Secure Border Initiative: Observations on the Importance of Applying Lessons Learned to Future Projects, Statement of Richard M. Stana, Director, Homeland Security and Justice Issues, Testimony before the Subcommittees on Management, Investigations, and Oversight, and Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism, Committee on Homeland Security, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 3MB]

"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 security infrastructure (e.g., fencing) and surveillance and communication technologies (e.g., radars, sensors, cameras, and satellite phones). GAO was asked to monitor DHS progress in implementing CBP's SBI program. This testimony provides GAO's observations on (1) technology implementation; (2) the extent to which Border Patrol agents have been trained and are using SBI technology; (3) infrastructure implementation; and (4) 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 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 SBI deployment is under way. GAO performed the work from November 2007 through February 2008. DHS generally agreed with GAO's findings."

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