SBInet contract reportedly renewed for 30 days

Boeing's contract to work on the Homeland Security Department's SBInet electronic surveillance system at the Arizona-Mexico border is getting another 30 days, according to a published report.

The Homeland Security Department has renewed Boeing Co.’s contract for the SBInet electronic border surveillance system for an additional 30 days, according to a report by American Public Media’s Marketplace.

Marketplace, in a news article dated Nov. 16, quotes sources at DHS who stated that the contract for the Secure Border Initiative Network was due to expire today but is now effective through Dec. 18.

Boeing’s initial three-year contract for SBInet was awarded in September 2006, with three one-year options to renew. DHS officials previously had exercised one of the options, along with an additional 30 days.

The SBInet video and radar surveillance system along the Arizona-Mexico border has cost approximately $760 million to date and has been troubled throughout its development. A 28-mile prototype began operating in 2008, and Customs and Border Protection is working to complete the first permanent installation of SBInet along a 53-mile section this year.

The Government Accountability Office has issued several critical reports of the program since 2006, noting problems including uncertain or changing system requirements, technology glitches, inadequate user input and cost overruns.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano ordered a reassessment of SBInet in January, which is not yet complete.

DHS officials told lawmakers in June that future plans to extend the SBInet system across the entire U.S.-Mexico border likely will be suspended and that the existing system may be augmented by unmanned aerial vehicles and mobile systems. 

Boeing Corp., of Chicago, ranks No. 3 on Washington Technology's 2010 Top 100 list of the largest federal government contractors.