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November 14, 2006: 

The Honorable Bob Goodlatte: 
Chairman: 
Committee on Agriculture: 
House of Representatives: 

Subject: Homeland Security: Agriculture Specialists' Views of Their 
Work Experiences After Transfer to DHS: 

Dear Mr. Goodlatte: 

The Homeland Security Act of 2002 transferred responsibility for 
certain port inspections from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 
(USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to the newly 
created Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Customs and Border 
Protection (CBP).[Footnote 1] Specifically, the act transferred the 
responsibility for inspecting passengers, baggage, cargo, and mail 
entering the country in airplanes, ships, trucks, and railcars for 
prohibited agricultural materials that may serve as carriers of foreign 
pests and diseases. USDA estimates that these biological invaders cost 
the American economy tens of billions of dollars annually in lower crop 
values, eradication programs, and emergency payments to farmers. 

Beginning in March 2003, more than 1,800 agriculture specialists who 
had formerly reported to USDA became CBP employees, as CBP incorporated 
the protection of U.S. agriculture into its primary antiterrorism 
mission. In addition to protecting U.S. agriculture, CBP's mission is 
to detect and prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering 
the United States, interdict illegal drugs and other contraband, and 
apprehend individuals who are attempting to enter the United States 
illegally. 

Responding to congressional concerns that the transfer of agricultural 
inspections to CBP could shift the focus away from agriculture to CBP's 
other mission priorities, GAO reported in May 2006 on the coordination 
of USDA and DHS to ensure that U.S. agriculture is protected from 
accidentally or intentionally introduced pests and disease.[Footnote 2] 
In preparing this report, we surveyed a representative sample of CBP's 
agriculture specialists on their work experiences before and after the 
transfer and included the responses to the survey's 31 multiple-choice 
questions in the report. The survey also asked two open-ended 
questions: (1) What is going well with respect to your work as an 
agriculture specialist? and (2) What would you like to see changed or 
improved with respect to your work as an agriculture specialist? 

You asked us to analyze the content of the narrative responses to the 
open-ended questions contained in the survey. Specifically, you asked 
us to identify the common themes in the narrative responses and 
determine the percentage of agriculture specialists giving answers 
consistent with each theme. We provided your staff with a formal 
briefing on our findings on October 17, 2006. This report summarizes 
the results of that briefing, including the five most common themes for 
each question,[Footnote 3] and enclosure I presents our briefing 
slides.[Footnote 4] Enclosure II describes our scope and methodology. 
We performed our work from September through October 2006 in accordance 
with generally accepted government auditing standards. 

In summary, the narrative responses to the open-ended questions suggest 
morale issues among CBP agriculture specialists. Respondents typically 
provided more examples or went into greater detail in answering our 
question on what needs to be changed or improved. This question 
generated a total of 185 pages of comments--roughly 4 times more than 
that generated by the responses to our question on what was going well. 
Further, "Nothing is going well" was the second most frequent response 
to the question on what is going well. In addition, the narratives 
generally corroborate the responses to the relevant multiple-choice 
questions in the survey. For example, related to the specialists' 
perception that the agriculture safety mission has been compromised, 59 
percent of experienced specialists indicated that they are doing either 
somewhat or many fewer inspections since the transfer, and 60 percent 
indicated that they are doing somewhat or many fewer interceptions. 
Similarly, related to working relationships, 64 percent of these 
specialists indicated that they do not believe that CPB management 
respects their work. 

Consistent with workforce concerns about the current agricultural 
inspection operation, in response to our question on what is going well 
with their work, relatively few agriculture specialists reported 
positive feelings about their current situation. Specifically: 

 An estimated 18 percent of agriculture specialists cited the working 
relationship among agriculture specialists and nonagriculture 
inspectors and management as positive. These specialists cited 
increasing respect and interest by nonspecialists in the agriculture 
inspection mission, and the attentiveness of CBP management to 
agriculture specialists' concerns. 

 An estimated 13 percent of agriculture specialists reported that 
nothing is going well with their work. For example, some respondents 
noted that the agriculture inspection mission has been compromised 
under CBP and that agriculture specialists are no longer important or 
respected by management. 

 An estimated 10 percent of agriculture specialists expressed positive 
comments about their salary and benefits, with some citing increased 
pay under CBP, a flexible work schedule, increased overtime pay, and 
retirement benefits as reasons for their views. 

