If there is reticence in Congress to streamlining oversight, it may be in part because consolidating oversight means some Members and committees will lose a measure of power, publicity and authority. But isnít that one of the messages of the recent election? The American people want there to be less power and less dictatorial authority in Washington. Even worse, the mishmash of Congressional meddling is creating not only a problem of misspent fiscal resources, but it also challenges the ability of DHS to do its job.
How much more fully could DHS focus on its mandate of protecting the homeland if it was not jumping through Congressional oversight hoops or responding to competing committees with different constituencies and ideas which may or may not be in conflict with one another?
To be sure, streamlined oversight does not mean absence of oversight. It means smarter oversight ó a conclusion the 9/11 commission reached nearly seven years ago.
It would seem to me, and I hope to the Members of the incoming 112th Congress, that such a threat to efficiency and such wasteful costs warrant a closer examination of their own practices. Rogers would have a lot more credibility on this issue, at least with me, if he were to start asking some tough questions of his House colleagues. Itís time to put down the shovel and take an axe to wasteful oversight.
David Olive is a principal at Catalyst Partners, a DC-based firm that specializes in homeland security issues.