Officials provide update on DNDO operations

Two high-level officials testified on Tuesday in front of the House Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies on protecting the U.S. from nuclear and radiological threats.

Huban Gowadia, the director of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO), outlined progress made by the office while David Trimble, the director of Natural Resources and Environment with the Government Accountability Office (GAO), provided an analysis of those efforts.

Gowadia discussed DNDO's efforts to conduct transformational research, provide rigorous evaluations of technologies and provide forensics capabilities in the event of nuclear terrorism or interdiction.

The director also provided an update on DNDO's acquisition process improvements.

"While DNDO has made considerable progress since it was established in 2005, much remains to be done," Gowadia said. "It will be a challenge to remain one step ahead of the adversary - particularly one that is intelligent and adaptable."

Trimble detailed DNDO's efforts to manage research and development assets, but said that it may not be able to demonstrate how the investments align with critical mission needs as those discussions are not recorded.

Trimble said that while DNDO took steps since previous GAO recommendations on coordinating R&D internally, preliminary analysis shows that not all DNDO's end users were satisfied with communication from the agency.