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DHS Inspector General: IT Systems Fall Short of Backing CBP’s Border Security Efforts

The Department of Homeland Security‘s inspector general has found that the Customs and Border Protection’s information technology infrastructure failed to support its goal to prevent the entry to the U.S. of foreigners who may pose national security threats.

U.S. international airports also experienced system outages in its incoming passenger screening processes that resulted in passenger delays and risks to public safety, DHS IG said in a report published Thursday.

CBP’s office of field operations also encountered inefficiencies in its passenger screening procedures due to slow performance of its pre-screening platform.

Air and marine operations have also been plagued by unstable networks and inadequate performance of IT systems, leading to backlogs and failure of border patrol agents to meet deadlines set by courts for the submission of potential criminal prosecution cases associated with foreign passengers.

CBP also experienced lapses in situational awareness over cargo and inadmissible passengers that approach U.S. borders due to frequent outages in IT networks.

The report called on CBP to create a plan to address maintenance and dependencies on external platforms and carry out a user evaluation of its TECS Portal to help address concerns with passenger pre-screening activities.

TECS Portal is a system designed to help CBP officers screen and determine the admissibility of incoming travelers.

CBP should also develop programs to build up its backup processes, such as establishing a dashboard to monitor outage status and system latency, the report added.

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