Past Features

Lastest border scheme only wastes $700 million
Our View: Homeland Security is taking another shot at a virtual fence

Arizona Republic Editorial -- March 15, 2014 
    Here's a through-the-looking-glass example of cutting government waste, Department of Homeland Security-style.
    The last time DHS's Customs and Border Protection launched a virtual fence, the failed SBI-net system cost taxpayers $1 billion. Big money.
    The latest high-tech border surveillance scheme is expected to waste only $700 million, according to the Government Accountability Office. A little less waste.
    That means 300 million fewer of your tax dollars will disappear into a black hole named "Oops, We Flubbed It Again."
    Is that reassuring? No.
    Mistakes should become lessons, not recurring themes. Some in Congress agree.
    "In this time of limited budgets, we cannot repeat the mistakes of the past," Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., said during a congressional hearing where the GAO report was discussed.
    Alas, the same hearing also included an odd assurance from Customs and Border Protection's Mark Borkowski, assistant commissioner for the Office of Technology Innovation and Acquisition. "What we saw in the demos was impressive," he told Congress.
    Well, no worries then. Demos never lie.
    Congress should demand far more accountability. Cutting waste means more than just wasting less than last time....
ABP comment: Congratulations to the Arizona Republic - better late than never. Could it be that the time has come for the Border Security Accountability Act of 2014?....