The report, titled “Safety at Any Price: Assessing the Impact of Homeland Security Spending in U.S. Cities,” focuses on Homeland Security’s Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI).
“Since 2003, DHS has spent $35 billion on grant programs that were intended to make Americans safer from terrorist attacks,” a spokesman for Sen. Coburn wrote in an email. “But DHS failed to establish goals or metrics to ensure that funds were used to make Americans safe and cannot say how much safer we are today after spending $35 billion.”
The report says the UASI grant program has ballooned beyond its original intent and lacks the oversight and rigorous measurements needed to determine its effectiveness.
The report also points out numerous examples of wasteful and inappropriate spending by grant recipients.
One example of wasteful spending highlighted by the report is a security conference for which the grant money paid the $1,000 entrance fee.
The centerpiece of the conference was a “zombie apocalypse” demonstration where a “tactical training firm” staged a live simulated response to a zombie attack. “Conference attendees were invited to watch the shows as part of their education in emergency response training,” the report says.
“The administration is seeking $1.5 billion for its state and local grant programs—a nearly 40 percent increase over its FY2011 funding level” this year despite problems with the grant allocation process, according to the report.
The “agency characterized the grants as a stimulus package, which it argued was needed given the ‘current economic situation and the need for further fiscal stimulus,’” earlier this year.
Read More: Free Beacon