GAO: Border Agents Use Flawed Methods To Track Wait Times
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
A new report by the Government Accountability Office says federal agents are miscalculating wait times at ports along the U.S. Mexico border.
The GAO says the methods Customs and Border Protection agents used to measure wait times across the southern border were inconsistent at six check-points it inspected. The GAO’s Rebecca Gambler says different methods of manual counting were being used ineffectively.
GAO Report On U.S.-Mexico Border Wait Times
“The CBP’s processes for collecting data on wait times and estimating data on wait times differed across border crossings, which makes it difficult to use that information for informing decisions across border crossings."
The GAO made recommendations to the CBP for more efficient data collection. They include using closed circuit television, documenting staff practices, and developing consistent tracking methods. The Border Trade Alliance’s President Noe Garcia says inaccurate reporting can lead to even longer wait times and damage international trade.
“The delays at the U.S. Mexico border crossings cost the U.S. economy $7.8 billion in 2011,” Garcia says.
In some cases wait times can exceeded 3 hours. The CBP has agreed to explore new techniques.