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Statement for the Record: 

To the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. 
Senate: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
GAO: 

For Release on Delivery: 
Expected at 5 p.m. EDT:
Tuesday, May 4, 2010: 

Secure Border Initiative: 

DHS Has Faced Challenges Deploying Technology and Fencing Along the 
Southwest Border: 

Statement for the Record of Richard M. Stana: 
Director, Homeland Security and Justice Issues: 

GAO-10-651T: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-10-651T, a statement for the record to the Committee 
on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate. 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

Securing the nationís borders from illegal entry of aliens and 
contraband, including terrorists and weapons of mass destruction, 
continues to be a major challenge. In November 2005, the Department of 
Homeland Security (DHS) announced the launch of the Secure Border 
Initiative (SBI)-óa multiyear, multibillion dollar program aimed at 
securing U.S. borders and reducing illegal immigration. Within DHS, 
the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) provides agents and 
officers to support SBI. As requested, this statement summarizes (1) 
the findings and recommendations of GAOís reports on SBIís technology, 
known as SBInet (including such things as cameras and radars), and DHSí
s recent actions on SBInet; and (2) the findings and recommendations 
of GAOís reports on tactical infrastructure, such as fencing, and the 
extent to which CBP has deployed tactical infrastructure and assessed 
its operational impact. This statement is based on products issued 
from 2007 through 2010, with selected updates as of April 2010. To 
conduct these updates, GAO reviewed program schedules, status reports 
and funding and interviewed DHS officials. 

What GAO Found: 

Since the inception of SBInet, GAO has reported on a range of issues 
regarding design and implementation, including program challenges, 
management weaknesses, and cost, schedule, and performance risks; DHS 
has largely concurred with GAOís recommendations and has started to 
take some action to address them. For example, in October 2007, GAO 
testified that the project involving the first segment of SBInet 
technology across the southwest border had fallen behind its planned 
schedule. In a September 2008 testimony, GAO reported that CBP plans 
to initially deploy SBInet technology along the southwest border had 
slipped from the end of 2008 to 2011 and that SBInet would have fewer 
capabilities than originally planned. As of April 2010, SBInetís 
promised capabilities were still not operational. Limitations in the 
systemís ability to function have contributed to delays. GAO has also 
reviewed CBP expenditure plans and found a lack of specificity on such 
things as planned activities and milestones. GAO made recommendations, 
including the need for future expenditure plans to include explicit 
and measurable commitments relative to the capabilities, schedule, 
costs, and benefits associated with individual SBI program activities. 
While DHS has concurred with GAOís recommendations, and its 
expenditure plans have improved from year to year in detail and 
quality, the plans, including the one for fiscal year 2009, did not 
fully satisfy the conditions set out by law. Further, in September 
2008, GAO made recommendations to address SBInet technological 
capabilities that were ambiguous or in a state of flux. DHS generally 
concurred with them. In January 2010, GAO reported that the number of 
new system defects identified over an 17 month period while testing 
was underway was generally increasing faster than the number of 
defects being fixed, not indicative of a maturing system. Given the 
programís shortcomings, in January 2010, the Secretary of Homeland 
Security ordered an assessment of the program, and in March 2010, the 
Secretary froze a portion of the programís fiscal year 2010 funding. 
GAO plans to report in May 2010 on the SBInet solution and the status 
of its September 2008 recommendations. 

CBP has completed deploying most of its planned tactical 
infrastructure and has begun efforts to measure its impact on border 
security, in response to a GAO recommendation. As of April 2010, CBP 
had completed 646 of the 652 miles of fencing it committed to deploy 
along the southwest border. CBP plans to have the remaining 6 miles of 
this baseline completed by December 2010. CBP reported that tactical 
infrastructure, coupled with additional trained agents, had increased 
the miles of the southwest border under control, but despite a $2.6 
billion investment, it cannot account separately for the impact of 
tactical infrastructure. In a September 2009 report, GAO recommended 
that to improve the quality of information available to allocate 
resources and determine tactical infrastructureís contribution to 
effective control of the border, the Commissioner of CBP conduct a 
cost-effective evaluation of the impact of tactical infrastructure. 
DHS concurred with our recommendation and, in April 2010, told GAO 
that the Homeland Security Institute had undertaken this analysis. 

What GAO Recommends: 

GAO has made numerous recommendations on SBI design and 
implementation, which DHS generally concurred with and has begun 
taking action to implement. 