 An estimated 8 percent of agriculture specialists identified elements 
of classroom and on-the-job training as going well. Some observed that 
new hires are well trained and that agriculture-related classroom 
training at the Professional Development Center in Frederick, Maryland, 
is adequate for their duties. 

 An estimated 6 percent of agriculture specialists were generally 
satisfied with their jobs, reporting, among other things, that they 
were satisfied in their working relationships with CBP management and 
coworkers and that they believed in the importance of their work in 
protecting U.S. agriculture from foreign pests and disease. 

In contrast, higher proportions of agriculture specialists identified 
areas that should be changed or improved. Specifically: 

 An estimated 29 percent of the specialists expressed concern about 
their working relationships with CBP's nonagriculture inspectors and 
management. Some wrote that nonagriculture inspectors at their ports 
view the agriculture mission as less important than CBP's other 
priorities, such as counternarcotics and antiterrorism activities. 
Others noted that CBP management is not interested in, and does not 
support, agriculture inspections. Many agriculture specialists 
expressed concern that CBP's management structure does not encourage 
two-way communication, and that management often ignores the 
agriculture mission in favor of other priorities. 

 An estimated 29 percent of agriculture specialists were concerned 
that the agriculture mission is declining because CBP has not given it 
adequate priority. Some respondents cited as evidence of a decline the 
increase in the number of cargo items and flights that are not 
inspected because of staff shortages, scheduling decisions by CBP port 
management, and the release of prohibited or restricted products by 
nonagriculture CBP inspectors. 

 An estimated 28 percent of agriculture specialists identified 
problems with the CBP chain of command that impede timely actions 
involving high-risk interceptions, such as a lack of managers with an 
agriculture background and the agency's rigid chain-of-command 
structure. For example, agriculture specialists wrote that requests for 
information from USDA pest identification experts must be passed up the 
CBP chain of command before they can be conveyed to USDA. 

 An estimated 19 percent of agriculture specialists believed that 
training in the classroom and on the job is inadequate. For example, 
some respondents expressed concern that the Professional Development 
Center does not offer courses on DHS's targeting and database systems, 
which some agriculture specialists use to target high-risk shipments 
and passengers. Also, some agriculture specialists wrote that on-the- 
job training at their ports is poor, and that nonspecialists do not 
have adequate training to recognize when to refer items to agriculture 
specialists for inspection. 

 An estimated 17 percent of agriculture specialists were concerned 
about a lack of equipment and supplies. Some respondents wrote that the 
process for purchasing items under CBP results in delays in acquiring 
supplies and that there is a shortage of agriculture-specific supplies, 
such as vials, gloves, and laboratory equipment. 

In closing, we note that morale issues, such as the ones identified 
above, are not unexpected in a merger. To this end, in anticipation of 
the creation of DHS, GAO convened a forum in 2002 to discuss lessons 
learned from major private and public sector experiences with mergers 
that a DHS could use to combine its various components into a unified 
department.[Footnote 5] According to the forum participants, in their 
experience, productivity and effectiveness decline in the period 
following a merger, in part because employees worry about their place 
in the new organization. 

As agreed with your office, unless you publicly announce the contents 
of this report earlier, we plan no further distribution of it until 30 
days from the date of this letter. We will then send copies of this 
report to interested congressional committees and the Secretaries of 
Agriculture and of Homeland Security. In addition, this report will be 
available at no charge on the GAO Web site at [Hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov]. Contact points for our Offices of Congressional 
Relations and Public Affairs may be found on the last page of this 
report. 

If you have any questions about this report or need additional 
information, please contact me at (202) 512-3841or shamesl@gao.gov. Key 
contributors to this report are listed in enclosure III. 

Sincerely yours, 

Signed by: 

Lisa Shames: 
Acting Director, Natural Resources and Environment: 

Enclosures - 3: 

Enclosure I: DHS Agriculture Specialists' Views about Their Jobs: 

DHS Agriculture Specialists' Views About Their Jobs: 

Analysis of Narrative Responses from GAO's Survey of DHS Agriculture 
Specialists Survey Conducted November 2005 - January 2006: 

Briefing for Staff of Bob Goodlatte, Chairman House Committee on 
Agriculture October 17, 2006: 

Introduction: 

The Homeland Security Act of 2002 transferred agriculture inspections 
at U.S. ports of entry from USDA to DHS Customs and Border Protection 
(CBP). In response to concerns that this transfer may have shifted the 
focus from agriculture inspections to other DHS priorities, GAO 
reported on this issue in May 2006.[Footnote 6]  

For the May 2006 report, to identify agriculture specialists' concerns, 
GAO conducted a survey on their work experiences before and after the 
transfer.[Footnote 7] This included 31 multiple choice and 2 open-ended 
questions. The results of the multiple choice questions were printed in 
the report. GAO did not do a content analysis of the open-ended 
questions at that time. 

