CBP spent some $5.1 million over 2013-2016 administering polygraph tests to job applicants who already had made disclosures that would rule them out for the positions, an IG report has found.

CBP uses polygraph testing in its screening process for law enforcement positions, spending some $72.3 million over that period to test nearly 33,000 applicants, a report said. That requirement, set by a 2010 law, has been cited as a hold-up in the hiring process; legislation pending in Congress would expand the conditions under which the requirement could be waived.

The IG report found that CBP did not stop applicants from continuing through that stage even after disclosing disqualifying information on employment documents or during a pre-test interview, a report said. Such disclosures in the period audited included illegal drug use, drug smuggling and close personal relationships with people who have committed such crimes, it said.

“If CBP implemented a security interview and improved utilization of the adjudicative process, it could put its funds to better use by focusing on applicants with the best chance of making it through the hiring process. Not doing so slows the process for qualified applicants; wastes polygraph resources on unsuitable applicants; and will make it more difficult for CBP to achieve its hiring goals,” it said.

The report added that while CBP agreed with its recommendations, the IG considers management’s proposed timeframe for implementation too long.