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GAO: CBP Should Update Guidance on UAS, Aerostat Mission Data Collection

The Government Accountability Office has called on the Customs and Border Protection to implement training efforts and update its guidance on collection of mission data associated with the use of Predator B unmanned aircraft systems.

CBP should work to update its processes for data collection related to aerostat asset assists and record coordination procedures for UAS-related activities in all operating locations, GAO said in a report published Feb. 16.

GAO made the recommendations after it evaluated CBP’s use of Predator B, Tethered Aerostat Radar System and tactical aerostats for border security operations between fiscal 2013 and fiscal 2016 and found that the agency lacks instructions on how to record mission data.

The congressional budget watchdog also found that CBP has not made any updates to its information collection guidance in order to include new data components identified since 2014 and that the agency’s asset assist-related data collection for seizure of narcotics and apprehension of certain individuals does not differentiate tactical aerostats from TARS.

“Data that distinguishes between support provided by tactical aerostats and support provided by TARS would help CBP collect better and more complete information and guide resource allocation decisions, such as the redeployment of tactical aerostat sites based on changes in cross-border illegal activity,” GAO noted.

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