View [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-651T] or key 
components. For more information, contact Richard Stana at (202) 512-
8777 or RichardS@gao.gov. 

[End of section] 

Chairman Lieberman, Ranking Member Collins, and Members of the 
Committee: 

I am pleased to submit this statement on the Department of Homeland 
Security's (DHS) Secure Border Initiative (SBI) program--a multiyear, 
multibillion dollar program aimed at securing U.S. borders and 
reducing illegal immigration. Securing the nation's borders from 
illegal entry of aliens and contraband, including terrorists and 
weapons of mass destruction, continues to be a major challenge. In 
November 2005, DHS announced the launch of SBI to help address this 
challenge. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) supports this 
initiative by providing agents and officers to patrol the borders, 
secure the ports of entry, and enforce immigration laws.[Footnote 1] 
In addition, CBP's SBI program is responsible for developing a 
comprehensive border protection system using technology, known as 
SBInet, and tactical infrastructure--fencing, roads, and lighting--
along the southwest border to deter smugglers and aliens attempting 
illegal entry.[Footnote 2] Since fiscal year 2005, SBI has received 
funding amounting to about $4.5 billion. Approximately $1.6 billion 
has been allocated to SBInet and $2.6 billion to tactical 
infrastructure.[Footnote 3] 

SBInet is to consist of surveillance technologies, such as sensors, 
cameras, and radars, as well as command, control, communications, and 
intelligence (C3I) technologies, including software and hardware to 
produce a Common Operating Picture (COP)--which, among other things, 
presents a display of activities within specific areas along the 
border at CBP command centers. SBInet technology is to be initially 
deployed in two geographic areas--referred to as Tus-1 and Ajo-1--that 
jointly span 53 miles of the Tucson sector.[Footnote 4] In September 
2006, CBP awarded a 3-year contract to the Boeing Company, with three 
additional 1-year options for the development and deployment of SBI 
projects. In September 2009, CBP extended its contract with Boeing for 
the first option year. As of December 2009, CBP had awarded 13 task 
orders to Boeing for a total amount of approximately $1.2 billion. 
Table 1 is a summary of the task orders awarded to Boeing. 

Table 1: Task Orders Awarded to Boeing for SBI projects as of December 
2009A (Dollars in millions): 

Task Order Description: Program Management: The mission engineering, 
facilities and infrastructure, systems engineering, test and 
evaluation, and program management services to develop and deploy the 
SBInet system; 
Date Awarded: 09/21/2006; 
Ceiling of Funds[B]: $146.9; 
Approximate Task order obligation: $146.9. 

Task Order Description: Project 28: Boeing's pilot project and initial 
implementation of SBInet technology for 28 miles of the border in the 
Tucson sector[C]; 
Date Awarded: 10/20/2006; 
Ceiling of Funds[B]: $20.7; 
Approximate Task order obligation: $20.7. 

Task Order Description: Barry M. Goldwater Range (BMGR): The 
construction of 32 miles of vehicle and pedestrian barriers on the 
southern border of the BMGR in the Yuma Sector; 
Date Awarded: 01/12/2007; 
Ceiling of Funds[B]: $122.2; 
Approximate Task order obligation: $122.2. 

Task Order Description: Fence Lab: The testing of potential pedestrian 
and vehicle fence and barrier solutions; 
Date Awarded: 03/14/2007; 
Ceiling of Funds[B]: $0.7; 
Approximate Task order obligation: $0.7. 

Task Order Description: Design: SBInet deployment design solution, 
including design, environmental-clearance support, and locations for 
the SBInet technology solution in the Yuma, Tucson, and El Paso 
sectors; 
Date Awarded: 08/01/2007; 
Ceiling of Funds[B]: $115.0; 
Approximate Task order obligation: $115.0. 

Task Order Description: Project 28 Contractor Maintenance and 
Logistics Support: Provides Project 28 with the required maintenance 
and logistics support to operate the system; 
Date Awarded: 12/07/2007; 
Ceiling of Funds[B]: $10.6; 
Approximate Task order obligation: $10.6. 

Task Order Description: Command, Control, Communications and 
Intelligence (C3I) and Common Operating Picture (COP): The development 
of the next version of the SBInet operating software to design, 
develop, and demonstrate a functional SBInet C3I/COP system; 
Date Awarded: 12/07/2007; 
Ceiling of Funds[B]: 73.0; 
Approximate Task order obligation: 71.0. 

