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Washington, DC 20548 March 14, 2019 Congressional Committees U.S. Ports of Entry: Update on CBP Public-Private Partnership Programs On a typical day in fiscal year 2017, over 1 million passengers and pedestrians and over 78,000 truck, rail, and sea containers carrying goods worth approximately $7.2 billion entered the United States through 328 U.S. land, sea, and air ports of entry (POE), according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). 1 Within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), CBP is the lead federal agency charged with a dual mission of keeping terrorists and their weapons, criminals and their contraband, and inadmissible aliens out of the country while facilitating the flow of legitimate international travel and trade through the nation’s POEs. 2 CBP’s Office of Field Operations is responsible for conducting passenger and cargo processing activities related to security, trade, immigration, and agricultural inspection at the nation’s POEs. 3 Since 2013, CBP has entered into public-private partnerships with stakeholders, such as port authorities or local municipalities that own or manage the ports or private companies that conduct business through the ports, under its Reimbursable Services Program (RSP) to cover CBP’s cost of providing certain services at POEs. 4 Such services include those supporting customs, agricultural processing, border security, or immigration inspection matters. For example, the RSP enables entities to pay the overtime costs of CBP personnel who may provide such services outside normal business hours. 5 A second public-private partnership program—the Donations Acceptance Program (DAP)—enables entities to donate personal or real property, nonpersonal services, or provide funding related to land acquisition, design, construction, repair or alteration, and operations and maintenance to CBP and the General Services Administration (GSA) at POEs. 6 More specifically, the DAP permits CBP and GSA to 1 Ports of entry are facilities that provide for the controlled entry into or departure from the United States. Specifically, a port of entry is any officially designated location (seaport, airport, or land border location) where DHS officers or employees are assigned to clear passengers, merchandise and other items, collect duties, and enforce customs laws; and where DHS officers inspect persons seeking to enter or depart, or applying for admission into, the United States pursuant to U.S. immigration and travel controls. 2 See 6 U.S.C. § 211(a) (establishing CBP within DHS), (c) (enumerating CBP’s duties). 3 See id. § 211(g) (establishing and listing duties of Office of Field Operations within CBP). 4 We refer to entities that CBP selects for and/or enters into partnerships with CBP as partners throughout this report. 5 More specifically, the RSP enables partnerships between CBP and private sector or government entities, allowing CBP to provide new or additional services upon the request of partners, and may cover costs such as salaries, benefits, overtime expenses, administration, and transportation costs. According to authorizing legislation, RSP agreements are subject to certain limitations, including that they may not unduly and permanently impact existing services funded by an appropriations act or fee collection. According to CBP officials, the purpose of the RSP is to provide new or additional CBP services at ports of entry that the component would otherwise not have been able to provide. 6 GSA also oversees matters related to the DAP at all land POEs with GSA-operated real estate. Page 1 GAO-19-263R CBP Public-Private Partnerships accept donations from private and public sector entities, such as private or municipally-owned seaports or land border crossings. Donated resources may include improvements to existing facilities, new facilities, equipment and technology, and operations and maintenance costs, among other things. 7 CBP’s Alternative Funding Programs office manages and oversees both programs at the headquarters level for CBP. GSA’s Public Building Services office manages and oversees the DAP at the headquarters level for GSA. The Cross-Border Trade Enhancement Act of 2016 included a provision for us to annually review the agreements along with the funds and donations that CBP has received under the RSP and DAP. We issued the first annual report in March 2018, which describes the development of the statutory framework of the RSP and DAP and how the programs are administered, among other things. 