Past Features

July 2, 2017

Bureaucracy at its best
“We told you so” (well, maybe we didn't)

Some of the witnesses at May 24, 2016, Border Subcommittee hearing
See Glenn Spencer's analysis of this hearing.
Glenn Spencer -- July 2, 2017
    Lessons Learned from Prior Reports on CBP's SBI and Acquisitions Related to Securing our Border
    Page 10

    In March 2014, GAO reported that CBP's Test and Evaluation Master Plan 12 only described testing to determine the Integrated Fixed Tower's 13 mission contribution but did not include testing operational effectiveness and suitability, which specifically identifies how effective and reliable a system is in meeting its operational requirements in its intended environment.

Glenn Spencer -- July 2
Cover your ass report?
The DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) reminds us that in March 2014, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported serious deficiencies in the testing of the Integrated Fixed Tower system.     
    Yet, in written testimony submitted to the House Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security on May 24, 2016, Rebecca Gambler, Director of GAO Homeland Security and Justice, made no mention of this deficiency.
    From Page 4.....

    "Further, in our March 2016 assessment of DHS's major acquisitions programs,8 we reported on the status of the Plan's Integrated Fixed Tower (IFT) program, noting that from Specifically, we reported that the initial operational capability date had slipped from the end of September 2013 to the end of September 2015, and the full operational capability to the end of September 2020. We also reported that this slippage in initial operational capability dates had contributed to slippage in the IFT's full operational capability —primarily as a result of funding shortfalls–– and that the IFT program continued to face significant funding shortfalls from fiscal year 2016 to fiscal year 2020.
    "Despite these delays, as of May 2016 CBP reported that it has initiated or completed deployment of technology to Arizona for each of the three highest-cost programs under the plan --- IFT, the Remote Video Surveillance System (RVSS), and the Mobile Surveillance Capability (MSC). Specifically, CBP officials stated that MSC deployments in Arizona are complete and that in April 2016, requirements to transition sustainment from the contractor to CBP had been finalized. CBP also reported that the RVSS system has been deployed, and testing on these systems is ongoing in four out of five stations. Further, CBP reported it had initiated deployment of the IFT systems and as of May 2016 has deployed 7 out of 53 IFTs in one area of responsibility. CBP conditionally accepted the system in March 2016 and is working to deploy the remaining IFT unit systems to other areas in the Tucson sector."

     In her testimony, Ms Gambler says --- “from March 2012 to January 2016, the program's initial and full operational capability dates had slipped.” (Page 4) I assume that “initial and full operational capability” refers to the number of IFT units deployed, but Ms. Gambler failed to remind the House subcommittee that her office had reported that CBP never tested the operational effectiveness and suitability of any of the Integrated Fixed Towers.
    Government bureaucrats often file reports for the purpose of “covering their ass” at a later date.