Task Order Description: Supply and Supply Chain Management: The 
development and implementation of a supply and supply chain management 
system solution to execute tactical infrastructure projects; 
Date Awarded: 01/07/2008; 
Ceiling of Funds[B]: $318.6; 
Approximate Task order obligation: $318.6. 

Task Order Description: System: A follow on to the program management 
task order, this task order specifies the program management and 
system-engineering activities required to achieve an integrated 
program across all task orders issues under the SBI contract; 
Date Awarded: 04/15/2008; 
Ceiling of Funds[B]: $205.8; 
Approximate Task order obligation: $200.8. 

Task Order Description: Arizona Deployment: Boeing's deployment of two 
projects of the SBInet system along approximately 53 miles of the 
southwest border in the Tucson sector; 
Date Awarded: 06/25/2008; 
Ceiling of Funds[B]: $115.0; 
Approximate Task order obligation: $90.5. 

Task Order Description: Integrated Logistics Support: Provides SBInet 
with the required maintenance and logistics support to operate the 
system; 
Date Awarded: 08/16/2008; 
Ceiling of Funds[B]: $61.6; 
Approximate Task order obligation: $61.6. 

Task Order Description: Design for Buffalo Sector: Provides for the 
design of a remote video surveillance system (RVSS) capability--a 
system of towers with cameras that transmit information to video 
monitors at a sector's headquarters--in the Buffalo sector; 
Date Awarded: 02/05/2009; 
Ceiling of Funds[B]: $0.6; 
Approximate Task order obligation: $0.6. 

Task Order Description: Northern Border Project: Provides for the 
design, installation, and deployment of surveillance technology 
capabilities in the Detroit and Buffalo Border Patrol sectors; 
Date Awarded: 03/31/2009; 
Ceiling of Funds[B]: $22.4; 
Approximate Task order obligation: $20.9. 

Task Order Description: Total; 
Ceiling of Funds[B]: $1,213.1; 
Approximate Task order obligation: $1,180.1. 

Source: CBP. 

[A] Values for Barry M. Goldwater Range, Fence Lab, and Supply and 
Supply Chain Management task order awards are as of July, 2009. All 
other values are as of December, 2009. 

[B] This is the maximum value of the task order. For example, the 
Northern Border Project task order has a "ceiling" of $22.4 million; 
however, as of December 2009, obligations under the task order were 
$20.9 million. 

[C] The first SBInet deployment task order was a pilot or prototype 
effort known as Project 28. The scope of Project 28, as described by 
the task order, was to provide a system with the capabilities required 
to control 28 miles of border in Arizona. 

[End of table] 

In addition to deploying technology across the southwest border, DHS 
originally planned to deploy 370 miles of single-layer pedestrian 
fencing and 300 miles of vehicle fencing by December 31, 2008. 
Pedestrian fencing is designed to prevent people on foot from crossing 
the border and vehicle fencing consists of physical barriers meant to 
stop the entry of vehicles. In September 2008, DHS revised its goal, 
committing instead to having 661 miles either built, under 
construction, or under contract by December 31, 2008. As of January 
2010, DHS officials told us that due to engineering and hydrology 
constraints, the agency revised its goal to 652 miles. Although some 
tactical infrastructure exists in all the southwest border sectors, 
most of what has been built through the SBI program is located in the 
San Diego, Yuma, Tucson, El Paso, and Rio Grande Valley sectors. 

My statement is based on our extensive body of work on SBI over the 
last 3 years, including our most recent reports in September 2009 
[Footnote 5] and January 2010[Footnote 6] and selected updates we 
conducted in April 2010. All told, we have issued 16 reports and 
testimonies that collectively address the SBI program.[Footnote 7] As 
requested, our statement (1) summarizes the findings and 
recommendations from our SBInet reports, and DHS's recent actions on 
the program; and (2) summarizes the findings and recommendations from 
our reports on tactical infrastructure and describes the extent to 
which CBP has deployed the SBI tactical infrastructure program and 
assessed its operational impact. Detailed information on the scope and 
methodology for each of the reports used to prepare this statement 
appears in the respective reports. To update our September 2009 
report, we reviewed recently available DHS documents, including 
current program schedules, status reports, and funding information. We 
determined that funding and fencing mileage data provided by CBP were 
sufficiently reliable for the purposes of this statement. We based our 
decision on an assessment of each respective area by questioning 
cognizant DHS officials about the source of the data and policies and 
procedures used to maintain the integrity of these data. All of the 
work supporting this statement was performed in accordance with 
generally accepted government auditing standards. These standards 
require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, 
appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings 
and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that the 
evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings based 
on our audit objectives. 

