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Secure Border Initiative: Observations on Selected Aspects of SBInet Program Implementation

GAO-08-131T Published: Oct 24, 2007. Publicly Released: Oct 24, 2007.
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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 SBInet--the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program responsible for developing a comprehensive border protection system through a mix of security infrastructure (e.g., fencing), and surveillance and communication technologies (e.g., radars, sensors, cameras, and satellite phones). The House Committee on Homeland Security asked GAO to monitor DHS progress in implementing the SBInet program. This testimony provides GAO's observations on (1) SBInet technology implementation; (2) SBInet infrastructure implementation; (3) the extent to which CBP has determined the impact of SBInet technology and infrastructure on its workforce needs and operating procedures; and (4) how the CBP SBI Program Management Office (PMO) has defined its human capital goals and the progress it has made to achieve these goals. GAO's observations are based on analysis of DHS documentation, such as program schedules, contracts, status, and reports. GAO also conducted interviews with DHS officials and contractors, and visits to sites in the southwest border where SBInet deployment is underway. GAO performed the work from April 2007 through October 2007. DHS generally agreed with GAO's findings.

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Border controlBorder securityCommand control communications systemsCommunication systemsContract administrationCost overrunsElectronic surveillanceFencesHomeland securityHuman capital planningProgram evaluationProgram managementSchedule slippagesSystems integrationProgram implementation