March 1, 2010   Current Site Visitors -> web tracker

The Virtual Truth
If you can't measure it, you can't improve it
American Border Patrol -- March 1 
Feature Image
Photo by American Border Patrol

The Virtual Fence Debacle  
    In 2006 the Department of Homeland Security announced plans for the Strategic Border Initiative, including the construction of a "virtual fence" (SBInet) along the U.S-Mexico border. In July of 2006, Glenn Spencer said: "Nowhere does SBI spell out a goal that can be measured."  
    Today the Washington Times exposes the management debacle that was SBInet.
    "Since February 2007, according to a review of federal records by The Washington Times, GAO has been telling Congress and Homeland Security that its high-tech border protection system needed better oversight and accountability, and that it lacked realistic measures of cost, timing and benefits." [...]
    GAO was on this right from the start," Mr. Stana said of SBInet, which was launched in 2006. "The first problem was the government never came up with detailed requirements for the system; they never talked to the Border Patrol." [...]
    "Glenn Spencer, president of the American Border Patrol, a private organization that uses airplanes and high-tech equipment to monitor the U.S.-Mexico border, said the virtual fence failed because Homeland Security "did not set measurable goals for the system." "Boeing didn't really know what to build and [Homeland Security] had no way of knowing if it was working or not," said Mr. Spencer, whose board includes two former Border Patrol chiefs. "The axiom reads: If you cant measure it, you cant improve it."
    It turns out Spencer was right all along.

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