Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Representative Martha McSally (R-AZ) today reintroduced in the Senate and House, respectively, the Border Security Technology Accountability Act. The legislation would improve the management and accountability of Department of Homeland Security border technology acquisition programs, which numerous reports have concluded are at “high-risk” for waste, fraud and abuse.
“New technologies such as video and radar surveillance are critical to securing our borders,” said Senator McCain. “However, widespread mismanagement and a lack of accountability within our federal bureaucracy has prevented us from using these technologies to stop illegal immigration, put an end to human trafficking, and reduce crime in communities in Arizona and across the Southwest. We owe it to the people of our state to responsibly manage their tax dollars by efficiently implementing border security technologies, and this bill is an important step in that direction.”
“This bill is a no-brainer. These important accountability tools should be standard practice across the federal government to ensure taxpayer dollars are used as efficiently as possible,” said Rep. McSally, Chairwoman of the House Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee. “Especially with a mission as critical as securing our border and keeping our country and communities safe, we have to make sure every resource goes toward completing that mission, not waste. My thanks to Senator McCain for working with us again on this important legislation.”
Specifically, the bill would require each border technology acquisition program to have baseline cost, schedule and performance targets approved by an appropriate decision-maker. It would also require the Under Secretary for Management, in coordination with the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), to monitor the management of border security technology acquisition programs to ensure they are not exceeding cost estimates, experiencing schedule delays, or underperforming. Finally, the bill would require the Under Secretary for Management, in coordination with the CBP Commissioner, to submit to Congress a plan for testing and evaluating new border security technologies to ensure taxpayer dollars are being used efficiently and effectively.
Read the legislation: Border Security Technology Accountability Act