Customs budget bolsters borders

The Bush administration is requesting $313 million for the third year of modernizing the U.S. Customs Service at every border crossing — a 4 percent increase fueled by the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

The administration is seeking to speed up completion of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), a $1.3 billion project that will enable Customs to convert to a paperless process for importers and an account-based system for the trade industry. It also will give Customs more tools to find potentially dangerous cargo entering the United States.

"The fight against terrorism has now become the No. 1 priority of the Customs Service," the budget document states. "Customs' budget has been substantially increased in 2002 and 2003 to provide more staffing and technology to further improve border security."

Border control has become one of the most urgent issues in the fight against terrorism. To cope with trade activity that is expected to double by 2005, Customs is modernizing its automation systems and using risk management to target high-risk cargo.

"The number certainly keeps the program going in the right direction. It certainly shows the administration understands and is committed to this program," said Robert Cohen, senior vice president for communications at the Information Technology Association of America.

The overall Customs budget calls for $3.3 billion in fiscal 2003, an increase from $2.8 billion in fiscal 2002. Among its new ideas, the budget calls for increasing several user fees to pay for overtime and related Customs homeland security efforts.

Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.