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CBP and GSA Announce Donations Acceptance Program Launch

U.S. Trade/Travel Trends & Resource Challenges

In recent years, the U.S. has experienced a record increase in international trade and travel. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is frequently asked to provide new or additional port of entry- related services to support our country’s rising traffic volumes but is not always able to accommodate these requests due to on-going resource constraints.

Recognizing these challenges, Congress has authorized CBP, in collaboration with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), to conduct a five-year pilot program permitting CBP to enter into partnerships with private sector and government entities at ports of entry for certain services and to accept certain donations under Section 559 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, P.L. 113-76. Since enactment in January 2014, CBP and GSA have worked closely to establish the framework that will be used to implement subsection (f) of Section 559, referred to as the Donation Acceptance Authority.

Donation Acceptance Authority Overview

Pursuant to the Donation Acceptance Authority, CBP and GSA are authorized to accept donations of real property, personal property (including monetary donations), and non-personal services from private sector and government entities. Accepted donations may be used for activities related to the construction, alteration, operations, and maintenance of an existing CBP-owned land port of entry, existing leased space at a CBP air or sea port of entry or a new or existing GSA-owned land port of entry. These activities may include, but are not limited to land acquisition, design, and the deployment of equipment and technologies. Partnerships entered into during the pilot program may extend beyond the initial five-year timeframe.

Section 559 stipulates that CBP, in consultation with GSA, shall establish procedures for evaluating incoming donation proposals and make any such evaluation criteria available to the public. To satisfy the aforementioned statutory requirement, CBP and GSA developed the Section 559 Donation Acceptance Authority Proposal Evaluation Procedures and Criteria Framework which encompasses the procedures that CBP and GSA will use to receive, evaluate, select, plan, develop and accept donations proposed under Section 559. It also specifies the operational and non-operational criteria that CBP and GSA will use over a multi-step evaluation process to determine overall proposal viability. These operational and non-operational criteria have been provided in the table below.

Operational Evaluation CriteriaNon-Operational Evaluation Criteria
Operational ImpactFinancial Feasibility
Operational BenefitsLegal Implications
Funding StrategyReal Estate Implications
Health & SafetyEnvironmental & Cultural Resource Implications
Economic & Community BenefitsTechnical Feasibility
Community SupportPlanning Implications
Other Agency Support for OperationsProposal Support
Project Duration & Timeline 

Proposal Considerations

The Section 559 Framework is designed to provide potential donors with the information necessary to prepare and submit donation proposals that address the needs of CBP. Donation proposals, which may not be submitted until October 20, 2014, will be evaluated on their individual merit and ability to address each of the operational and non-operational criteria listed above. Please note that while proposals requiring supplementary Government funding are not discouraged, existing resource availability or out-year resource uncertainty will be taken into account when evaluating such proposals. Please also note that CBP and GSA will only consider submissions that envision Federal ownership of the proposed donation.

In addition, potential donors are encouraged to adhere to the below parameters and guidelines which CBP and GSA have established to facilitate the proposal evaluation and selection process. Donation proposals should:

  • Be sent electronically as a .pdf or Microsoft Office compatible file (e.g. Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Visio, etc.);
  • Not exceed 25 total pages in length;
  • Contain a one-page proposal summary synopsizing the scope of the donation;
  • Be sent in one single email not to exceed 50 megabytes in size;
  • Not include follow-on documents or submissions (e.g. drawings, models, etc.); and
  • Fully address each of the operational and non-operational criteria provided above and in the Section 559 Donation Acceptance Authority Proposal Evaluation Procedures & Criteria Framework.

Finally, potential donors whose proposals are selected may be invited to engage in further planning and development activities with CBP and GSA. To that end, further coordination with CBP and GSA may be expected before the proposal is considered project execution ready.

Donations Acceptance Program Information Sharing Opportunities

CBP and GSA have established a question and answer period to provide potential donors with an opportunity to submit questions regarding the Donations Acceptance Program (DAP) and proposal submission process. Beginning today potential donors may submit questions electronically to CBP through the following link: DAP Question Submission. CBP and GSA will not respond directly to submitted questions but rather will share its consolidated responses in early November via the Section 559 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page located on CBP and GSA will also schedule a live Q&A session via teleconference in early November to provide an overview of the DAP and respond to program-related questions.

Please note that to promote a fair and equitable proposal submission and evaluation process, CBP and GSA will respond only to questions submitted online or during the teleconference relating to the overall DAP and will not be able to address individual proposal specifics.  Please also note that while CBP and GSA will make an effort to address all questions relating to the overall DAP, depending on the number and nature of questions submitted, this may not be possible.

Next Steps

On October 20, 2014 CBP plans to announce the open period for submitting donation proposals to: The submission period will remain open for 60 days, closing at 5 P.M. EDT on December 23, 2014. Please continue to monitor the website for additional information regarding the proposal submission period to include proposal submission instructions.

Last modified: 
March 25, 2019