In forming the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), there was concern that moving the U.S. Customs Service into the new DHS would diminish attention given to collection of customs revenue. In recognition of that concern, Congress required that DHS's Customs Border Protection (CBP) not reduce the staff or resources for customs revenue functions. In March 2003, CBP reported a baseline of 2,263 staff in nine customs revenue positions, and 1,006 staff in associated support positions. The SAFE Port Act required GAO to report on changes related to customs revenue functions since the formation of DHS. This report discusses staff resources, strategic workforce planning, and CBP's public reporting on customs revenue functions. GAO analyzed the number of customs revenue staff, legislatively required staffing levels, and strategic plans and annual performance reports.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Bureau of Customs and Border Protection||The CBP Commissioner should develop a strategic workforce plan that aligns its human capital efforts with its objectives related to performing customs revenue functions. Such a strategic workforce plan should address five principles: (1) involve top management, employees, and other stakeholders, (2) determine critical skills and competencies needed to achieve current and future programmatic goals, (3) develop strategies tailored to address gaps in the number, deployment, and alignment of human capital approaches, (4) build the capability needed to address administrative, educational, and other requirements for supporting workforce planning strategies, and (5) monitor and evaluate the agency's progress toward human capital goals and the contribution of human capital results to achieving programmatic results.|
|Bureau of Customs and Border Protection||In order to employ good management practices and link customs revenue performance measures with agency strategic goals and objectives, the CBP Commissioner should work with the Office of Management and Budget to establish specific customs revenue performance measures and targets as well as evaluate, track, and report performance measures in annual agency Performance and Accountability Reports for congressional and public oversight of customs revenue functions.|
|Office of Inspector General||In order to improve oversight over the performance of customs revenue functions, the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security, while developing its annual performance plan, should identify whether areas of high risk related to customs revenue functions exist and consider initiating performance audits to explore and mitigate those risks.|