Late last week, the Coast Guard announced that DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff had rescinded the service’s acquisition authority, per the DHS 2009 appropriations bill.  The removal of such authority from one DHS component, combined with the upcoming transition to a new Administration, provides an interesting opportunity to think through whether DHS components (the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Transportation Security Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Secret Service) could benefit from more centralized acquisition.  From combining similar research and development efforts to eliminating redundant programs, from setting department-wide priorities to creating a larger homeland security market for private sector innovators, there are plenty of possible advantages to be realized by taking this bold step.  Of course, such a step would strike at the heart of power—purse-strings—for many of the DHS components.  However, understanding the benefits to DHS and the country are certainly worth serious study by the new DHS team—if not by the outgoing leadership.