“DHS does not have a structure in place for overseeing the costs of 42 programs in sustainment — programs that have been fielded and are operational — for which acquisition documentation requirements were waived,” the report said.
The GAO explained that sustainment costs can amount to more than 80 percent of total program costs.
The report also found that the DHS Office of Program Accountability and Risk Management, which is responsible for acquisition policy, does not have clearly define roles and responsibilities for acquisition management.
The office has outdated information and does not provide sufficient data on acquisitions programs, according to the GAO.
In early March, US President Barack Obama signed a budget to fund the DHS through the end of September. In fiscal year 2014, DHS planned to spend $10.7 billion on acquisition programs.
The GAO is a US federal agency that monitors government bodies on behalf of the US Congress.