Objectives: 

You asked us to do the content analysis of the two open-ended questions 
from the earlier survey. Specifically, you asked us to identify the 
common themes in the narrative responses, as well as the percentage of 
specialists giving answers consistent with each theme, to each of the 
questions: 

(1) "What is going well with respect to your work as an agriculture 
specialist?" 

(2) "What would you like to see changed or improved with respect to 
your work as an agriculture specialist?" 

We also provide observations and, where appropriate, additional data to 
expand on some themes where specialists indicated that work was going 
both well and poorly. 

Results in Brief-Question 1: 

What is going well with respect to your work as an agriculture 
specialist? 

Top 5 themes identified and weighted responses[Footnote 8]: 

* Working relationships with agriculture specialists and nonagriculture 
inspectors and management (18%). 

* Nothing is going well (13%). 

* Salary and benefits (10%). 

* Training in the classroom and on the job (8%). 

* General job satisfaction (6%). 

[Note: Slide 16 lists all 14 themes identified for this question.] 

Results in Brief-Question 2: 

What would you like to see changed or improved with respect to your 
work as an agriculture specialist? 

Top 5 themes identified and weighted responses[Footnote 9]:  

* Working relationships with agriculture specialists and nonagriculture 
inspectors and management (29%). 

* Priority given to the agriculture mission (29%). 

* Problems with CBP chain of command (28%). 

* Training in the classroom and on the job is inadequate (19%). 

* Equipment and supplies are inadequate (17%). 

[Note: Slide 17 lists all 12 themes identified for this question.] 

Q1: What is going well with respect to your work as an agriculture 
specialist? 

Working relationships with agriculture specialists and nonagriculture 
inspectors and management. 

* An estimated 18% of agriculture specialists identified their 
relationships with coworkers, CBP officers, and management as one 
aspect of their work that is going well. For example, some respondents 
noted: 

- CBP officers are beginning to respect the agriculture mission and 
have expressed interest in what the agriculture specialists do. 

- Agriculture officers and technicians take the canine program 
seriously. 

- Management listens to concerns. 

- Supervisors and coworkers have been patient with specialists while 
they complete on-the-job training. 

Nothing is going well. 

* An estimated 13% of agriculture specialists provided a generally 
negative response when given the opportunity to identify what is going 
well with their work. For example, some respondents noted: 

- The agriculture mission has been compromised, and the agriculture 
specialists are no longer important or respected by management. 

- There have been no positive developments since the merger with CBP. 

Salary and benefits. 

* An estimated 10% of agriculture specialists identified items related 
to salary and benefits, when asked what is going well. For example, 
some respondents indicated: 

- increased pay (after merging with CBP), 

- pay equality with CBP officers, 

- flexible work schedule, 

- receiving promotions to GS-11, 

- ready access to annual and sick leave, 

- double-time pay for overtime, and: 

- retirement benefits. 

Training in the classroom and on the job. 

* An estimated 8% of agriculture specialists identified training-
related issues as aspects of their work that are going well. For 
example, some respondents noted: 

- New hires are well trained. 

- Valuable cross-training opportunities are available in immigration 
and customs inspections and law enforcement. 

- Training is a high priority and more training is available. 

- Opportunities are available for canine training. 

- Training at the Professional Development Center is adequate. 

- Cross training reinforces the common mission of agriculture 
specialists and CBP officers. 

General job satisfaction. 

* An estimated 6% of agriculture specialists indicated that they enjoy 
their job, that their job is important, or that they are performing an 
important mission. For example, some respondents indicated: 

- satisfaction with CBP management and fellow coworkers, 

- the importance of their work in protecting U.S. agriculture, and: 

- satisfaction with applying their skills and training to their job. 

Q2: What would you like to see changed or improved with respect to your 
work as an agriculture specialist? 

Working relationships with agriculture specialists and nonagriculture 
inspectors and management. 

* An estimated 29% of agriculture specialists indicated concern that 
CBP management and nonagriculture specialists lack respect or 
comprehension about the agriculture mission. For example, some 
respondents noted: 

- Nonagriculture inspectors view agriculture as less important than 
counternarcotics and antiterrorism activities. 