SBInet Program Challenges, Management Weaknesses, and Cost, Schedule, 
and Performance Risks Exist: 

Since the inception of SBInet, we have reported on a range of issues 
regarding program design and implementation. For example, in October 
2007, we testified that DHS had made some progress in implementing 
Project 28--the first segment of SBInet technology across the 
southwest border--but had fallen behind its planned schedule.[Footnote 
8] In our February 2008 testimony, we noted that although DHS accepted 
Project 28 and was gathering lessons learned from the project, CBP 
officials responsible for the program said it did not fully meet their 
expectations and would not be replicated.[Footnote 9] We also reported 
issues with the system that remained unresolved. For example, the 
Border Patrol, a CBP component, reported that as of February 2008, 
problems remained with the resolution of cameras at distances over 5 
kilometers, while expectations had been that the cameras would work at 
twice that distance. In our September 2008 testimony, we reported that 
CBP had initially planned to deploy SBInet technology along the 
southwest border by the end of 2008, but as of February 2008, this 
date had slipped to 2011 and that SBInet would have fewer capabilities 
than originally planned.[Footnote 10] 

In September 2009, we reported that SBInet technology capabilities had 
not yet been deployed and delays required the Border Patrol to rely on 
existing technology for securing the border, rather than using the 
newer SBInet technology planned to overcome the existing technology's 
limitations.[Footnote 11] As of April 2010, SBInet's promised 
technology capabilities are still not operational and delays continue 
to require Border Patrol to rely on existing technology for securing 
the border, rather than using the newer SBInet technology planned to 
overcome the existing technology's limitations. When CBP initiated 
SBInet in 2006, it planned to complete SBInet deployment along the 
entire southwest border in fiscal year 2009, but by February 2009, the 
completion date had slipped to 2016. The first deployments of SBInet 
technology projects are to take place along 53 miles in the Tucson 
border sector, designated as Tus-1 and Ajo-1. As of April 7, 2010, the 
schedule for Tus-1 and Ajo-1 had slipped from the end of calendar year 
2008 as planned in February 2008, and government acceptance of Tus-1 
was expected in September 2010 and Ajo-1 in the fourth quarter of 
calendar year 2010.[Footnote 12] 

Limitations in the system's ability to function as intended as well as 
concerns about the impact of placing towers and access roads in 
environmentally sensitive locations have contributed to these delays. 
Examples of these system limitations include continued instability of 
the cameras and mechanical problems with the radar at the tower, and 
issues with the sensitivity of the radar. As of January 2010, program 
officials stated that the program was working to address system 
limitations, such as modifications to the radar. As a result of the 
delays, Border Patrol agents continue to use existing technology that 
has limitations, such as performance shortfalls and maintenance 
issues.[Footnote 13] For example, on the southwest border, Border 
Patrol relies on existing equipment such as cameras mounted on towers 
that have intermittent problems, including signal loss. Border Patrol 
has procured and delivered some new technology to fill gaps or augment 
existing equipment. 

We have also been mandated to review CBP's SBI expenditure plans, 
beginning with fiscal year 2007. In doing so, in February 2007, we 
reported that CBP's initial expenditure plan lacked specificity on 
such things as planned activities and milestones, anticipated costs, 
staffing levels, and expected mission outcomes.[Footnote 14] We noted 
that this, coupled with the large cost and ambitious time frames, 
added risk to the program. At that time, we made several 
recommendations to address these deficiencies.[Footnote 15] These 
recommendations included one regarding the need for future expenditure 
plans to include explicit and measurable commitments relative to the 
capabilities, schedule, costs, and benefits associated with individual 
SBI program activities. Although DHS agreed with this recommendation, 
to date, it has not been fully implemented. In our June 2008 report on 
the fiscal year 2008 expenditure plan, we recommended that CBP ensure 
that future expenditure plans include an explicit description of how 
activities will further the objectives of SBI, as defined in the DHS 
Secure Border Strategic Plan, and how the plan allocates funding to 
the highest priority border security needs.[Footnote 16] DHS concurred 
with this recommendation and implemented it as part of the fiscal year 
2009 expenditure plan. In reviewing the fiscal year 2008 and 2009 
expenditure plans, we have reported that, although the plans improved 
from year to year, providing more detail and higher quality 
information than the year before; the plans did not fully satisfy all 
the conditions set out by law.[Footnote 17] 

