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Sunday, February 5th, 2023

GAO assesses DHS border security improvement plan

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a recommendation to the Department of Homeland Security regarding its plan to improve border security, including the use of personnel, barriers, and technology.

The GAO indicated its assessment of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Border Security Improvement Plan determined the schematic did not include all required elements, resulting in incomplete information to Congress while not being delivered within the statutory time frame.

The GAO reviewed the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Border Security Improvement Plan, as well as other DHS, CBP, and Border Patrol strategic planning documents and guidance, in addition to interviewing CBP and Border Patrol personnel to discuss the report’s required elements.

Congress noted the importance of having timely and comprehensive plan Information to assist in its oversight and decision-making, but the GAO acknowledged the plan did not include required elements such as a detailed implementation schedule linked to services, program management capabilities, or life cycle cost estimates; and an estimate of planned obligation of funds for fiscal years 2019-2027. The plan also did not identify staffing requirements for any of the initiatives identified in the plan, per the GAO.

The GAO has recommended the Secretary of Homeland Security expeditiously provide Congress with the required information missing from the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Border Security Improvement Plan.