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                                                      Calendar No. 379
115th Congress     }                                     {     Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session        }                                     {     115-230
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

         BORDER SECURITY TECHNOLOGY ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 2017

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                                 S. 146

             TO STRENGTHEN ACCOUNTABILITY FOR DEPLOYMENT OF
            BORDER SECURITY TECHNOLOGY AT THE DEPARTMENT OF
               HOMELAND SECURITY, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES










[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]








                 April 16, 2018.--Ordered to be printed
                                   ______

                         U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

79-010                         WASHINGTON : 2018 






























        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                    RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin Chairman
JOHN McCAIN, Arizona                 CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri
ROB PORTMAN, Ohio                    THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
RAND PAUL, Kentucky                  HEIDI HEITKAMP, North Dakota
JAMES LANKFORD, Oklahoma             GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming             MAGGIE HASSAN, New Hampshire
JOHN HOEVEN, North Dakota            KAMALA D. HARRIS, California
STEVE DAINES, Montana                DOUG JONES, Alabama

                  Christopher R. Hixon, Staff Director
                 Gabrielle D'Adamo Singer, Chief Counsel
                    Melissa Egred, Research Assistant
                Margaret E. Daum, Minority Staff Director
               Stacia M. Cardille, Minority Chief Counsel
        Charles A. Moskowitz, Minority Senior Legislative Counsel
                  Subhasri Ramanathan, Minority Counsel
                     Laura W. Kilbride, Chief Clerk



















                                                      Calendar No. 379
115th Congress     }                                     {     Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session        }                                     {     115-230

======================================================================



 
               BORDER SECURITY TECHNOLOGY ACCOUNTABILITY
                              ACT OF 2017

                                _______
                                

                 April 16, 2018.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Johnson, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 146]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (S. 146) to strengthen 
accountability for deployment of border security technology at 
the Department of Homeland Security, and for other purposes, 
having considered the same, reports favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background and Need for the Legislation..........................2
III. Legislative History..............................................3
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................3
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................4
 VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................4
VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............5

                         I. Purpose and Summary

    S. 146, the Border Security Technology Accountability Act 
of 2017, codifies higher accountability standards for the 
deployment of technology with a nexus to border security.\1\ 
This bill requires the Secretary of the Department of Homeland 
Security (DHS or the Department) to submit a detailed report 
demonstrating that each major acquisition program--defined as a 
program with an eventual total expenditure of $300 million or 
more over its life cycle cost--is aligned with approved 
baseline cost, schedule, and performance thresholds. Further, 
S. 146 requires the Secretary to report to Congress on the use 
of independent verification and validation processes, adding a 
layer of audits that may help identify cost overruns or delays.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\In the 114th Congress the Committee approved S. 1873, the Border 
Security Technology Accountability Act of 2015. The bill did not pass 
the Senate. This committee report is substantially similar to Chairman 
Johnson's committee report for S. 1873, S. Rep. No. 114-234.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