In addition to monitoring program implementation and reviewing 
expenditure plans, we have also examined acquisition weaknesses that 
increased the risk that the system would not perform as intended, take 
longer to deliver than necessary, and cost more than it should. In 
particular, we reported in September 2008[Footnote 18] that important 
aspects of SBInet were ambiguous and in a continued state of flux, 
making it unclear and uncertain what technological capabilities were 
to be delivered and when. Further, we reported at that time that 
SBInet requirements had not been effectively developed and managed and 
that testing was not being effectively managed. Accordingly, we 
concluded that the program was a risky endeavor, and we made a number 
of recommendations for strengthening the program's chances of success. 
DHS largely agreed with these recommendations and we have ongoing work 
that will report on the status of DHS's efforts to implement them. We 
reported in January 2010[Footnote 19] that key aspects of ongoing 
qualification testing had not been properly planned and executed. For 
example, while DHS's testing approach appropriately consisted of a 
series of test events, many of the test plans and procedures were not 
defined in accordance with relevant guidance, and over 70 percent of 
the approved test procedures had to be rewritten during execution 
because the procedures were not adequate. Among these changes were 
ones that appeared to have been made to pass the test rather than to 
qualify the system. We also reported at this time that the number of 
new system defects identified over a 17 month period while testing was 
underway was generally increasing faster than the number of defects 
being fixed--a trend that is not indicative of a maturing system that 
is ready for acceptance and deployment.[Footnote 20] Compounding this 
trend was the fact that the full magnitude of this issue was unclear 
because these defects were not all being assigned priorities based on 
severity. Accordingly, we made additional recommendations and DHS 
largely agreed with them and has efforts underway to address them. 

Most recently, we concluded a review of SBInet that addresses the 
extent to which DHS has defined the scope of its proposed SBInet 
solution, demonstrated the cost effectiveness of this solution, 
developed a reliable schedule for implementing the solution, employed 
acquisition management disciplines, and addressed the recommendations 
in our September 2008 report. Although we plan to report on the 
results of this review later this month, we briefed DHS on our 
findings in December 2009, and provided DHS with a draft of this 
report, including conclusions and recommendations in March 2010. Among 
other things, these recommendations provide a framework for how the 
program should proceed. 

In light of program shortcomings, continued delays, questions 
surrounding SBInet's viability, and the program's high cost vis-ŗ-vis 
other alternatives, in January 2010, the Secretary of Homeland 
Security ordered a department assessment of the SBI program. In 
addition, on March 16, 2010, the Secretary froze fiscal year 2010 
funding for any work on SBInet beyond Tus-1 and Ajo-1 until the 
assessment is completed and the Secretary reallocated $50 million of 
the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act[Footnote 21] funds 
allocated to SBInet to procure alternative tested and commercially 
available technologies, such as mobile radios, to be used along the 
border. In March 2010, the SBI Executive Director stated that the 
department's assessment ordered in January 2010, would consist of a 
comprehensive and science-based assessment of alternatives intended to 
determine if there are alternatives to SBInet that may more 
efficiently, effectively and economically meet U.S. border security 
needs. According to the SBI Executive Director, if the assessment 
suggests that the SBInet capabilities are worth the cost, DHS will 
extend its deployment to sites beyond Tus-1 and Ajo-1. However, if the 
assessment suggests that alternative technology options represent the 
best balance of capability and cost-effectiveness, DHS intends to 
immediately begin redirecting resources currently allocated for border 
security efforts to these stronger options. 

As part of our continuing support to the Congress in overseeing the 
SBI program, we are currently reviewing DHS's expenditure plan for the 
fiscal year 2010 Border Security Fencing, Infrastructure, and 
Technology appropriation, which provides funding for the SBI program. 
Additionally, we are completing a review of the internal control 
procedures in place to ensure that payments to SBInet's prime 
contractor were proper and in compliance with selected key contract 
terms and conditions. Finally, we are reviewing controls for managing 
and overseeing the SBInet prime contractor, including efforts to 
monitor the prime contractor's progress in meeting cost and schedule 
expectations. We expect to report on the results of these reviews 
later this year. 

