Past Features

June 29, 2017

Confronting the real issue
Will Trump demand accountability?

DHS Inspector General Report: IFTs “did not include testing operational effectiveness”
Washington Post -- June 27, 2017
Trump's border wall faces contracting delays, a limited budget and a September deadline
    U.S. Customs and Border Protection plans to select four to eight firms in the coming weeks to build the prototypes for President Trump's much-touted border wall, Ronald Vitiello, the agency's acting deputy commissioner, said Tuesday.
    The administration's update on its plans for the wall comes amid delays in the bidding process and a seeming lack of political will to fund a continuous barrier along the 2,000-mile Mexico border.
    The prototypes --- including a reinforced concrete barrier wall as well as one made of an alternative material with see-through capability --- will be built in San Diego.
    Firms are expected to complete construction by September, within 30 days of their selection, Vitiello said.
    More than 200 companies responded to the federal government's two requests for proposals for the border wall in March. Customs and Border Protection had initially planned to award contracts by June 12, with construction beginning by July 21, according to a recent Homeland Security Inspector General's report.
    The June 12 report highlighted a history of delays and lack of oversight when it comes to border security.

Glenn Spencer -- June 29, 2017
Measuring Effectiveness --- the real problem at CBP
The Washington Post characterizes the June 17 report by DHS Inspector General as follows:

   The June 12 report highlighted a history of delays and lack of oversight when it comes to border security.
    “Most of DHS’s major acquisition programs continue to cost more than expected, take longer to deploy than planned, or deliver less capability than promised,” the report said. “DHS sometimes approves moving forward with major acquisition programs without appropriate internal oversight.”

    Nonsense. Here are the two important quotes in the report:
    "Prior reports have shown that although CBP has implemented many new programs to address border security issues, it has struggled to develop measures of effectiveness.” --- Page 11
    "In our review of CBP's use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems program we reported that CBP had not developed performance measures to prove the program was effective.” --- Page 12
    Eleven years ago I criticized the Strategic Border Initiative: "Nowhere does SBI spell out a goal that can be measured.”
    With the complicity of the mainstream media, CBP has long avoided real accountability by rejecting measures of effectiveness --- as defined in the law.
    We will soon learn if the Trump Administration has the courage to confront the swamp dwellers --- and put an end to this nonsense.