8 We reported on the status of RSP and DAP partnerships through approximately the third quarter of fiscal year 2017, and found that the partnerships have benefits. For example, the programs augment CBP staffing and infrastructure resources and provide partners with additional services and operational flexibility. We also found that CBP uses various processes to monitor and evaluate its partnerships, but could benefit from establishing an evaluation plan to assess overall performance. Thus, we recommended that CBP develop and implement an evaluation plan to assess the overall performance of RSP and DAP. CBP concurred with this recommendation, and we discuss the status of CBP’s actions later in this report. This second annual report updates key information from our March 2018 report, and examines: (1) the status of CBP public-private partnership program agreements, including the purposes for which CBP has used the funds and donations from these agreements in 2017 and 2018; and (2) the extent that CBP addressed our March 2018 recommendation to develop and implement an evaluation plan to assess the overall performance of public-private partnership programs. To examine the status of RSP and DAP agreements, including the purposes for which CBP uses funds and donations from these agreements, we collected and analyzed all Reimbursable Services Agreements, Donations Acceptance Agreements, and Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) for both the RSP and DAP from 2017 and 2018, excluding the 2017 agreements that were analyzed in our March 2018 report. In addition, we interviewed CBP officials at headquarters about any significant changes to how RSP and DAP are administered. To determine the extent to which CBP has addressed our March 2018 recommendation regarding program assessment, we reviewed CBP's 2018 Alternative Funding Programs: Program Performance Management Plan, interviewed CBP officials at headquarters, and reviewed documentation on plan implementation. We conducted this performance audit from October 2018 to March 2019, in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our 7 Donations may be used for activities related to land acquisition, design, construction, repair, alteration, operations, and maintenance, including installation or deployment of furniture, fixtures, equipment or technology, at an existing CBP-owned land port of entry; a new or existing space at a CBP air or sea port of entry; or a new or existing GSA- owned land port of entry. CBP and GSA may not accept donations at a leased land port of entry, nor is CBP able to accept a donation at or for a new land port of entry if the combined fair market value of the port of entry and donation exceeds $50 million. Additionally, CBP may not use monetary donations accepted under the DAP to pay salaries of CBP employees performing inspection services. Also, CBP may not accept donations on foreign soil. 8 GAO, U.S. Ports of Entry: CBP Public-Private Partnership Programs Have Benefits, but CBP Could Strengthen Evaluation Efforts, GAO-18-268 (Washington, D.C: March 15, 2018). Page 2 GAO-19-263R CBP Public-Private Partnerships findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. In summary, we found that CBP continued to expand the RSP and DAP, and entered into almost 80 new agreements for both programs since our March 2018 report. Although the number of agreements increased, the level of services provided through the RSP in 2018 was comparable to services provided in 2017. In addition, in response to our March 2018 recommendation, CBP developed and is implementing an evaluation plan to assess the overall performance of the RSP and DAP. CBP plans to issue an internal report on its evaluation in April 2019 and share its findings with us. We are not making any recommendations in this report. Reimbursable Services Program and Donation Acceptance Program Agreements Increased in 2017 and 2018 and Are Used for a Variety of Services CBP’s Use of RSP Agreements Has Grown Since our March 2018 report, the RSP has continued to expand. From July 2017 through October 2018, CBP selected an additional 58 RSP applications, bringing the total number of RSP selections since 2013 to 172. 9 According to CBP officials, three applications were denied since March 2018. For example, one application was denied because the proposed agreement site was located too far away from the nearest CBP POE to make CBP travel time practicable. Figure 1 depicts the number of RSP applications received and selected since 2013, including during the three most recent evaluation cycles for which data are available since our March 2018 report. 