SBI Has Completed Deploying Most of Its Planned Tactical 
Infrastructure and Has Begun Efforts to Measure Its Impact on Border 
Security: 

In addition to monitoring SBInet implementation, we also reported on 
the tactical infrastructure component of the SBI program. For example, 
in October 2007, we reported that tactical infrastructure deployment 
along the southwest border was on schedule, but meeting CBP's fencing 
goal by December 31, 2008, might be challenging and more costly than 
planned.[Footnote 22] In September 2008, we also reported that the 
deployment of fencing was ongoing, but costs were increasing, the life-
cycle cost for fencing was not yet known, and finishing the planned 
number of miles by December 31, 2008 would be challenging.[Footnote 
23] We also reported on continuing cost increases and delays with 
respect to deploying tactical infrastructure. In September 2009, we 
reported, among other things, that delays continued in completing 
planned tactical infrastructure primarily because of challenges in 
acquiring the necessary property rights from landowners.[Footnote 24] 

As of today, planned fencing-related deployments are almost complete, 
but their impact on border security has not been measured. As of April 
2010, CBP had completed 646 of the 652 miles of fencing it committed 
to deploy along the southwest border. CBP plans to have the remaining 
6 miles of this baseline completed by December 2010, pending 
resolution of litigation for portions of property along the border. 
Also, CBP plans to construct an additional 14 miles of pedestrian 
fencing in the Rio Grande Valley Sector by September 2010.[Footnote 
25] See table 2 for more information. While fencing costs increased 
over the course of construction, because all construction contracts 
have been awarded, costs are less likely to change. CBP plans to use 
$110 million in fiscal year 2010 funds for new construction costs--
which includes $10 million for land acquisition--and $75 million for 
operations and maintenance of existing infrastructure. The life-cycle 
cost study prepared by a contractor for CBP shows that total 20 year 
life-cycle costs for all tactical infrastructure--including pre-SBI 
infrastructure as well as that planned for fiscal years 2009, 2010, 
and 2011--and consisting of deployment and operations and future 
maintenance costs for the fence, roads, and lighting, among other 
things, are estimated at about $6.5 billion. 

Table 2: Tactical Infrastructure Deployment Progress as of April 2010: 

Infrastructure Type: Pedestrian fencing; 
Miles in place before SBI[A]: 65; 
Miles deployed through SBI as of April 2010: 282; 
Total miles in place as of April 2010: 347; 
Current target: 367[B]; 
Miles remaining to meet target: 20. 

Infrastructure Type: Vehicle fencing; 
Miles in place before SBI[A]: 72; 
Miles deployed through SBI as of April 2010: 227; 
Total miles in place as of April 2010: 299; 
Current target: 299; 
Miles remaining to meet target: 0. 

Infrastructure Type: Total fencing; 
Miles in place before SBI[A]: 137; 
Miles deployed through SBI as of April 2010: 509; 
Total miles in place as of April 2010: 646; 
Current target: 666; 
Miles remaining to meet target: 20. 

Source: GAO analysis of SBI data. 

[A] Seventy-eight miles of pedestrian fencing and 57 miles of vehicle 
fencing were in place before the SBI program began. However, since SBI 
began construction, some miles of fencing have been removed, replaced 
or retrofitted resulting in mileage totals that are different from 
those we have reported in earlier reports. 

[B] Includes 14 miles of pedestrian fence planned for the Rio Grande 
Valley Sector that will be constructed as a stand alone project, not 
as a part of the original baseline. 

[End of table] 

CBP reported that tactical infrastructure, coupled with additional 
trained agents, had increased the miles of the southwest border under 
control, but despite a $2.6 billion investment, it cannot account 
separately for the impact of tactical infrastructure. CBP measures 
miles of tactical infrastructure constructed and has completed 
analyses intended to show where fencing is more appropriate than other 
alternatives, such as more personnel, but these analyses were based 
primarily on the judgment of senior Border Patrol agents. Leading 
practices suggest that a program evaluation would complement those 
efforts.[Footnote 26] Until CBP determines the contribution of 
tactical infrastructure to border security, it is not positioned to 
address the impact of this investment. In our September 2009 report, 
we recommended that to improve the quality of information available to 
allocate resources and determine tactical infrastructure's 
contribution to effective control of the border, the Commissioner of 
CBP conduct a cost-effective evaluation of the impact of tactical 
infrastructure on effective control of the border.[Footnote 27] 

DHS concurred with our recommendation and described actions recently 
completed, underway, and planned that it said will address our 
recommendation. In April 2010, SBI officials told us that the Homeland 
Security Institute was conducting an analysis of the impact of 
tactical infrastructure on border security. We believe that this 
effort would be consistent with our recommendation, further complement 
performance management initiatives, and be useful to inform resource 
decision making. 

