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Former DHS human capital officer: “Let’s talk about DHS”

Former DHS Chief Human Capital Officer Jeff Neal has a post on his personal blog (ChiefHRO.com) that is worth reading, entitled “Let’s talk about DHS”. It responds to some of the recent media commentary on the Department of Homeland Security, reflecting on what he learned while serving at the Department. From the lead paragraph:

When I was Chief Human Capital Officer for DHS I got sick of reading the stories about DHS – everyone wants to write about the negatives and almost no one writes about the positives. Does DHS have morale issues? Yes. Does it have turnover issues? Yes, but not as bad as it might appear. Does DHS have issues with organization and command and control? Yes. Those and other issues lead some people to conclude DHS never should have been created and should be done away with. If that happened, the work DHS does would have to be done somewhere else. Regardless of how they are delivered, we need the services of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Border Patrol, Customs, immigration and citizenship services, and the aviation security services of TSA. That means doing away with DHS would result in a massive government reorganization that would most likely be even messier than the one that created DHS.

His points on reorganization are spot on; anyone who recommends breaking up or radically reorganizing DHS needs to also explain in detail what would be done with its constituent parts, and how such a reorganization would improve its mission performance and operational capability. A much more constructive debate – one that we should always be having – is what can be one to improve the Department’s performance, efficiency, and accountability.

The piece is worth reading in full.