Boarder patrol positions have been notoriously difficult to fill, in large part, because of the polygraph exam applicants are required to undergo. It must be a rigorous polygraph because two of three applicants fail the exam.
To assist in hiring border guards, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) awarded Accenture Federal Services a five year contract for nearly $300 million to to recruit and hire 7.500 Boarder Patrol Agents. Now, 10 months into the contract, CPB has paid Accenture $13.6 million and what do they have to show for their efforts? Accenture has filled 2 positions (or $6.8 million per recruit).
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG), initiated its audit of Accenture's performance after receiving "Hotline" complaints about the contractor's performance. The OIG's report, issued last week, found numerous problems and concluded that CBP management needed to address "serious performance issues on the Accenture hiring contract.".
Among the performance issues identified by the OIG are
- Accenture has not provided the promised hiring process or results. Accenture has yet to demonstrate the efficient, innovative, and expertly run hiring process it promised.
- Accenture relied on CBP resources to fulfill contract obligations. Accenture was supposed to provide a team of technical experts and tools to fulfill contract requirements. Instead, Accenture relied heavily on CBP resources to complete the hiring process.
- Accenture has not provided the agreed-upon technological innovations.
- Accenture used a retinal scanning tool to discern deception based on eye and face muscle movement to pre-screen candidates without regulatory approval.
The OIG made a series of recommendations which CPB concurred to.
The full report can be accessed here.