This concludes my statement for the record. 

Contacts and Acknowledgments: 

For further information on this statement, please contact Richard M. 
Stana at (202) 512-8777 or stanar@gao.gov. Contact points for our 
offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on 
the last page of this statement. In addition to the contact named 
above, Frances Cook, Katherine Davis, Jeanette Espinola, Dan Gordon, 
Kaelin Kuhn, Jeremy Manion, Taylor Matheson, Jamelyn Payan, Susan 
Quinlan, Jonathan Smith, Sushmita Srikanth, and Juan Tapia-Videla made 
key contributions to this statement. 

[End of section] 

Related GAO Products: 

Secure Border Initiative: Testing and Problem Resolution Challenges 
Put Delivery of Technology Program at Risk. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-511T]. Washington, D.C.: Mar. 18, 
2010. 

Secure Border Initiative: DHS Needs to Address Testing and Performance 
Limitations that Place Key Technology Program at Risk. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-158]. Washington, D.C.: Jan. 29, 
2010. 

Secure Border Initiative: Technology Deployment Delays Persist and the 
Impact of Border Fencing Has Not Been Assessed. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-1013T]. Washington, D.C.: Sept. 17, 
2009. 

Secure Border Initiative: Technology Deployment Delays Persist and the 
Impact of Border Fencing Has Not Been Assessed. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-896]. Washington, D.C.: Sept. 9, 
2009. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Secure Border Initiative Fiscal 
Year 2009 Expenditure Plan. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-274R]. Washington, D.C.: Apr. 30, 
2009. 

Secure Border Initiative Fence Construction Costs. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-244R]. Washington, D.C.: Jan. 29, 
2009. 

Secure Border Initiative: DHS Needs to Address Significant Risks in 
Delivering Key Technology Investment. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-1086]. Washington, D.C.: Sept. 22, 
2008. 

Secure Border Initiative: DHS Needs to Address Significant Risks in 
Delivering Key Technology Investment. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-1148T]. Washington, D.C.: Sept. 10, 
2008. 

Secure Border Initiative: Observations on Deployment Challenges. 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-1141T]. Washington, 
D.C.: Sept. 10, 2008. 

Secure Border Initiative: Fiscal Year 2008 Expenditure Plan Shows 
Improvement, but Deficiencies Limit Congressional Oversight and DHS 
Accountability. [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-739R]. 
Washington, D.C.: June 26, 2008. 

Department of Homeland Security: Better Planning and Oversight Needed 
to Improve Complex Service Acquisition Outcomes. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-765T]. Washington, D.C.: May 8, 
2008. 

Department of Homeland Security: Better Planning and Assessment Needed 
to Improve Outcomes for Complex Service Acquisitions [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-263]. Washington, D.C.: Apr. 22, 
2008. 

Secure Border Initiative: Observations on the Importance of Applying 
Lessons Learned to Future Projects. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-508T. Washington, D.C.: Feb. 27, 
2008. 

Secure Border Initiative: Observations on Selected Aspects of SBInet 
Program Implementation. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-131T]. Washington, D.C.: Oct. 24, 
2007. 

Secure Border Initiative: SBInet Planning and Management Improvements 
Needed to Control Risks. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-07-504T]. Washington, D.C.: Feb. 27, 
2007. 

Secure Border Initiative: SBInet Expenditure Plan Needs to Better 
Support Oversight and Accountability. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-07-309]. Washington, D.C.: Feb. 15, 
2007. 

[End of section] 

Footnotes: 

[1] At a port of entry location, CBP officers secure the flow of 
people and cargo into and out of the country, while facilitating 
legitimate travel and trade. 

