WASHINGTON— U.S. Customs and Border Protection today announced a new Reimbursable Services and Donations Acceptance authority and the allocation of 2,000 additional CBP officers to further enhance security and improve service levels at ports of entry across the country, while facilitating trade and travel essential to the growing U.S. economy. These efforts are key components of the agency’s Resource Optimization Strategy which maximizes resources and increases efficiencies in order to improve travelers’ experiences as they arrive at the nation’s ports of entry.
“Research has shown that for every 33 additional CBP officers the U.S. can potentially gain over 1,000 jobs. These measures are a significant down payment and a wise investment in our airports, seaports and land border crossings that will pay dividends for the nation’s economy,” said Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “We look forward to continuing to work with Congress and our stakeholders to implement additional investments that will allow us to support growing volumes of trade and travel that are vital to our economic prosperity.”
The Reimbursable Services program permits CBP to enter into partnerships with private sector and government entities and to accept certain donations that will help enable CBP to support additional requests for services for a five-year period. Last year, CBP signed five agreements with ports in Houston, Dallas, El Paso, South Texas and Miami. Applications for partnerships will be accepted starting April 1 until 5 p.m. EDT April 30.
As a result of funding provided in the fiscal year 2014 budget, CBP today also announces the allocation of 2,000 new CBP officers at air, land and sea ports across the country. Among the cities that will see an increase in personnel at their local ports are New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Buffalo, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Las Vegas, Laredo, Texas, Nogales, Arizona and New Orleans. Overall, 44 ports in 18 states will receive additional staffing that will reduce wait times, and help speed the lawful flow of goods and people into the nation.
CBP allocated the additional officers using its Workload Staffing Model, an analytical tool that objectively identifies staffing needs across the country. CBP will work aggressively to recruit, hire and train the highest caliber applicants to meet our hiring mandate by the end of FY2015.
CBP is committed to ensuring the security our nation’s borders while facilitating the growing rate of legitimate travel and trade. The Department of Commerce estimates the rate of travel into the United States will increase by 3.4 to 4.3 percent annually in the coming years. That growth will represent an additional 17 million visitors when compared to 2012 numbers. In response to the growing flow, CBP has implemented a number of initiatives and is pursuing proposals to increase workforce capability by:
- Maximizing the use of current resources to increase workforce capability by increasing enrollment into trusted traveler programs such as Global Entry and establishing self-service Automated Passport Control kiosks at airports throughout the country;
- Employing mobile technology to streamline processes and relieve certain infrastructure constraints;
- Increasing risk segmentation through enhanced targeting/pre-departure initiatives, and through new automated scheduling practices;
- Continuing to implement business transformation initiatives to reduce costs and mitigate staffing requirements, such as the automation of the I-94 form.
Please see CBP’s Reimbursable Services program for more information.