There are more people and goods coming through our ports of entry than ever before. Last fiscal year, CBP inspected more than 360 million travelers at our air, land, and sea ports of entry. Since 2009, we have seen growth in both trade and travel. In Fiscal Year 2013, total passenger volume was 6.4% higher and total import value was nearly 40% higher than in Fiscal Year 2011. We expect these trends to continue.
Travel and trade play a critical role in the nation’s economic growth, and CBP recognizes its role in driving that growth through our trade and travel facilitation mission. To support increasing volumes, CBP developed a comprehensive Resource Optimization Strategy that includes Business Transformation Initiatives, a data-driven Workload Staffing Model and alternative sources of funding that include public-private partnerships — like the reimbursable service pilots authorized last year under Section 560.
Section 559 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, is another key component of CBP’s alternative sources of funding solution. This authority allows us to support requests for expanded services as well as improvements to infrastructure through both reimbursable service agreements and donation acceptance authority, respectively. Reimbursable services under Section 559 include customs, immigration, and agricultural processing; salaries for additional staff; and overtime expenses at airports. The new donation acceptance authority provides even greater flexibility, allowing CBP and the General Services Administration (GSA), to accept donations of real or personal property or non-personal services to be used for construction, alterations, operation, or maintenance of a new or existing port of entry.
CBP views these authorities as an opportunity to proactively work with stakeholders and communities to identify business solutions for a variety of border management needs. CBP has a team in place to support these efforts and to offer a streamlined application and evaluation process, with analytical support and guidance to meet the needs of our prospective partners.
For parties interested in partnering under a reimbursable service agreement: the open application period for reimbursable services for this year closed on April 30, 2014. We will announce the next application period in early 2015.
For parties interested in CBP’s donation acceptance authority: CBP, in consultation with GSA, is establishing evaluation criteria for accepting donations which will be made public at a later date. Public release of these evaluation criteria will likely coincide with a program launch announcement to include procedures for submitting proposals.
The opportunities available under Section 559 to expand our partnerships will continue to enhance the set of solutions developed to address the increased demands on CBP’s existing resources and improve services to interested stakeholders in all port environments. CBP recognizes that increased economic activity can be driven by additional services and enhanced infrastructure; and this is one more way we can accommodate such change.