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Highlights

In November 2005, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) established the Secure Border Initiative (SBI), a multiyear, multibillion-dollar program to secure U.S. borders. One element of SBI is the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) SBI program, which is responsible for developing a comprehensive border protection system through a mix of surveillance and communication technologies known as SBInet (e.g., radars, sensors, cameras, and satellite phones), and tactical infrastructure (e.g., fencing). The House Committee on Homeland Security and its Subcommittee on Management, Investigations, and Oversight asked GAO to monitor DHS progress in implementing CBP's SBI program. This testimony provides GAO's observations on (1) technology deployment; (2) infrastructure deployment; and (3) how the CBP SBI program office has defined its human capital goals and the progress it has made to achieve these goals. GAO's observations are based on prior and new work, including analysis of DHS documentation, such as program schedules, contracts, and status reports. GAO also conducted interviews with DHS and Department of the Interior officials and contractors, and visits to sites on the southwest border where SBI deployment is under way. GAO performed the work from March to September 2008. DHS generally agreed with GAO's findings.

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