The Trump administration paid an whooping $13.6 million to a private company this year to increase border protection staffing by just two agents, according to a scathing report by a federal watchdog that called for “immediate” action to rectify “serious performance issues.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection presented Accenture Federal Services , a subsidiary of the global Accenture consulting company headquartered in the tax haven of Dublin, a $297 million contract last year to improve staffing by thousands in the face of President Donald Trump’s suppression on the border and immigration.
The company is “nowhere near satisfying its 7,500-person hiring goal over the next 5 years,” announced the report released last week by the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security. “Further, CBP has used significant staffing and resources to help Accenture do the job for which it was contracted. As such, we are concerned that CBP may have paid Accenture for services and tools not provided.”
The report concluded that CBP “risks wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on a hastily approved contract that is not meeting its proposed performance expectations,”.
The report said that the firm has formerly been paid $13.6 million. But when the inspector general audited the company’s actions, it found out that as of Oct. 1, more than 10 months into the contract, Accenture had successfully processed only two accepted job offers. In addition, it did so majorly using CPB resources instead of its own.
CBP officials debated with the inspector general’s conclusion, maintaining that not only did Accenture recruit two agents, but created a hiring process and helped move “thousands” of applicants into the pipeline for consideration. The Office of the Inspector General responded that no records tracking these applicants exist, and therefore “we question the veracity” of CBP’s argument.
The OIG stated that it demanded evidence during its review of CBP oversight of Accenture. Yet CBP “did not provide any supporting documentation of its oversight and indicated it was still developing performance metrics.”
In spite of arguing over the report, CBP accepted all four recommendations from the inspector general to attend to the situation. One of the recommendations include determining if Accenture should refund the Department of Homeland Security for services not delivered.