CBP's $297M HR systems contract yields just two hires

In a management alert, the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General found that a year-old human resources system contract is CBP's almost $300 million hiring contract is seriously challenged by performance and technology issues, according to the DHS Inspector General.

(Image by Stephen VanHorn/Shutterstock)
 

Customs and Border Protection's year-old $297 million contract with Accenture to set up new hiring processes and systems, is fraught with technical and management snags, according to the agency and the Office of Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security.

A DHS OIG's management alert issued Dec. 6 said that the agency had paid Accenture $13.6 million in start-up costs but the system had only processed two accepted job offers.

CBP said it is continuing to review the year-old contract and a significant rescoping and possible claw-back of obligated funds are on the table.

The system was put in place to address the Trump Administration's call for thousands of additional border agents.

CBP has sought to transformative solutions for many border protection capabilities, looking to cutting-edge commercial technologies to replace aging processes. The agency said that innovation was part of the difficulty with the Accenture contract.

"While we take some exception to the OIG's characterization of the contract," a CBP spokesman said in a statement to FCW, "we do agree the contract has been a challenge, primarily due to the innovative efforts by both parties, and we are reviewing how best to use it moving forward."

In its reply comments to OIG, CPB official Henry A. Moak Jr. said the agency "recognized from the start that [the contract] had some risk, but we believed the value of the initial investment was warranted" because of the goal of improving results.

A rush to quickly deploy technology that has to meet increasingly exacting review processes could also have played a role in CBP's use of a new retinal-scan lie detection capability under the contract.

The OIG questioned the agency's use of "EyeDetect" retinal scan lie detector technology for an August hiring event. Accenture, said the report, plans to use the technology in the hiring system to winnow viable job candidates. EyeDetect was created by Utah-based Converus, which is marketing it to state and federal governments as a fast, accurate vetting system.

However, the OIG said CBP didn't let the DHS Science and Technology Directorate review the technology for compliance with privacy laws and regulations before deploying it at the event.

This review is the subject of some dispute in the IG report. CPB says it did get the S&T signoff, but the IG countered that it had evidence backing its assertion.

Additionally, the OIG said Accenture's innovative push to use its "e86" automation software to validate electronic security clearance forms and accelerate background investigations has been problematic.

The software, it said, isn't in use because of "functionality issues
including high error rates and multiple software bugs." As a result, the company is processing security clearance forms by hand, which has caused a backlog.

CBP is supporting four recommendations laid out by the OIG to get a better handle on the contract. These include a March 31, 2019 deadline to determine a rescoping of the contract to focus on what's working and to eliminate other areas. In the course of this review, CPB said it will determine whether the agency paid for capabilities that were not delivered and seek reimbursement from Accenture. In its reply comments, CBP said it does not believe that government paid for services that were not provided.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.