Border project gets new manager

The Homeland Security Department’s Secure Border Initiative has a new executive director, retired Air Force Col. Mark Borkowski. Borkowski replaces Greg Giddens, who had been in that position since the program’s inception two years ago, a department official confirmed today.

Giddens left Sept. 19 to become executive director of facilities management and engineering for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said CBP spokesman Lloyd Easterling.

It is a lateral career move for Giddens that is part of CBP’s effort to broaden experience for its senior executives, Easterling said, adding that it does not reflect upon Giddens’ performance overseeing SBI.

The Secure Border Initiative is one of the most ambitious acquisition programs of the department with a cost that could reach $30 billion, according to the Government Accountability Office. Its components include SBInet, a high-tech border surveillance system composed of cameras and other sensors strung on towers to be constructed along the United States-Mexico border, along with border fencing and vehicle barriers along that border.

The SBInet program has been criticized by lawmakers, GAO and the DHS inspector general for delays and shortcomings in technology management.

However, Easterling said DHS officials view SBInet as having made “very good gains” to date and will continue to promote the program.

Borkowski, who was the former director of mission support for the U.S. border patrol, will be evaluating SBInet within the next several weeks, Easterling said. John Santo, who became program manager of SBInet in April, continues in that position, Easterling added.

SBInet construction, which was set to begin in July, has been postponed to January 2009 because of delays in obtaining federal land permits and the need for additional technology testing, CBP officials said previously. The department is redirecting funding from SBInet to cover dramatic price increases in steel and fuel related to the border fence construction.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

Rising Stars

Meet 21 early-career leaders who are doing great things in federal IT.

Featured

  • SEC Chairman Jay Clayton

    SEC owns up to 2016 breach

    A key database of financial information was breached in 2016, possibly in support of insider trading, said the Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DOD looks to get aggressive about cloud adoption

    Defense leaders and Congress are looking to encourage more aggressive cloud policies and prod reluctant agencies to embrace experimentation and risk-taking.

  • Shutterstock / Pictofigo

    The next big thing in IT procurement

    Steve Kelman talks to the agencies that have embraced tech demos in their acquisition efforts -- and urges others in government to give it a try.

  • broken lock

    DHS bans Kaspersky from federal systems

    The Department of Homeland Security banned the Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab’s products from federal agencies in a new binding operational directive.

  • man planning layoffs

    USDA looks to cut CIOs as part of reorg

    The Department of Agriculture is looking to cut down on the number of agency CIOs in the name of efficiency and better communication across mission areas.

  • What's next for agency cyber efforts?

    Ninety days after the Trump administration's executive order, FCW sat down with agency cyber leaders to discuss what’s changing.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group