CBP Could Improve Its Estimation of Funding Needed for New Border Patrol Agents   [open pdf - 751KB]

Alternate Title: Customs and Border Protection Could Improve Its Estimation of Funding Needed for New Border Patrol Agents

"The U.S. Border Patrol, a component within the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), is responsible for patrolling 8,000 miles of the land and coastal borders of the United States to detect and prevent the illegal entry of aliens and contraband, including terrorists and weapons of mass destruction. To strengthen control of the U.S. borders, CBP increased the number of Border Patrol agents from about 12,300 in September 2006 to 18,875 in April 2009, an unprecedented 53 percent increase in about 2.5 years. The Border Patrol plans to add additional agents during the remaining months of fiscal year 2009, increasing its onboard strength to about 19,700 agents by the end of September 2009. […]. We are recommending that the CBP Commissioner develop written directives or guidelines describing, among other things, the roles and responsibilities of each CBP office with respect to the PCM, how PCM cost items are to be calculated, and how such documentation is to be maintained for audit purposes. In commenting on a draft of this report, DHS agreed with our recommendation and outlined actions it planned to address it. DHS also raised two issues related to our evaluation criteria and our use of the terms 'accuracy', 'reliability', and 'validity' in discussing the fiscal year 2009 PCM. We continue to believe that our evaluation criteria were appropriate and that the use of the terms was appropriate in evaluating how DHS's PCM cost estimates were derived. DHS comments are included in Enclosure III."

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