The Homeland Security Department has allowed federal grants for improving port security to be spent on low priority problems rather than the most serious vulnerabilities, the agency’s inspector general says, according to the Associated Press. In a draft report to be released next month, Inspector General Clark Kent Ervin says port security spending should be governed by the most pressing priorities rather than local politics. AP says a report from Ervin’s office, “Major Management Challenges Facing the Department of Homeland Security,” has been posted on the department’s Web site.
The grant program has been criticized or being too cumbersome and for awarding money to projects of questionable use. The report is one of the last submitted by Ervin, who earned a reputation as a blunt critic of the department before leaving the job earlier this month. He won a recess appointment in December 2003, but the Senate failed to confirm him and the White House appeared unlikely to nominate him again.