IG: Secure Border Initiative lacks effective oversight (7/10/09) —

Short staffed and under pressure to implement the Homeland Security Department’s high-profile program to improve border security known as the Secure Border Initiative, the Customs and Border Protection agency has made extensive use of contractor support services. So much so that contractors are doing inherently governmental work in violation of federal regulations, the department’s watchdog said.

“With continued heavy reliance on contractor support services, CBP risks losing control of program decisions while remaining accountable for mission results,” DHS Inspector General Richard Skinner wrote in a report released on Thursday.

Contractors make up 51 percent of the staff working on the Secure Border Initiative, while government workers account for the other 49 percent, according to the IG.