The mistakes of the failed SBInet procurement would be repeated if Customs and Border Protection took the advice of the the Government Accountability Office to improve a major border technology program, a CBP official said Wednesday.
A long-awaited, somewhat delayed contract for towers hung with high-tech sensors to detect movement along the southwest border went to Texas-based EFW, Customs and Border Patrol announced Feb. 27.
President Obama's fiscal 2014 budget request includes $12.9 billion for Customs and Border Protection, a 6.45 percent increase from the estimated fiscal 2013 budget, accounting for inflation. CBP is one of the few Homeland Security Department components to receive an increase in the request.
The fiscal 2014 budget proposal the Obama administration sent to Congress on April 10 carries mixed results for major Homeland Security Department information technology efforts. Total funding for the DHS office of the chief information officer would go down by 1.2 percent when taking into account Office of Management and Budget-projected inflation.
"Our strategy going forward is a much more pedestrian strategy. I'm perfectly comfortable getting 80 percent of what I'd like if I can get it quickly, if it's available today, and if it costs a reasonable amount," Mark Borkowski said at the Border Security Expo in Phoenix.
Evaluation by Customs and Border Protection of industry proposals in response to its integrated fixed tower procurement is taking longer than expected, CBP acknowledged earlier this month.
More "comprehensive, creative and collaborative" solutions between the United States and Mexico are needed to improve security along the border region, a new paper contends. The paper (.pdf), released this month by the binational Border Research Partnership, calls for increasing public-safety resources on both sides of the border including technology; a longer, more "realistic" timeframe to implement policy; and federal leadership building on the 2010 border-management agreement between the two countries.
At every stage in the acquisition process, the research arm of the Homeland Security Department should play a major role, the House Homeland Security Committee says in an Aug. 1 report. DHS components do not make enough use of the Science & Technology Directorate, the report says. But S&T could help determine if technology is mature enough to proceed through the acquisition process, and that could keep DHS from repeating some costly acquisition failures from recent years.
An internal document obtained by FierceHomelandSecurity shows that officials at one point considered utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles as a substitute for integrated fixed towers.
Customs and Border Protection says existing technology is sufficiently advanced for it to mount a new attempt to deploy a tower-based anti-border crossing network of sensors along Arizona's southern