              II. Background and the Need for Legislation

    During the 114th and 115th Congresses, the Committee has 
held a series of hearings designed to examine border security, 
with particular attention given to the unique challenges of 
securing our borders, present shortcomings in addressing border 
security, and the consequences of our unsecured borders.\2\ 
While testifying during a hearing, entitled Securing the 
Border: Fencing, Infrastructure, and Technology Force 
Multipliers, Ronald Vitiello, Deputy Chief of the U.S. Customs 
& Border Protection's (CBP) Border Patrol, described how his 
component views border technology as a force multiplier helping 
frontline personnel accomplish their core mission.\3\ Further, 
in several reports, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) 
has shed light on how technologies providing remote 
surveillance of unoccupied territories and advanced detection 
capabilities improve the Border Patrol's situational awareness 
in between the ports of entry.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\See, i.e., The Effects of Border Insecurity and Lax Immigration 
Enforcement on American Communities: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on 
Homeland Sec. & Governmental Affairs, 115th Cong. (2017); Fencing Along 
the Southwest Border: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. & 
Governmental Affairs, 115th Cong. (2017); Improving Border Security and 
Public Safety: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. & 
Governmental Affairs, 115th Cong. (2017); Border Insecurity: The Rise 
of MS-13 and Other Transnational Criminal Organizations: Hearing Before 
the S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. & Governmental Affairs, 115th Cong. 
(2017); Border Security and America's Heroin Epidemic: The Impact of 
the Trafficking and Abuse of Heroin and Prescription Opioids in 
Wisconsin: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. & Governmental 
Affairs, 114th Cong. (2016); America's Heroin Epidemic at the Border: 
Local, State, and Federal Law Enforcement Efforts to Combat Illicit 
Narcotic Trafficking: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. & 
Governmental Affairs, 114th Cong. (2015); Securing the Border: Fencing, 
Infrastructure, and Technology Force Multipliers: Hearing Before the S. 
Comm. on Homeland Sec. & Governmental Affairs, 114th Cong. (2015).
    \3\Securing the Border: Fencing, Infrastructure, and Technology 
Force Multipliers: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. & 
Governmental Affairs, 114th Cong. (2015) (statement of Ronald Vitiello, 
Deputy Chief, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs & Border Protection).
    \4\Id. (statement of Rebecca Gambler, Director, Homeland Sec. and 
Justice, Gov't Accountability Office).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    However, CBP has faced challenges in procuring and managing 
technology used to implement its border security policy. For 
example, in 2011, the Department had to cancel CBP's SBInet 
program, initially intended to be a comprehensive technological 
border surveillance program, due to significant cost overruns 
and schedule delays.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Id. (statement of Ronald Vitiello, Deputy Chief, U.S. Border 
Patrol, U.S. Customs & Border Protection).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    According to GAO, until DHS and its components, like CBP, 
take necessary steps to mitigate existing accountability gaps, 
more acquisition projects are at risk of fraud, waste, and 
abuse.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\U.S. Gov't Accountability Office, GAO-15-171SP, Homeland 
Security Acquisitions: Major Program Assessments Reveal Actions Needed 
to Improve Accountability 1 (2015), available at https://www.gao.gov/
products/GAO-15-171SP.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This bipartisan bill seeks to codify practices that DHS 
should already be implementing under its internal control 
standards. This bill requires the Secretary of DHS to ensure 
all acquisition programs have an approved written baseline; all 
programs are meeting cost, schedule, and performance thresholds 
in compliance with departmental acquisition policies and the 
Federal Acquisition Regulation. In addition, this bill requires 
the Secretary to submit a plan for testing and evaluation for 
border security technology. The purpose of the plan is to 
ensure new border technologies are evaluated through a series 
of assessments, processes, and audits to ensure compliance and 
effectiveness of taxpayer dollars. Due to the amount of 
government resources and taxpayer money at stake, as well as 
the significance of border security to our homeland security, 
allotting greater oversight for the testing and evaluation of 
border security technologies is necessary to ensure their 
effective and efficient implementation.

                        III. Legislative History

    Senator John McCain (R-AZ) introduced S. 146, the Border 
Security Technology Accountability Act of 2017, on January 12, 
2017. The bill was referred to the Committee on Homeland 
Security and Governmental Affairs. Senators Claire McCaskill 
(D-MO) and Margaret Hassan (D-NH) joined as cosponsors on 
October 3, 2017.
    The Committee considered S. 146 at a business meeting on 
October 4, 2017. The Committee ordered S. 146 reported 
favorably by voice vote en bloc with Senators Johnson, 
Lankford, Daines, McCaskill, Tester, Heitkamp, Hassan, and 
Harris present.

        IV. Section-by-Section Analysis of the Bill, as Reported


Section. 1. Short title

    This section provides the bill's short title, the ``Border 
Security Technology Accountability Act of 2017.''

