The Trump Administration Paid a Company $13.6 Million to Find Agents to Round Up Immigrants. They Hired 2 People

President Donald Trump argues about border security with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in the Oval Office on December 11, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Photo: Mark Wilson (Getty Images)

First, Trump created a war with Mexican migrants that could only be solved by building this dumb-ass border wall. Then Trump moonwalked back on campaign promises that Mexico would pay for this dumb-ass wall. Now Trump is threatening to shut down the government if he’s not given money for this dumb-ass wall, and while everyone is bickering over what’s going to happen with this dumb-ass wall, a consulting company is making a killing.

Also, I’m pretty sure the official name of the project is “Trump’s dumb-ass border wall.”

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According to a report by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), Accenture Federal Services was hired U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) “to fill thousands of new jobs to satisfy President Trump’s mandate to secure the southern border is ‘nowhere near’ completing its hiring goals and ‘risks wasting millions of taxpayer dollars.’”

NPR reports:

The audit found that as of Oct. 1, CBP had paid Accenture Federal Services approximately $13.6 million of a $297 million contract to recruit and hire 7,500 applicants, including Customs and Border Protection officers, Border Patrol agents, and Air and Marine Interdiction agents. But 10 months into the first year of a five-year contract, Accenture had processed only “two accepted job offers,” according to the report.

The inspector general called for immediate action. The report is titled “Management Alert — CBP Needs to Address Serious Performance Issues on the Accenture Hiring Contract.” It alleges the consulting company — which CBP agreed to pay nearly $40,000 per hire — failed to develop an “efficient, innovative, and expertly run hiring process,” as the company pledged to do when it was awarded the lucrative contract. Instead, the probe concluded the company “relied heavily” on CBP’s existing infrastructure, resources and experts in all of its recruiting.

“We are concerned that CBP may have paid Accenture for services and tools not provided,” the report states. “Without addressing the issues we have identified, CBP risks wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on a hastily approved contract that is not meeting its proposed performance expectations.”

According to the report, which was viewed by NPR, Accenture didn’t come close to fulfilling the contract’s outlines. When Accenture missed the 90-day deadline to reach the “full operation phase,” CBP adjusted the contract, giving the company another three months to meet their contractual obligations. Then Accenture didn’t have a way to track applicants, necessitating another contract revision forcing the agency to “give credit and temporarily pay Accenture for a percentage of all applicants.”

The Inspector General concluded that “CBP must hold the contractor accountable, mitigate risk, and devise a strategy to ensure results without additional costs to the Government.”

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Despite Accenture’s paltry two hires since receiving the contract in more than a year ago, the Department of Homeland Security’s internal watchdog opened an investigation into WTF was going on with Accenture since they only hired two people.

While a spokesperson didn’t return NPR’s request for comment, the public radio station did find a letter from Henry Moak, a senior CBP official, dated Nov. 28 that seemingly comes to the defense of Accenture and disputes OIG’s findings.

Moak argued that Accenture has successfully “created a hiring structure, tailored technology solutions to support and manage the hiring process” and has “recruited thousands of new applicants.” Further, Moak claimed that the suggestion that the changes in the contract were due to a failure on Accenture’s part is “inaccurate.” He said the changes were requested by CBP “because it offered better overall efficiency in our mutual hiring activities.” Additionally, for any cutbacks in Accenture’s responsibilities, the agency “made equitable adjustments to decrease the cost-per-hire.”

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The takeaway here is that Trump’s fake war with Mexican migrants created a bloated need for the president to sign an executive order for some 5,000 Border Patrol and 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. And as it stands, a contract company received $13.6 million to hire thousands has hired two people.

That’s right, two people.

“While we take some exception to the OIG’s characterization of the contract, we do agree the contract has been a challenge, primarily due to the innovative efforts by both parties and we are reviewing how best to use it moving forward,” a Customs and Border Patrol spokesperson told NPR in an emailed statement.

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I wonder if Border Patrol took exception with two people being hired since the contract was awarded? Nah, because two people being hired means that they only have another 4,998 to go and at this rate, the contract would be complete in the year 7564.

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About the author

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.