A government watchdog says the procedures for acquiring the southern border wall are inadequate, and the ability to maintain complete operational control is diminished.
A report by the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security finds that U.S. Customs and Border Protection found the procedures for procuring the southern border wall inadequate for the task.
Specifically, the IG found that CBP did not attempt to identify “the most effective, appropriate, and affordable solutions to obtain operational control of the southern border as directed.” Instead, the IG described the methods as “outdated.”
The report found other deficiencies and concluded: “the likelihood that CBP will be able to obtain and maintain complete operational control of the southern border with mission-effective, appropriate, and affordable solutions is diminished.”
The report is dated July 14, 2020 with the title “CBP Has Not Demonstrated Acquisition Capabilities Needed to Secure the Southern Border.” It is report number OIG-20-52 and is available here.
The executive summary is this:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has not demonstrated the acquisition capabilities needed to effectively execute the Analyze/Select Phase of the Wall Acquisition Program. Specifically, CBP did not conduct an Analysis of Alternatives to assess and select the most effective, appropriate, and affordable solutions to obtain operational control of the southern border as directed, but instead relied on prior, outdated border solutions to identify materiel alternatives for meeting its mission requirement. CBP did not use a sound, well-documented methodology to identify and prioritize investments in areas along the border that would best benefit from physical barriers. Additionally, the Department did not complete the required plan to execute the strategy to obtain and maintain control of the southern border, as required by its Comprehensive Southern Border Security Study and Strategy. Without an Analysis of Alternatives, a documented and reliable prioritization process, or a plan, the likelihood that CBP will be able to obtain and maintain complete operational control of the southern border with mission-effective, appropriate, and affordable solutions is diminished. We made three recommendations to improve CBP’s ongoing investments for obtaining operational control of the southern border. DHS concurred with recommendation 2 but did not concur with recommendations 1 and 3.