RealNews

Audit Faults U.S. for Its Spending on Port Defense

The Department of Homeland Security has allocated hundreds of millions of dollars to protect ports since Sept. 11 without sufficiently focusing on those that are most vulnerable, a policy that could compromise the nation’s ability to better defend against terrorist attacks, the department’s inspector general has concluded.Hundreds of thousands of dollars has been invested in redundant lighting systems and unnecessary technical equipment, the audit found, but “the program has not yet achieved its intended results in the form of actual improvement in port security.” In addition, less than a quarter of the $517 million that the department distributed in grants between June 2002 and December 2003 had been spent as of September 2004, the inspector general found. The report also questioned whether grants allocated for small projects in resort areas and some remote locations should have been considered as critical to national security needs as larger projects at ports that are more vital to the national economy.Full Story

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