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As of December 31, 1969, there are open recommendations, of which are priority recommendations. Recommendations remain open until they are designated as Closed-implemented or Closed-not implemented.
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Recommendation: To improve the acquisition management of the Plan and the reliability of its cost estimates and schedules, assess the effectiveness of deployed technologies, and better inform CBP's deployment decisions, once data on asset assists are required to be recorded and tracked, the Commissioner of CBP should analyze available data on apprehensions and seizures and technological assists, in combination with other relevant performance metrics or indicators, as appropriate, to determine the contribution of surveillance technologies to CBP's border security efforts.
Agency: Department of Homeland Security: United States Customs and Border Protection Status: Open Priority recommendation
Comments: In February 2015, the Border Patrol was planning to address this recommendation using the Capability Gap Analysis Process (CGAP) developed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, specifically for the Border Patrol, to examine the effects of technology and other assets, such as infrastructure. In September 2016, Border Patrol provided a case study that assessed CGAP data with technology assist data and other measures. While this was a start to developing performance measures, the case study was limited to one location along the border and the analysis limited to select technologies. In May 2017, Border Patrol officials demonstrated a new system that was intended to allow for more comprehensive analysis of the contributions of surveillance technologies to Border Patrol's mission. In June 2018, Border Patrol officials stated they planned to issue a report--to executive management on a quarterly basis--that would identify border security technologies that assisted with Border Patrol apprehensions. Border Patrol distributed such a report to its leadership in July 2018 that included, among other things, the proportion of apprehensions in which certain surveillance technologies were utilized during the first three quarters of fiscal year 2018. However, Border Patrol officials stated that some of the data in the report were not reliable due to data entry errors in one of Border Patrol's data systems. Officials told GAO they have plans for training, system integration, and additional steps intended to improve data entry and reporting consistency by the first quarter of fiscal year 2020. In December 2018, Border Patrol officials stated they had not prepared the report for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018, due to organizational changes and limited staff with the technical skills needed to prepare the report. The officials stated they planned to meet with Border Patrol managers in early 2019 to discuss additional actions to ensure they have access to and are using performance information about existing technologies as they make decisions about future resource investments in additional or new technologies. GAO continues to believe that developing and applying performance metrics for assessing implementation of border technologies would help Border Patrol better determine if or when mission benefits have been realized.