Performance measures for a new U.S. Border Patrol security plan have not effectively been established, a federal auditor said Tuesday, as government officials presented its 2012 Strategic Plan for border security. Rebecca Gambler, Acting Director for the Government Accountability Office’s Homeland Security and Justice team, posed concerns about how the agency’s performance would be evaluated, in a testimony before the House Homeland Security subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security.
Border Patrol is part of Customs and Border Protection — which is an extension of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) — and its 2012 strategy updates a previous plan established in 2004. However, while some lawmakers hailed support for the plan, Ms. Gambler was hesitant to endorse the new strategy, stressing that “outcome-oriented measures” are critical in order to effectively evaluate the agency’s overall performance.
Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher told the panel during Tuesday’s hearing that the new plan targets and delivers resources to areas that are most inclined to harbor terrorist and drug-related activities. “The Border Patrol’s strategic plan marks an important point in the growth and development of the U.S. Border Patrol and establishes an approach that is tailored to meet the challenges of securing a 21st century border against a variety of dynamic threats and dangerous adversaries,” Fisher affirmed in a written testimony. Among the agency’s primary concerns, Fisher outlined in the new initiative, are:
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