Container Security: A Flexible Staffing Model and minimum Equipment Requirements Would Improve Overseas Targeting and Inspection Efforts, Report to Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 2MB]

"In January 2002, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) initiated the Container Security Initiative (CSI) to address the threat that terrorists might use maritime cargo containers to ship weapons of mass destruction. Under CSI, CBP is to target and inspect high-risk cargo shipments at foreign seaports before they leave for destinations in the United States. In July 2003, GAO reported that CSI had management challenges that limited its effectiveness. Given these challenges and in light of plans to expand the program, GAO examined selected aspects of the program's operation, including the (1) factors that affect CBP's ability to target shipments at foreign seaports, (2) extent to which high-risk containers have actually been inspected overseas, and (3) extent to which CBP formulated and documented strategies for achieving the program's goals. GAO recommends that CBP refine its staffing model to help improve the program's ability to target shipments at foreign ports, develop minimum technical requirements for the detection capabilities of equipment used in the program, and complete development of performance measures for all program objectives. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) generally concurred with our recommendations and described corrective actions to respond to them. The Department of State had no comments."

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Government Accountability Office (GAO): http://www.gao.gov/
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