Commerce Inspector General Audits FirstNet Public-Safety Core Deployment
Friday, June 29, 2018 | Comments

The Commerce Department Office of Inspector General (OIG) initiated an audit of the First Responder Network Authority’s (FirstNet’s) deployment of the public-safety core in May.

A letter from Carol N. Rice, assistant inspector general for audit and evaluation, FirstNet CEO Mike Poth said the objective is to determine whether FirstNet properly administered task order three — deployment, operation and maintenance of the nationwide core.

The memo said the OIG will conduct its fieldwork at FirstNet’s headquarters in Reston, Virginia, and other locations as needed.

FirstNet staff said at the board meeting earlier this month that they validated all 288 requirements traceability matrix (RTM) items for task order three initial operational capability (IOC)-2, and full service is now available on the FirstNet core. A critical design review (CDR) for task order three IOC-3 is scheduled for Sept. 9 in FirstNet’s Boulder, Colorado office.

According to the OIG website, the office can decide to conduct an audit for several reasons, including the audit may be required by law; Congress, the secretary of Commerce or the current administration may ask OIG to perform an audit; the issue could be one of OIG’s high-priority issues communicated in its annual Top Management Challenges report to the secretary and Congress; or if OIG uncovers significant issues during a previous review or determines the project is of high risk.

OIG said it generally issues a final report within a year after the audit announcement date, which was May 3, 2018.

The latest audit is the third audit of FirstNet since its inception in 2012. The first was in 2015 and tracked FirstNet's workforce and recruiting challenges and the second in 2016 covered its efforts to include federal agencies in the nationwide public-safety broadband network.

FirstNet and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) officials declined to comment. FirstNet is an independent authority of the Department of Commerce. 

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