After paying $13.6 million this year to a private company hired to flood U.S. Border Patrol with new employees, the Trump administration has just two new agents to show for it, according to a federal government watchdog.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) hired Accenture to hire and recruit 7,500 agents within the next five years. But just 10 months into the contract, only two accepted job offers have been processed, according to the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General.
But the report said $13.6 million has been spent in the last 10 months, and CBP "risks wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on a hastily approved contract that is not meeting its proposed performance expectations."
One of Donald Trump’s first acts as president was to order an increase in Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents — a move met with skepticism by former agency officials and experts, Business Insider noted.
Border Patrol jobs are notoriously difficult to staff because of the rigorous demands of the job and the remote locations of many positions. Beyond that, turnover is high within the agency, and previous hiring sprees have had disastrous results.
In 2006, the last time CBP implemented a large-scale hiring spree, there was a 44% uptick in employee arrests on suspicion of misconduct, corruption, taking bribes, or smuggling drugs or people.
CBP ultimately agreed to the four recommendations in the report, including that the CBP commissioner should assess Accenture's performance in line with the contract and "determine whether Accenture should reimburse DHS for services not provided."