[2] The SBI Program Executive Office, referred to in this statement as 
the SBI program office, has overall responsibility for overseeing all 
SBI activities for acquisition and implementation, including 
establishing and meeting program goals, objectives, and schedules for 
overseeing contractor performance; and for coordinating among DHS 
agencies. However, as of March 2009, the tactical infrastructure 
program office was realigned and is now managed on a day to day basis 
by CBP's Office of Administration Facilities Management and 
Engineering division. 

[3] Remaining funds were allocated to program management and 
environmental requirements. 

[4] The U.S. Border Patrol has 20 sectors in which it is responsible 
for detecting, interdicting, and apprehending those who engage in 
illegal activity across U.S. borders between official ports of entry. 

[5] GAO, Secure Border Initiative: Technology Deployment Delays 
Persist and the Impact of Border Fencing Has Not Been Assessed, 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-896] (Washington, D.C.: 
Sept. 9, 2009). 

[6] GAO, Secure Border Initiative: DHS Needs to Address Testing and 
Performance Limitations That Place Key Technology Program at Risk, 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-158] (Washington, D.C.: 
Jan. 29, 2010). 

[7] See list of these related GAO products at the end of this document. 

[8] GAO, Secure Border Initiative: Observations on Selected Aspects of 
SBInet Program Implementation, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-07-131T] (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 24, 
2007). 

[9] GAO, Secure Border Initiative: Observations on the Importance of 
Applying Lessons Learned to Future Projects, GAO-08-508T (Washington, 
D.C.: Feb. 27, 2008). 

[10] GAO, Secure Border Initiative: Secure Border Initiative: 
Observations on Deployment Challenges, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-1141T] (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 10, 
2008). 

[11] GAO, Secure Border Initiative: Technology Deployment Delays 
Persist and the Impact of Border Fencing Has Not Been Assessed, 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-896] (Washington, D.C.: 
Sept. 9, 2009), and Secure Border Initiative: Technology Deployment 
Delays Persist and the Impact of Border Fencing Has Not Been Assessed, 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-1013T] (Washington, 
D.C.: Sept. 17, 2009). 

[12] The SBI program office defines government acceptance as the SBI 
program office taking ownership of the SBInet technology system from 
the contractor and comes before handing the technology over to Border 
Patrol. 

[13] According the SBI Executive Director, starting in February 2010, 
Office of Border Patrol agents began to use the Tus-1 technology 
system during night operations as part of their early operational 
assessment of the system while Boeing works to complete deployment 
activities during the day. 

[14] GAO, Secure Border Initiative: SBInet Expenditure Plan Needs to 
Better Support Oversight and Accountability, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-07-309] (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 15, 
2007). 

[15] See [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-07-309] for 
additional recommendations. 

[16] GAO, Secure Border Initiative: Fiscal Year 2008 Expenditure Plan 
Shows Improvement, but Deficiencies Limit Congressional Oversight and 
DHS Accountability, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-739R] (Washington, D.C.: June 26, 
2008). 

[17] GAO-08-739R, and GAO, U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Fiscal 
Year 2009 Expenditure Plan, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-274R] (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 30, 
2009) 

[18] GAO, Secure Border Initiative: DHS Needs to Address Significant 
Risks in Delivering Key Technology Investment. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-1086] (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 22, 
2008). 

[19] GAO, Secure Border Initiative: DHS Needs to Address Testing and 
Performance Limitations That Place Key Technology Program at Risk, 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-158] (Washington, D.C.: 
Jan. 29, 2010). 

[20] [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-158]. 

[21] American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Pub. L. No. 111-
5, 123 Stat. 115, 162, 302 (2009). 

[22] GAO, Secure Border Initiative: Observations on Selected Aspects 
of SBInet Program Implementation. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-131T]. (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 24, 
2007). 

[23] GAO, Secure Border Initiative: Observations on Deployment 
Challenges. [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-1141T]. 
(Washington, D.C.: Sept. 10, 2008). 

[24] GAO, Secure Border Initiative: Technology Deployment Delays 
Persist and the Impact of Border Fencing Has Not Been Assessed. 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-896]. (Washington, 
D.C.: Sept. 9, 2009). 

[25] With the addition of the 14 miles of pedestrian fencing, CBP 
plans to construct a total of 666 miles of fencing through December 
2010. 

[26] GAO, Agency Performance Plans: Examples of Practices That Can 
Improve Usefulness to Decisionmakers, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO/GGD/AIMD-99-69], (Washington, D.C.: 
Feb. 26, 1999). 

[27] [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-896]. 

[End of section] 

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