The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) bureau within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provides toll-free telephone assistance through call centers to immigrants, their attorneys, and others seeking information about U.S. immigration services and benefits. As the volume of calls increased--from about 13 million calls in fiscal year 2002 to about 21 million calls in fiscal year 2004--questions were raised about USCIS's ability to ensure the reliability and accuracy of the information provided at call centers run by an independent contractor. This report analyzes: (1) the performance measures established by USCIS to monitor and evaluate the performance of contractor-operated call centers; (2) how performance measures were used to evaluate the contractor's performance; and (3) any actions USCIS has taken, or plans to take, to strengthen call center operations.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|United States Citizenship and Immigration Services||1. To improve USCIS's efforts for evaluating contractor performance and encourage quality services at call centers, the Secretary of Homeland Security should require the Director of USCIS to finalize contract terms related to specific performance measurement requirements before awarding new performance-based call center contracts.|
|United States Citizenship and Immigration Services||2. To improve USCIS's efforts for evaluating contractor performance and encourage quality services at call centers, the Secretary of Homeland Security should require the Director of USCIS to maintain readily available written records of performance assessments and performance evaluation meetings with the contractor.|