- CBP management is not interested in, and does not support, 
agriculture inspections. 

- CBP management is biased against specialists because they do not 
carry weapons. Several specialists also wrote that they believed that 
not carrying firearms reduced their potential for advancement. 

Priority given to the agriculture mission. 

* An estimated 29% of agriculture specialists indicated concern that 
the agriculture mission under CBP is in decline. For example, some 
respondents indicated: 

- an increase in uninspected cargo and flights due to a shortage of 
staff or scheduling decisions by CBP port management, 

- the release of prohibited or restricted products by CBP officers who 
are not agriculture specialists, 

- delayed inspections of high-risk vessels until a day after their 
arrival, rather than immediately, and: 

- the decision by CBP management not to conduct vessel inspections 
because of safety concerns or reluctance to have staff work overtime. 

Problems with CBP chain of command. 

* An estimated 28% of agriculture specialists indicated concern 
regarding miscommunication along the CBP chain of command on 
agriculture issues. For example, some respondents indicated: 

- a lack of managers with an agriculture background who have knowledge 
of relevant regulatory issues, 

- the requirement for all information requests to be passed up the CBP 
chain of command, which impedes timely actions involving high-risk 
interceptions, and: 

- CBP's hierarchical culture, which some specialists said made them 
reluctant to voice concerns. 

Training in the classroom and on the job is inadequate. 

* An estimated 19% of agriculture specialists expressed concern 
regarding training, including agriculture inspection training for 
specialists and nonspecialists and cross-training for specialists on 
immigration and customs inspections. For example, some respondents 
noted: 

- The training courses at the Professional Development Center do not 
include instruction on the targeting and database systems used by CBP. 

- On-the-job training at ports is poor. 

- Training of nonspecialists in determining when to refer items to 
agriculture specialists for inspection is inadequate. 

- CBP canine training standards and methods are not appropriate for 
agriculture canine teams. 

Equipment and supplies are inadequate. 

* An estimated 17% of agriculture specialists expressed concern over 
lack of funding for supplies related to agriculture inspections, 
including canine inspections. For example, some respondents noted: 

- The requirement that all purchases must be approved by the CBP chain 
of command can delay acquiring needed supplies. 

- CBP management removed equipment from agriculture specialists offices 
and has not provided adequate replacements. 

- Agriculture-specific equipment - such as vials, dissecting gloves, 
and lab equipment - are in short supply. 

- CBP has been slow in providing or has failed to provide funds for 
supplies or services for agriculture canine teams. 

Themes Identified for Q1-What is going well with respect your work as 
an agriculture specialist? 

Theme: Working relationships with agriculture specialists and 
nonagriculture inspectors and management; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 113; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q1[A]: 17.9%. 

Theme: Nothing is going well; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 93; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q1[A]: 12.5%. 

Theme: Salary and benefits; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 54; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q1[A]: 10.0%. 

Theme: Training in the classroom and on the job; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 50; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q1[A]: 7.8%. 

Theme: General job satisfaction; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 34; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q1[A]: 5.6%. 

Theme: CBP's "one face at the border" inspection policy; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 36; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q1[A]: 5.4%. 

Theme: Agriculture mission (inspections and interceptions); 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 34; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q1[A]: 5.4%. 

Theme: Access to CBP databases for targeting and timekeeping purposes; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 27; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q1[A]: 4.9%. 

Theme: Staffing levels are adequate or improving; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 26; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q1[A]: 4.8%. 

Theme: I have a job (neutral answer); 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 28; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q1[A]: 4.3%. 

Theme: Information sharing with CBP and with other agencies; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 25; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q1[A]: 4.2%. 

Theme: Flexibility to do job without interference from managers; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 28; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q1[A]: 3.1%. 

Theme: Equipment and supplies are adequate; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 18; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q1[A]: 2.1%. 

Theme: Most things are going well; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 10; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q1[A]: 1.8%. 

Theme: Other comments; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 33; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q1[A]: 3.8%. 

Source: GAO analysis of survey responses to this question. 

[A] These percentages can be generalized to the entire population of 
CBP agriculture specialists. The margin of error at the 95% confidence 
level varies from theme to theme but does not exceed plus or minus 10%. 

[End of table] 

Themes Identified for Q2-What would you like to see changed or improved 
with respect to your work as an agriculture specialist? 

Theme: Working relationships with agriculture specialists and 
nonagriculture inspectors and management; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 190; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q2[A]: 29.2%. 

