Federal Manager's Daily Report

The Department of Homeland Security Bureau of Customs and

Border Protection is carrying out the ambitious acquisition


of a massive import and export system intended to increase

processing efficiency and border security alike, and needs

to address pattern and cost concerns because they have

effected the current release of its automated commercial

environment (ACE) and will continue to carry over into later

releases, the General Accounting Office has said.

It said that with the first two ACE releases, DHS established

a pattern of borrowing resources from future releases that

has adversely affected the cost, schedule, and capability

commitments of ongoing releases. The delay in completing the

second release introduced a pattern of increased reliance on

concurrent activities to stay on schedule and cost overruns.

It’s a domino effect that is continuing into the third

release and beyond, something that requires DHS to address

the reasons for release quality problems that led to the

concurrent activity, GAO said.

DHS agreed. Its fiscal year 2004 ACE expenditure plan includes

system implementation, infrastructure and support, operations

and maintenance, and the definition and design of two future

releases and it address GAO recommendations. But that will

take a lot of work, especially because progress overcoming

human capital challenges has been glacial, said GAO.