The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) could employ 75 recruiters full time to work on hiring 7,500 agents in a year. At $80,000 each staff employee, that’s $6 million total.
Each of the 75 would work with 100 applicants a year – not a day or week, but a year!. That’s about one every three days. Plenty of time for holidays, afternoon golf, surfing where available, Facebook at work, calling the wife or mistress or hubby or fitness coach, and tweeting all your friends.
Cost per new agent under my plan would be $800.
When ICBP actually needed 7,500 more agents, it didn’t hire 75 recruiters, or use its own “overworked” administrative staff (bureaucrats are such busy beavers).
Instead, it concocted a way to make a private foreign company – Accenture – even richer by outsourcing the same task a million companies perform themselves every day – hiring new employees.
Senator Claire McCaskill is one of many honest folks unhappy with the $297 million contract to Accenture to hire 5,000 Border Patrol Agents (BPAs), 2,000 Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Officers, and 500 Air and Marine Interdiction Agents.
McCaskill said CBP claims it is too busy to hire agents and needs Accenture, to do the job, but the Senator is not happy with that explanation.
In a letter to CBP she blasted the contract already awarded:
Under the Accenture contract, it will reportedly cost almost $40,000 to hire each new law enforcement officer… this is almost equal to the amount made by an entry level Border Patrol Agent, or CBP Officer
Most BPA salaries on the USAJOBS website range from between $41,000 to $90,000 per year
The ICE hiring draft solicitation appears to make a molehill hiring process into a mountain of effort, insight and wisdom to justify an outlandish per-hire price tag.
McCaskill wanted an explanation of “why is CBP’s Office of Human Resources Management unable to hire additional CBP personnel without assistance from a contractor?”
She also asked the agency to “please explain how CBP determined whether this cost was reasonable.”
Not only is the $40k exorbitant, but McCaskill said it doesn’t even cover many of the major costs of bringing on a new agent:
Despite the high cost, that amount will still not cover all the expenses of hiring.
While the contract covers (only) the entrance exam, the pre-qualification, the medical exam, the physical fitness test, the initiation of the background questionnaire, the background investigation, the coordination of interviews the polygraph, and the drug test, (and) the lineal adjudication of most of these stages will be performed by CBP officials.
McCaskill is on target. The entrance exam seems a small part of the process, as demonstrated in the following chart:
To understand why we are paying so much for so little, let’s examine the recipient of the largess.
In October 2002, the Congressional General Accounting Office (GAO) identified Accenture as one of four publicly traded federal contractors that were incorporated in a tax haven in Bermuda.
In May 2009 its board of directors unanimously approved changing the company’s place of incorporation from Bermuda to Ireland and it would become Accenture plc.
In 2012 it was revealed Accenture was paying only 3.5% in tax in the United Kingdom, compared to the average rate of 24%, as well as 0% corporate income tax to the United States.
In December 2014, Accenture won a $563 million contract to provide ongoing maintenance, software development and technology support for HealthCare.gov through 2019.
Accenture is most proud of its global stature for outsourcing American jobs.
Are you wondering how the $40,000 per hire program went?
“The DHS Office of Inspector General in December 2018, said Accenture had been paid $13.6M through the first ten months of the contract”, Wikipedia reported.
They had hired two agents against a contract goal of 7,500 hires over 5 years. The report was issued as a ‘management alert’, indicating an issue requiring immediate attention, stating that “Accenture has already taken longer to deploy and delivered less capability than promised.
Forget $40,000 to employ an agent.
Taxpayers paid $13.6 million total, or $6.58 million for each one.
Categories: Government Reform