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DHS Inspector General Issues Damning Assessment of Real ID


Shifting grant standards, lack of necessary IT systems and foot dragging by DHS mean many states will be unable to meet even delayed and partial compliance deadlines.

Highlights:

Pg 11: “Specifically, 13 of the 19 states we surveyed indicated that implementing REAL ID would be cost prohibitive. Five states were uncertain or unable to accurately estimate their costs. Only one of 19 states surveyed indicated that the cost of REAL ID would not be prohibitive because it had already taken measures to improve driver’s license security that positioned it to meet the requirements of the Act.”

Pg 13: “DHS did not provide timely and specific guidance on how REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards must be marked, best practices for the physical security of facilities, or information on the systems that will be used for verifying applicant documentation.”

Pg 14: “To achieve full compliance with REAL ID standards by 2011, states must connect with electronic verification systems to verify identification documents. Several of the systems needed do not yet exist.”

Pg 16: “Specifically, 18 of 19 states, or 95%, reported that available grant funding was insufficient. Several states referred to the amount received as a “drop in the bucket.”

Pg 17: “[R]epresentatives from 17 of the 19 states we contacted indicated that they did not receive clear guidance on the REAL ID grant process.”

Pg 18: “Unclear about the requirements, states reported that their grant submissions were incomplete and misdirected. Specifically, officials from one state said that their grant submission only accounted for a portion of their total estimated implementation costs. These state officials explained that they received guidance from DHS suggesting that they scale back funding requests to improve their chances of receiving a grant award.

Pg. 19: "The grant guidance stated that proposals would be reviewed and assessed by a FEMA peer review panel based on the strength of the submission and would be awardedon a competitive basis. …. However, the grants awarded in FY 2008 did not correspond to the panel rankings.”

Read the DHS Inspector General Report Here
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