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CBP Disagrees with Inspector General Report on Unmanned Aircraft System Program

Release Date: 
January 6, 2015

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) disagrees with the Office of Inspector General (OIG) report’s portrayal of the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) program, managed by our Office of Air and Marine (OAM), which inaccurately portrays the program’s effectiveness, and with the report’s analysis of cost and cost per flight hour data.

CBP’s full response to OIG’s report can be found in the following document: CBP Response to OIG UAS Report.

Among the report’s four recommendations, CBP has stated the following:

  • Recommendation one is to conduct a study prior to purchasing more systems – CBP does not have any plans to expand or purchase additional aircraft and is using current funding to improve the capabilities of the existing fleet. Initiating a study on an action not under consideration would be an irresponsible use of funds.
  • Recommendation two is to lift CBP’s Joint Field Command (JFC) limitations on the Vehicle and Dismount Exploitation Radar (VADER) system – but there are no limitations on the VADER system by JFC. There did exist limitations at one time that were external of JFC that have already been removed and resolved.
  • Recommendation three is for OAM to revise its Concept of Operations to include attainable goals – that is a recommendation that CBP OAM is already working to implement.
  • Recommendation four is for OAM to develop policies and procedures for reporting all associated costs of the UAS programs and flight programs. CBP disagrees with the report’s analysis of cost and cost per flight hour, and with the report’s interpretation of Office of Management and Budget’s Circular No. A-126. CBP’s cost per flight hour calculation is in compliance with the circular, and provides a reasonable cost per flight hour.
Last modified: 
February 3, 2021