DHS Disaster Plan for HQ Needs Work

IG: Focus on Restoring Systems at Alternate Site An audit by the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security reveals that more worked is needed to strengthen DHS's disaster recovery plan for its Nebraska Avenue Complex headquarters in Washington.

"While the department has strengthened its disaster recovery planning for the Nebraska Avenue Complex, more work is needed," the IG said in an unclassified summary of the audit issued Thursday. "We briefed DHS and component officials on the results of our audit and issued a classified report. We also made four recommendations to improve the department progress in establishing its disaster recovery programs. DHS concurred with our recommendations and is already addressing the findings."

The summary didn't provide specific details on steps to be taken. The audit included an onsite verification and validation of facility operational security controls and a review of DHS policies, procedures and other appropriate contingency planning documentation.

"Our objective was to determine whether DHS components at this facility made progress in resolving the disaster recovery deficiencies we reported in May 2005," the IG said. "Specifically, we evaluated the ability of the DHS Office of the Chief Information Officer and the Office of Intelligence and Analysis to restore information systems processing at an alternate site if access to this shared facility was disrupted."

Since its inception in 2002, DHS has maintained temporary headquarters in 32 buildings at a former naval facility situated on 38 acres. Plans for a permanent headquarters in Southwest Washington have been submitted to Congress.

About the Author

Eric Chabrow

Eric Chabrow

Retired Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Chabrow, who retired at the end of 2017, hosted and produced the semi-weekly podcast ISMG Security Report and oversaw ISMG's GovInfoSecurity and InfoRiskToday. He's a veteran multimedia journalist who has covered information technology, government and business.

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