9 At the time of our March 2018 report, CBP had made 114 RSP selections. Page 3 GAO-19-263R CBP Public-Private Partnerships Figure 1: Number of Applications U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Selected for Its Reimbursable a Services Program (RSP) from 2013 through the Second 2018 Evaluation Cycle a In 2017, CBP implemented a process to accept and evaluate applications for RSP agreements during three application cycles per year. Cycle 1 includes the months of November, December, January, and February. Cycle 2 includes the months of March, April, May, and June. Cycle 3 includes the months of July, August, September, and October. Our March 2018 report included data through Cycle 2 of 2017. Data from Cycle 3, 2018 was not finalized as of December 2018. In addition to the 58 new 2017 and 2018 RSP selections, CBP and its RSP partners established 36 new MOUs as of December 2018 that outline how RSP agreements are implemented at specific POEs. 10 For example, MOUs outline the types of CBP services that partners can request, such as traveler processing or mission support. The MOUs may also describe intended results of the partnership, such as reducing traveler wait times or expanding POE hours of operation. The majority of MOUs executed in the 2017 and 2018 evaluation cycles that we reviewed was at air POEs and focused on freight, cargo, and traveler processing. See table 1. 10 According to CBP’s procedures, before any RSP services can be provided, CBP and the prospective partners must sign a legally binding Reimbursable Services Agreement. The MOUs are not legally binding and instead address logistical issues concerning requesting and providing services. Page 4 GAO-19-263R CBP Public-Private Partnerships Table 1: Details of Reimbursable Services Program (RSP) Partnership Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) a for Select 2017 and 2018 Evaluation Cycles Total Number of MOUs Land Sea Air by Port of Entry (POE) 1 11 24 b Type Services that partner can Freight or cargo processingc 1 10 23 request Traveler processing 1 7 22 Unanticipated irregular operations or diversions 0 1 5 Mission support 0 1 16 Enforcement functions 1 1 17 CBP officers or contractors (unspecified) 0 0 5 Source: GAO analysis of U.S. Customs and Border Protection data. | GAO-19-263R a Specifically, Cycle 3, 2017 and Cycles 1 and 2, 2018 . b This table includes information on the types of services that partners can request as outlined in MOUs that CBP and its partners negotiate at the affected POEs. c Freight or cargo processing includes agricultural inspection. Although the number of RSP partners increased since our March 2018 report, the total number of RSP-related CBP assignments, officer overtime hours, and reimbursed funds through mid- October 2018 remained roughly at 2017 levels. This recent leveling-off occurred after a rapid period of growth from 2014 through 2017. One senior CBP official noted that CBP is better addressing its CBP-wide officer staffing challenges than in prior years, and that it hired additional officers in 2018, which may impact the number of requests for RSP services. In addition, fluctuations in travel and trade impact the overall annual number of CBP inspections, and these fluctuations may also impact the number of requests for RSP services. Table 2 lists data on services provided by the RSP and table 3 lists more specific data on the number of travelers and vehicles inspected from 2014 through 2018. With the exception of pedestrian inspections, the number of RSP-related inspections of other types of travelers and vehicles from January through mid-October 2018 were fewer than 2017 figures. Table 2: Total Reimbursement of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer Assignments/Hours for Reimbursable Services Total amount partners Total number of CBP Total number of CBP reimbursed CBP for overtime Year assignments officer overtime hours services 2014 21,960 60,279 $6,977,984 2015 25,546 72,980 $8,489,033 2016 42,283 112,705 $13,844,910 2017 61,604 174,168 $23,032,215 a 2018 60,617 165,742 $22,746,547 Total 212,010 585,874 $75,090,688 Source: GAO analysis of U.S. Customs and Border Protection data. | GAO-19-263R a 2018 data are through October 13, 2018, the most current data available at the time of our report. Page 5 GAO-19-263R CBP Public-Private Partnerships Table 3: Total Number of Travelers and Vehicles U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers Inspected During Reimbursable Services Program Partner Requests for Services Total number Amount Amount Amount Amount Amount of travelers Traveler or inspected in inspected in inspected in inspected in inspected or vehicles a vehicle type 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 inspected Air travelers 866,823 993,158 1,098,145 1,547,865 1,226,420 5,732,411 Travelers in 578,517 638,136 672,022 1,070,589 691,336 3,650,600 personally operated vehicles at land ports of entry (POE) Pedestrians 