Theme: Priority given to the agriculture mission; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 179; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q2[A]: 29.0%. 

Theme: Problems with CBP chain of command; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 167; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q2[A]: 28.3%. 

Theme: Training in the classroom and on the job is inadequate; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 123; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q2[A]: 18.9%. 

Theme: Equipment and supplies are inadequate; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 113; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q2[A]: 17.2%.

Theme: Staffing levels are low or inadequate; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 113; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q2[A]: 16.5%. 

Theme: Salary and benefits; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 97; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q2[A]: 15.5%. 

Theme: Information sharing within CBP and with other agencies; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 93; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q2[A]: 12.8%. 

Theme: CBP's overtime policy; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 75; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q2[A]: 10.5%. 

Theme: CBP policies that affect the safety of agriculture specialists; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 59; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q2[A]: 8.4%. 

Theme: Return to USDA; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 61; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q2[A]: 8.3%. 

Theme: Opportunities for temporary assignment; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 37; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q2[A]: 7.1%.

Theme: Other comments; 
Number of responses reflecting this theme: 117; 
Weighted percentage of responses to Q2[A]: 18.2%.   

Source: GAO analysis of survey responses to this question. 

[A] These percentages can be generalized to the entire population of 
CBP agriculture specialists. The margin of error at the 95% confidence 
level varies from theme to theme but does not exceed plus or minus 10%. 

Observations: 

In general, the narrative responses suggest morale issues among CBP 
agriculture specialists. 

* Although 480 respondents provided a total of 42 pages of comments on 
what is going well, 540 respondents provided a total of 185 pages of 
comments on what needs to be changed or improved. 

* "Nothing is going well" was the second most frequent response to 
question 1 (i.e., what is going well). 

Based on the narrative responses, many specialists perceived that the 
agriculture safety mission has been compromised. Responses to relevant 
multiple choice questions in the survey also suggest this concern. For 
example, many experienced agriculture specialists indicated that they 
were doing either somewhat or many fewer agriculture inspections (59%) 
and interceptions (60%) than before the transfer. 

In the narrative responses, although we estimate that many specialists 
view the status of working relationships positively (18%), even more 
view these relationships negatively (29%). Responses to the relevant 
multiple choice question indicate that most specialists (64%) do not 
feel that their work is respected by CBP management. 

Based on the narrative responses, we estimate that only 8% of 
specialists view training as adequate and 16% indicate that it is 
inadequate. However, responses to the relevant multiple choice 
questions suggest a general satisfaction with training. For example, we 
estimate that 90% of experienced specialists answered either probably 
or definitely yes to the question, have you received adequate training. 
Similarly, we estimate that most (75%) newer specialists (hired since 
the transfer) would respond the same way. 

In earlier reports, GAO noted that difficulties are not unexpected in a 
merger and might occur in a new DHS.[Footnote 10]GAO found that 
adequately addressing a wide variety of people and cultural issues is 
key to successful mergers and transformations. 

Appendix-Methodology: 

Surveyed CBP agriculture specialists (inspectors) on their experiences 
since the transfer (Mar. 1, 2003) and their assessment of CBP 
management of the agriculture inspection mission. 

Drew a representative sample of 827 specialists from a total population 
of about 1,800 (as of Oct. 14, 2005). We received 626 completed 
surveys -a response rate of 76%. 

Used a Web-based questionnaire with 31 multiple choice questions and 2 
open-ended questions. Responses to the multiple choice questions were 
included in GAO-06-644. 

Survey respondents' characteristics: 

80% agriculture specialists: 

5% canine specialists: 

13% supervisory agriculture specialists[Footnote 11]: 

71 % transferred from USDA * 28% hired by C B P[Footnote 12] 

[End of Section] 

Enclosure II: Scope and Methodology: 

To determine the areas in which Customs and Border and Patrol (CBP) 
agriculture specialists believe that work is going well and in which it 
needs change or improvement, we identified the major themes in the 
narrative responses that CBP agriculture specialists provided to the 
survey we conducted from November 2005 through January 2006. We 
surveyed these specialists to obtain information on their work 
experiences since the transfer from the U.S. Department of Agriculture 
(USDA) and their assessment of CBP's management, particularly with 
respect to the agriculture inspection mission. The survey contained 31 
multiple-choice questions and two open-ended questions--"What is going 
well with respect to your work as an agriculture specialist?" and "What 
would you like to see changed or improved with respect to your work as 
an agriculture specialist?" 