Section 2. Border security technology accountability

    Subsection (a) includes additional accountability standards 
to the Homeland Security Act of 2002 by requiring that each 
major acquisition program has a written baseline approved by 
proper supervising authorities, ensuring the required baselines 
comply with relevant Federal Acquisition Regulations, and 
setting a blueprint to meet implementation objectives.
    Subsection (b) requires the Secretary of DHS to ensure all 
major acquisition programs meet internal control standards 
certified by the Comptroller General of the United States.
    Subsection (c) requires the Secretary of DHS to submit a 
report to Congress on the use of independent verification and 
validation processes to ensure taxpayer's dollars are being 
used effectively when deploying additional border security 
technology.
    Subsection (d) provides a definition for ``major 
acquisition program.''

Section 3. Prohibition on additional authorization of appropriations

    This section clarifies that Congress does not authorize new 
appropriations for DHS to implement the provisions included in 
this bill.

                   V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this bill and determined 
that the bill will have no regulatory impact within the meaning 
of the rules. The Committee agrees with the Congressional 
Budget Office's statement that the bill contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs 
on state, local, or tribal governments.

             VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                  Washington, DC, October 12, 2017.
Hon. Ron Johnson, Chairman,
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs,
U.S. Senate Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 146, the Border 
Security Technology Accountability Act of 2017.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark 
Grabowicz.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

S. 146--Border Security Technology Accountability Act of 2017

    S. 146 would direct the Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS) to improve the planning, documentation, and management of 
certain programs to acquire border security technology. The 
bill also would require DHS to submit a plan to the Congress to 
ensure that such programs comply with federal acquisition 
policies.
    Based on the cost of similar activities, CBO estimates that 
implementing S. 146 would cost less than $500,000, subject to 
the availability of appropriated funds. There are ongoing 
efforts within DHS to carry out the actions required by the 
bill and improve the overall management of technology programs 
for border security.
    Enacting the legislation would not affect direct spending 
or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 146 would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    S. 146 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz. 
The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

       VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
S. 146, as reported, are shown as follows: (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in brackets, new matter is 
printed in italic, and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE 6--DOMESTIC SECURITY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 1--HOMELAND SECURITY ORGANIZATION

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Subchapter IV--Border, Maritime, and Transportation Security

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



PART C--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 434. BORDER SECURITY TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM MANAGEMENT

    (a) Planning Documentation.--For each border security 
technology acquisition program of the Department that is 
determined to be a major acquisition program, the Secretary 
shall--
          (1) ensure that each such program has a written 
        acquisition program baseline approved by the relevant 
        acquisition decision authority;
          (2) document that each such program is meeting cost, 
        schedule, and performance thresholds as specified in 
        such baseline, in compliance with relevant departmental 
        acquisition policies and the Federal Acquisition 
        Regulation; and
          (3) have a plan for meeting program implementation 
        objectives by managing contractor performance.
    (b) Adherence to Standards.--The Secretary, acting through 
the Under Secretary for Management and the Commissioner of U.S. 
Customs and Border Protection, shall ensure that border 
security technology acquisition program managers who are 
responsible for carrying out this section adhere to relevant 
internal control standards identified by the Comptroller 
General of the United States. The Commissioner shall provide 
information, as needed, to assist the Under Secretary in 
monitoring proper program management of border security 
technology acquisition programs under this section.
    (c) Plan.--The Secretary, acting through the Under 
Secretary for Management, and in coordination with the Under 
Secretary for Science and Technology and the Commissioner of 
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, shall submit a plan to the 
appropriate congressional committees for testing and 
evaluation, and the use of independent verification and 
validation resources, for border security technology so that 
new border security technologies are evaluated through a series 
of assessments, processes, and audits to ensure--
          (1) compliance with relevant departmental acquisition 
        policies and the Federal Acquisition Regulation; and
          (2) the effectiveness of taxpayer dollars.
    (d) Major Acquisition Program Defined.--In this section, 
the term `major acquisition program' means a Department 
acquisition program that is estimated by the Secretary to 
require an eventual total expenditure of at least $300,000,00 
(based on fiscal year 2017 constant dollars) over its life 
cycle cost.

                                  [all]