53,226 42,551 83,008 44,630 51,059 274,474 Travelers in 7,400 9,877 37,373 48,530 39,307 142,487 commercially operated vehicles at land POEs Ship travelers 7,287 106,629 416,916 809,378 529,493 1,869,703 Traveler Total 1,513,253 1,790,351 2,307,464 3,520,992 2,537,615 11,669,675 Personally 229,670 258,309 276,104 441,639 299,750 1,505,472 operated vehicles Commercially 7,400 9,877 28,065 38,700 31,928 115,970 operated vehicles Vehicle Total 237,070 268,186 304,169 480,339 331,678 1,621,442 Source: GAO analysis of U.S. Customs and Border Protection data. | GAO-19-263R a 2018 totals through October 13, 2018, the most current data available at the time of our report. CBP Entered Into New DAP Partnerships for Various Projects in Fiscal Year 2018 In fiscal year 2018, CBP entered into 17 new DAP partnerships bringing the total number of agreements to 33 since fiscal year 2015. Partners span a variety of sectors, including state and local governments, private companies, such as Apple and Procter & Gamble, and airline companies. Correspondingly, donations served a variety of purposes, such as expanding inspection facility infrastructure, providing biometric detection services, and providing luggage for canine training. As of December 2018, CBP officials estimated that the total value of all DAP donations was $218 million. Fiscal year 2018 DAP donations and status updates on projects from fiscal years 2015 through 2017 are described in more detail in enclosure I. Figure 2 depicts an ongoing DAP project at the Veterans International Bridge in Cameron County, Texas. Cameron County is donating funds to expand inspection facilities at a land POE. Page 6 GAO-19-263R CBP Public-Private Partnerships Figure 2: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Donations Acceptance Program: Pavement Expansion Project at Land Port of Entry CBP Created a Public-Private Partnership Evaluation Plan and is Preparing to Issue an Assessment Report in April 2019 In our March 2018 report, we recommended that CBP develop and implement an evaluation plan to assess the overall performance of the RSP and DAP. CBP concurred with this recommendation and, in April 2018, issued its Alternative Funding Programs: Program Performance Management Plan to help evaluate the performance of the RSP and DAP. We reviewed this plan and found that it contains program goals and metrics, along with methodologies to collect and analyze various qualitative and quantitative data. For example, RSP performance metrics span four overarching goals related to exploring new partnerships, facilitating existing partnerships, and measuring the benefits and effectiveness of the program. Similar goals are defined for the DAP. In addition, the plan lists a total of 27 measurable objectives and associated metrics for the RSP and DAP. CBP also surveyed RSP partners to gain insights on their experiences with the program and to identify potential areas for improvement and distributed an internal questionnaire to CBP officials at POEs. As of December 2018, CBP reported that it had completed data collection as called for in the plan, and was analyzing results. According to CBP officials, CBP expects to issue internally an assessment report for the RSP and DAP based on this analysis in April 2019, and then on an annual basis. According to the plan and CBP officials, this evaluation process will assist in improving and monitoring the performance of the RSP and DAP. CBP actions to develop the evaluation plan and collect data under the plan are positive steps toward addressing our recommendation. Once completed and issued, CBP’s 2019 assessment report to assess the overall performance of the RSP and DAP should address the intent of our recommendation. Agency Comments We provided a draft of this report for review and comment to the Secretary of Homeland Security. DHS provided technical comments only, which we incorporated as appropriate. Page 7 GAO-19-263R CBP Public-Private Partnerships ----- We are sending copies of this report to appropriate congressional committees, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and other interested parties. In addition, the report is available at no charge on the GAO website at http://www.gao.gov. If you or your staff have any questions concerning this report, please contact me at (202) 512- 8777 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Contact points for our Office of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on the last page of this report. GAO staff who made key contributions to this report were Kirk Kiester (Assistant Director), Michele Fejfar, Stephanie Heiken, David Lutter, Sasan J. “Jon” Najmi, Kevin Reeves, and Eli Stiefel. Rebecca Gambler Director, Homeland