To conduct the survey, we drew a representative sample of 827 
agriculture specialists from a total population of about 1,800 (as of 
October 14, 2005). We received 626 completed questionnaires, for a 
response rate of approximately 76 percent. A majority of the survey 
respondents were agriculture specialists, while the remaining 
respondents were supervisory agriculture specialists and canine 
specialists, with a few categorizing themselves as "other." Most of the 
respondents (71 percent) transferred to CBP from USDA, while the others 
were hired directly by CBP (28 percent).[Footnote 13] Each sampled 
agriculture specialist was subsequently weighted in the analysis so 
that our results can be generalized statistically to the entire 
population of agriculture specialists. The margin of error at the 95- 
percent confidence level varies by theme, but does not exceed plus or 
minus 10 percent. 

In analyzing the open-ended responses that are the focus of this 
report, we first identified, through discussions among GAO team 
members, the major themes in the responses. Two team members, working 
independently, then identified the themes for each response. Where the 
two team members disagreed, they discussed their decisions until they 
reached agreement. Thus, there was 100-percent agreement between the 
two team members. The number of responses for each theme was then 
calculated. Finally, the work of the two team members was reviewed by a 
third team member. Results are presented on pages 21 and 22 of this 
report. 

We performed our work from September through October 2006 in accordance 
with generally accepted government auditing standards. 

[End of Section] 

Enclosure III: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

Lisa Shames (202) 512-3841 or shamesl@gao.gov. 

Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the individual listed above, James Jones, Jr., Assistant 
Director; Gary T. Brown; Chad M. Gorman; Lynn M. Musser; Stephen C. 
Rossman; Sidney H. Schwartz; and Carol Herrnstadt Shulman made key 
contributions to this report. 

(360769): 

FOOTNOTES 

[1] Pub. L. No. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135 (2002). The act also 
transferred two other agencies to CBP: the Department of the Treasury's 
U.S. Customs Service and the Department of Justice's Immigration and 
Naturalization Service. 

[2] GAO, Homeland Security: Management and Coordination Problems 
Increase the Vulnerability of U.S. Agriculture to Foreign Pests and 
Disease, GAO-06-644 (Washington, D.C.: May 19, 2006). 

[3] In our analysis, responses were weighted to account statistically 
for all specialists in the population. Thus, the percentages given for 
each theme can be generalized to the entire population of CBP 
agriculture specialists and are expressed as estimates. The margin of 
error at the 95 percent confidence level varies by theme, but does not 
exceed plus or minus 10 percent. 

[4] We also provided copies of these briefing slides to DHS and USDA. 

[5] See GAO, Mergers and Transformation: Lessons Learned for a 
Department of Homeland Security and Other Federal Agencies, GAO-03- 
293SP (Washington, D.C.: November 14, 2002) and Results-Oriented 
Cultures: Implementation Steps to Assist Mergers and Organizational 
Transformations, GAO-03-669 (Washington, D.C.: July 2, 2003). 

[6] Homeland Security: Management and Coordination Problems Increase 
the Vulnerability of U.S. Agriculture to Foreign Pests and Disease, GAO-
06-644. 

[7] For more information on our survey methodology, see Appendix, 
slides 20 and 21. 

[8] 4% of responses had comments that could not be classified into one 
of the 14 themes. We classified them as "other." In our analyses, 
responses were weighted to account statistically for all specialists in 
the population. Thus, the percentages can be generalized to the entire 
population of CBP agriculture specialists. The margin of error at the 
95% confidence level varies from theme to theme but does not exceed 
plus or minus 10%. 

[9] 18% of responses had comments that could not be classified into one 
of the 12 themes. We classified them as "other." In our analyses, 
responses were weighted to account statistically for all specialists in 
the population. Thus, the percentages can be generalized to the entire 
population of CBP agriculture specialists. The margin of error at the 
95% confidence level varies from theme to theme but does not exceed 
plus or minus 10%. 

[10] See GAO Forum: Mergers and Transformation: Lessons Learned for a 
Department of Homeland Security and Other Federal Agencies, GAO-03- 
293SP, and Results-Oriented Cultures: Implementation Steps to Assist 
Mergers and Organizational Transformations, GAO-03-669. 

[11] The remaining 2% of respondents categorized themselves as "other." 

[12] The percentage of specialists transferred from USDA and the 
percentage hired by CBP do not total 100 due to rounding. 

[13] The percentage of specialists transferred from USDA and the 
percentage hired by CBP do not total 100 due to rounding. 

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