- The Washington Times - Friday, August 1, 2014

While Congress struggles to address the crisis along the Mexican border, a new internal audit report reveals that nation’s border patrol can’t accurately determine how many officers are needed to do its job.

According to a new report from the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s workload staffing model may not be producing accurate numbers on how many agents are needed, in part due to inaccurate data entered into the model.

Auditors found that the Border Patrol's Office of Field Operations does not catalog, track and validate all data on systems used in workload calculations; approve changes to the staffing model; or have any written policies or procedures on developing and planning the model.

“Without reliable data and strong internal controls, … [Border Patrol] and Congress may not have had accurate information from the [model] to make sound staffing and funding decisions,” the Inspector General wrote in the audit report.

The watchdog added that the CPB risks overstaffing officers, “which could lead to inefficiency and waste or understaffing, which could lead to security breaches and economic losses.”

The inspector general's office recommended improvements for written procedure, approval for changes to data, and periodic evaluations. The Border Patrol Agency agreed with the recommendations and is working to address the issues in the report.