Security and Justice Enclosure Page 8 GAO-19-263R CBP Public-Private Partnerships List of Committees The Honorable John A. Barrasso Chairman The Honorable Thomas R. Carper Ranking Member Committee on Environment and Public Works United States Senate The Honorable Chuck Grassley Chairman The Honorable Ron Wyden Ranking Member Committee on Finance United States Senate The Honorable Ron Johnson Chairman The Honorable Gary C. Peters Ranking Member Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs United States Senate The Honorable Lindsey Graham Chairman The Honorable Dianne Feinstein Ranking Member Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate The Honorable Shelley Moore Capito Chairman The Honorable Jon Tester Ranking Member Subcommittee on Homeland Security Committee on Appropriations United States Senate The Honorable Bennie G. Thompson Chairman The Honorable Mike Rogers Ranking Member Committee on Homeland Security House of Representatives Page 9 GAO-19-263R CBP Public-Private Partnerships The Honorable Jerrold Nadler Chairman The Honorable Doug Collins Ranking Member Committee on the Judiciary House of Representatives The Honorable Peter A. DeFazio Chairman The Honorable Sam Graves Ranking Member Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure House of Representatives The Honorable Richard E. Neal Chairman The Honorable Kevin Brady Ranking Member Committee on Ways and Means House of Representatives The Honorable Lucille Roybal-Allard Chairman The Honorable Chuck Fleischmann Ranking Member Subcommittee on Homeland Security Committee on Appropriations House of Representatives Page 10 GAO-19-263R CBP Public-Private Partnerships Enclosure: Additional Information on Projects Funded Through U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Donations Acceptance Program (DAP) As described in tables 4 and 5, CBP has entered into 33 DAP agreements as of December 2018. The agreements are made with a variety of stakeholders, and as such, serve a variety of purposes. The status of individual projects range from early pre-execution, through planning and design, to full execution. Some projects, such as airline companies donating luggage for canine training, are executed on a recurring basis. Table 4: Status of Partner Donations Under U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Donations Acceptance Program, Fiscal Year 2018 Donation status Affected port of entry as of December Partner (POE) and port type Scope of donation 2018 North Dakota Pembina (Land) Median for outbound inspections and Execution Department of vehicle registration parking lot. Transportation New Mexico Border Santa Teresa (Land) Sidewalk in support of planned visitor Pre-execution Authority center. Texas Department of Los Tomates (Land) Infrastructure improvements in support of Planning Transportation Border Safety Inspection Facility plans. Texas Department of Paso Del Norte (Land) Closed caption television cameras and Pre-Execution Transportation video monitoring equipment in support of highway expansion project. Texas Department of Los Indios (Land) Infrastructure improvements in support of Design Transportation Border Safety Inspection Facility plans. Cameron County, Los Indios (Land) Land donation in support of Border Safety Pre-Execution Texas Inspection Facility Cameron County, Veterans Pavement expansion project in support of Execution Texas International Bridge model port testing. (Land) City of El Paso, Texas Paso Del Norte (Land) Roundabout project including sidewalks, Design landscaping, signage, and striping. Anzalduas Bridge McAllen Anzalduas Northbound and southbound laden Planning Board (Land) commercial inspection facilities and related infrastructure and technologies. Otter Products, LLC Multiple Locations Detector devices to authenticate Fully executed OtterBox and LifeProof-branded cases. Procter & Gamble Multiple Locations Test kits, test sieves, and night vision Fully executed cameras to authenticate a variety of Procter &Gamble products. Apple, Inc. Multiple Locations Digital microscopes, lightning cable Planning detectors, and iPhone power cords to authenticate a variety of Apple products. Page 11 GAO-19-263R CBP Public-Private Partnerships Enclosure Donation status Affected port of entry as of December Partner (POE) and port type Scope of donation 2018 Cisco Systems, Inc. Multiple Locations Barcode scanners in conjunction with Execution; secured access to Cisco’s package Limited roll-out lookup tool to authenticate a variety executed. CBP of Cisco products. and Cisco reviewing larger roll- out strategy. Red Cross San Diego FO 100 cots in support of detainee Fully executed operations. Samsonite El Paso FO Luggage for canine training purposes. Fully executed Southwest Airlines Multiple Air POEs Luggage for canine training purposes. Fully executed British Airways Multiple Air POEs Provision of facial biometrics data and Fully executed services. Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection. | GAO-19-263R Table 5: Status of Partner Donations Under U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Donations Acceptance Program, Fiscal Years 2015 through 2017 Donation Fiscal Affected port of status as of year entry (POE) and December selected Partner port type Scope of donation 2018 2015 City of Donna, Donna Rio-Bravo Construction of 1 outbound primary Pre-execution Texas (Land) inspection lane and booth for empty commercial vehicles, 1 outbound secondary inspection facility, and 1 outbound exit control booth, including related infrastructure and technologies. 2015 City of El Paso, Ysleta (Land) Traffic island removal. Fully executed Texas 2015 City of Pharr, Pharr (Land) Construction of 2 inbound inspection lanes Pre-execution Texas and booths for commercial vehicles. Expansion of pre-primary approach lane between bridge and primary inspection. Installation of 2 new eastbound exit booths. Construction of 4 new exit lanes and booths. Construction of new bypass road. 2016 City of Donna, Donna Rio-Bravo Construction of new inbound empty Design Texas (Land) commercial vehicle inspection lane and booth. Construction of empty-only inspection facility with supporting infrastructure and technologies. 2016 City of Pharr, Pharr (Land) Expansion of current cargo dock spaces (60 Design Texas to 80 spaces). Construction of additional cold inspection docks and facilities. Construction of an agricultural lab and training center. 2016 Nogales Santa Cruz Nogales Mariposa Upgrade of up to 6 air conditioned dock Planning Port Authority (Land) spaces to refrigerated dock spaces. Page 12 GAO-19-263R CBP Public-Private Partnerships Enclosure Donation Fiscal Affected port of status as of year entry (POE) and December selected Partner port type Scope of donation 2018 2016 Red Hook Terminals Port of Freeport Donation of a high-capacity perforating Fully executed (Sea) machine. 2017 Anzalduas Bridge McAllen Construction of lanes and booths for inbound Planning Board Anzalduas empty commercial vehicles. Construction of (Land) inbound empty commercial vehicle inspection facilities and related infrastructure and technologies. 2017 City of Donna, Donna Rio-Bravo Construction of inbound and outbound Design Texas (Land) inspection facilities and operational components for laden commercial vehicles, including technologies, cargo docks, and exit booths. 2017 Cameron County, Brownsville Construction of 2 to 4 inbound lanes and Design Texas Veterans primary booths for personally owned International vehicles, including related technologies. Bridge (Land) Construction of expanded secondary inspection area and building. 2017 City of Laredo, Laredo World Construction of 4 commercial vehicle lanes Planning Texas Trade Bridge and booths as dedicated Trusted-Traveler (Land) lanes. Construction of roadways and infrastructure, exit booths and related technologies. 2017 City of Douglas, Douglas (Land) Donation of a parking lot and adjacent empty Fully executed Arizona lot. 2017 SITA Information Multiple Air POEs Collection and provision of traveler facial Fully executed Networking biometrics data for CBP traveler processing Computing USA, Inc. purposes. and JetBlue Airways Corporation 2017 Delta Airlines Port of Luggage to be donated in support of canine Fully executed; Washington, D.C. training activities. To provide approximately 2 recurring Dulles (Air) to 5 pieces of luggage every 2 to 3 weeks. donations ongoing 2017 The Salvation Army San Luis (Land) Luggage to be donated in support of canine Fully executed; training activities. To provide approximately 6 recurring to 9 pieces of luggage, twice per year. donations ongoing 2017 The Fixery John F. Kennedy Luggage to be used in support of canine Fully executed; International training activities. To provide approximately recurring Airport (Air) 15 pieces of luggage, per month, for 5 years. donations ongoing Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection. | GAO-19-263R (103073) Page 13 GAO-19-263R CBP Public-Private Partnerships This is a work of the U.S. government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. The published product may be reproduced and distributed in its entirety without further permission from GAO. 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U.S. Ports of Entry: Update on CBP Public-Private Partnership Programs
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2019-03-14.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)