The Ottawa Citizen reported yesterday on a new audit of Canadian homeland security that questions the performance of a number of Canadian border security and customs inspection activities:
The federal government’s implementation of a national customs strategy and several post-Sept. 11, 2001 border security initiatives is behind schedule, underfunded, over-budget and ineffective in key areas, an internal audit has found.
While the review endorses the principles behind the plan — launched in 2000 to speed border processing and crack down on illegal activity — associated programs have been hampered by financial, planning and logistical problems.
Auditors focused mainly on the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), but also took aim at a pair of RCMP-led, multi-department enforcement squads in which it participates.
They found the government’s highly touted Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBETs) have “produced few enforcement results to date,” and only recently took steps to improve performance.
The article goes on to detail other border security activities that need improvement, such as the management of airline passenger data and the use of new cargo inspection equipment.
Hopefully Canadian officials will take these recommendations seriously and improve performance in each of these areas. When I find the full report, I’ll update this post and put up a link.