Report calls SBInet progress into question

Technology is being poorly managed, schedules have slipped and capabilities are not clear in the Homeland Security Department's SBInet border surveillance system being built along the border of the United States and Mexico, according to a Government Accountability Office report released today.

The report details how SBInet continues to be "in a state of flux" with regard to what capabilities are to be delivered, and when. The system is to use advanced technology to secure border areas.

"Just as the scope and timing of planned deployments have not been clear and have changed over time, the specific capabilities that are to be deployed have been unclear," the report said.

The GAO also criticized the SBInet management for poorly handling the defining of requirements, and for not effectively managing the alignment of requirements.

The first two permanent segments, Tucson-1 and Ajo-1, were to begin construction in July. However, they have been delayed until sometime in 2009 because of a need to obtain federal land permits and to conduct additional testing, the GAO and DHS officials said.

Highlights of the report were previously presented by Randolph Hite, the GAO 's director of information technology architecture and system issues, to the House Homeland Security Committee on Sept. 10.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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