verifying the credentials tendered thereby is Just Asking For It. On a *massive* scale. Ditto for the hiring-in and training-up process, which is what "on-boarding" is in NeoSpeak. (Might as well have called it 'same-paging', since Being On the Same Page is too important to miss out on in them circles...)

    So now we have it. The enterprising top-dog street-goons and bully thugs who have run out of juicy loaded civilians to rob for their daily bread now get their very own Federal agency bailouts, handed to them on a BIG plate, served up by one of the more secretive and sinister waiters in the NeoCon "Washington Consensus"' extra-judicial/-legal/-Constitutional agencies indeed.

    Oh but wait there's more. (sigh.) Later, once this NeoWave of fully trained-up DHS Stasi are all at last accepted as "normal" by the ever-malleable US populace, she or her successor (matters not) can then embark on a "Massive Cleanup of Incompetence and Fraud" at the DHS, dutifully and noisily exposing all those dodgy "oopsie mybad" credentials and backgrounds with full Mainstream Media support. And a cheering tho' pre-cowed public.

    Mission accomplished! The American public savaged by her ham-fisted Stasi goon squad at the borders until more than half beaten down, then half or more of the former DHS employees turned out, by now fully Federally trained, into our civilian midst so as to ostensibly again make America "safer" by Privatizable Means... For the elite class, is the part that is *always* Left Not Said. That's the top 0.5% and none of the Rest of Us, which was the plan all along, don'cha' know by now?

    ...and information technology."

    FOSS LINUX UBER ALLES! (Uh-oh again.)

    Gah. NeoO/S of the NeoCon NeoGodz. I can hardly wait. But the penguin in my coat pocket's the one with the thirty-three-year forward stare and ain't called any of these moves wrong yet, Heaven help us all.

    Think it'll take that long? Hmph. Well, at least the Missouri Fusion Centre's latest and most inflammatory report (Google "MIAC Report"+militia) was rescinded... For the moment.

  5. Frank

    @Dennis Healey re. W... T.... F...

    Wtf is 'torcher' and 'butched english' and 'cos'? Why do you say 'Perhaps the later is some...' ,how can you use the word 'later' in that sentence? (read a dictionary for the definition of the word 'later').

  6. kissingthecarpet
    Black Helicopters

    Is on-boarding

    like water-boarding but drier...

  7. Anonymous Coward

    @Color me doubtful

    "[...] get rid of half the management caste now and another quarter come January 2010."

    But it always looks so much better to get rid of the lower-paid drones than the top-level Neddys - you can sack 500 call centre staff, analysts, programmers and field service engineers for the same saving as one Director (well, more than 500 if you take into consideration all the Director's stock options, enhanced support, insatiable appetite for the latest gadgets even if (IF??) he doesn't need them, etc...). Which looks more impressive to the beancounters - 500 bodies or just one? (Replace job descriptions with photo intel, human intel, signals intel, langauge specialists etc if you really feel the need to get this back on-topic... ;-) )

    Answers on the back of a slightly-used Howling Pukeup pink slip to practically any IT "outsourcer" active in the UK... assuming they haven't all fracked off to India already.

  8. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
    Anonymous Coward


    stock options?

  9. Frank Thomas

    Wanna spend less on software?

    how about Open Source?

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Open Source?

    Eh, even if the government went 'open source' it would still BUY its software (see Redhat, SuSE, etc). Cost savings are debatable since to use Linux servers and other FOSS you need to invest in showers and deoderant for the scruffy neckbeards needed to drive them.

  11. BioTube


    The need for security flew right over your head, didn't it? With airlines, a thousand success cannot sooth a single failure. If this doesn't make sense to you, imagine the terrorists were carrying nukes. If just one gets through, BAM! It's bye-bye London(or whatever city you hold near and dear). A better question would be "How can we make our security checks quicker without hampering effectiveness?", which I hear the Israelis are quite good at.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Cart trying to catch up with Horse

    DHS was not setup properly in the first place apparently(surprise). Sounds like the sole-source bonanza of the Bush years is drying up. DHS was primarily a way to appear to be doing something anyway. Intelligence agencies are still not sharing information so DHS itself is a failure from a strategic point of view in my opinion. The best way to save money at DHS would be to dissolve it and hold the agency heads accountable.

  13. Walking Turtle

    @AC 31st March 16:03 GMT

    "Cost savings are debatable since to use Linux servers and other FOSS you need to invest in showers and deoderant for the scruffy neckbeards needed to drive them."

    Deodorant and showers, even face-cloths and soap we mostly already have for ourselves, these days. As for the darkish dirt apparently embedded in my own whitish Funny Hat, well, that is MY dirt. I *own* that dirt. It is my property, MY Real Estate. I got it fair and square in the Old Fashioned Honorable Way - I EARNED it.

    Keeps my entire head clean, that hat. Rummaging about in dusty basement-level chassis boxes and racks here and there, one needs such gear as that.

    I'll be rid of it once I am entirely done with it, thank you. The dirt, that is. The hat is even prettier when clean, and a permanent trademark feature as well. Nobody'd recognize me at the bank any more if ever I ditched it, y'know?

    Alien. For the Long Strange Irreplaceable Trip that it has indeed been... Gotta' luvvit. :)

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