Despite numerous hiring initiatives, Customs and Border Protection was able to increase by only a net seven agent positions through the first 10 months of fiscal 2019, according to a Senate report.
Because of those “continued challenges with hiring and retention,” a DHS spending bill provides less than the White House requested, a request that was based on an assumption of a net increase of hundreds of agents, according to the Senate report on the bill, S-2582.
Filling positions in Alaska, Hawaii and remote areas is a particular challenge, it says, telling CBP to “continue efforts to use available incentives to recruit and retain employees in rural and remote areas and explore other strategies, such as career path enhancements, alternative schedules, and non-salary benefits for employees who are willing to choose such locations.”
It notes, though, that some CBP law enforcement personnel “have been performing tasks that could reasonably be completed by non-law enforcement personnel, such as technicians working in federal positions or contractors.” The measure would require the agency to report to Congress on that issue, along with the state of its hiring initiatives in general.
It also would order a report on hiring of cybersecurity professionals and “proposed solutions to develop standardized metrics used to ensure consistency in identifying skills and talents of employees across the agency.”