GAO: 'Virtual Fence' along MexicanBorder Over Budget
By Jerry Seper, The Washington Times: The Department of Homeland Security has "largely defined but has not adequately implemented" controls over a "virtual fence" along the U.S.-Mexico border promised for completion in 2009 and, as a result, the multibillion-dollar project is behind schedule and over budget, a government report says.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO), in a 63-page report released Thursday, said the department had failed to effectively manage the project, known as the Secure Border Initiative Network (SBInet), or give sufficient oversight to its prime contractor -- resulting in costly rework and contributing to SBInet's "well-chronicled history of not delivering promised capabilities and benefits on time and within budget."
The report said that in an effort to deliver SBInet on target and on schedule, Homeland Security officials had relied heavily on the Boeing Co., the prime contractor, from whom they regularly received "incomplete and anomalous" cost information.
As a result, the report said, the department not been able to gain "meaningful and proactive insight into potential cost and schedule performance shortfalls, and thus take corrective actions to avoid shortfalls in the future." The data submitted by Boeing, according to the report, made the SBInet appear better that it actually was.
. . . "This inability has contributed to the program's failure to live up to expectations and to it costing more and taking longer than was necessary," the report said. . . . . [Full Story]
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