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Sunday, October 24th, 2021

GAO offers border security plan recommendation

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After accessing the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 2019 Border Security Improvement Plan, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is recommending CBP ensure the guideline addresses statutorily required elements.

GAO’s assessment stems from an effort to examine the extent to which the Border Security Improvement Plan includes elements required by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act, 2018.

The GAO reviewed the 2018 and 2017 plans, as well as other DHS, CBP and Border Patrol strategic planning documents and guidance while also interviewing CBP and Border Patrol personnel to discuss the report’s required elements.

CBP manages about 7,000 miles of land border and 95,000 miles of shoreline and is required to produce a plan to help guide its efforts and include information on how it intends to use personnel, fencing, and technology. However, the GAO determined the 2018 Border Security Improvement Plan does not include all of the information required by Congress. As an example, the plan consists of CBP’s goals and objectives but lacks complete information on costs and does not explain how projects will address the highest priority security needs.

The GAO recommends that CBP ensure the fiscal year 2019 Border Security Improvement Plan includes the statutorily required elements or discloses why any element was omitted. DHS agreed with the recommendation.