Allen Gina, who retired in September as assistant commissioner for international trade at U.S. Customs, and Andrew Farrelly, who was until recently the chief of staff for the deputy commissioner, have formed a supply chain and trade compliance advisory practice that will be part of the Command Consulting Group, co-founded in 2009 by former Customs Commissioner Ralph Basham.
CT Strategies will operate as a subsidiary of Command Consulting Group, helping clients with border management and risk mitigation, trade facilitation and compliance, supply chain security, advance information and intelligence targeting, and joining trusted trader partnership programs, CCG announced Tuesday.
Command Consulting offers Integrated Trade and Supply Chain Services to corporate and government clients, but its expertise was largely concentrated in physical and cybersecurity asset recovery, threat assessment, personnel training, technology acquisition, and market analysis for product launches and mergers in the security field.
The new partnership more fully develops Command Consulting's capabilities and enables it to take greater advantage of business opportunities in the supply chain services arena, Gina told American Shipper
Basham approached Gina and Farrelly to run the CT Strategies subsidiary, Gina said.
The firm can assist companies with establishing standard procedures and systems for efficiently entering legitimate goods and services through customs, and taking advantage of preferential trade programs while maintaining secure custody of their cargo. CT Strategies will also help customs administrations around the world that want to modernize their operations so they become enablers of trade rather than a bureaucratic roadblock that discourages companies from importing and exporting, Gina said.
He and Farrelly were heavily involved in the transformation process underway at U.S. Customs and Border Protection to create an agency that is more responsive to business needs through initiatives such as the Centers of Excellence and Expertise, designed to streamline post-entry compliance; retooling the Automated Commercial Environment roll out; and by close collaboration with industry, other government agencies, and foreign governments to co-create policies and programs. They also bring experience in how to manage a border agency constrained by tight budgets.
"We think we can provide an advantage with our insights into how CBP overcame challenges and developed best practices, and help evaluate solutions being pitched to you" by private companies, Gina said.
CBP has been a leader in realizing good border management that tailors security and regulatory enforcement to the rhythms of business can boost a country's economic prosperity, and Gina said other governments need help building the capacity to transform their bureaucracies too. Cash-strapped agencies that demonstrate they can assist with economic growth are in better position to receive approval for larger budgets, Gina said.
Gina served for more than 30 years at the legacy U.S. Customs and CBP after starting out as an inspector. He also served as the assistant commissioner for international affairs and the acting assistant commissioner and deputy assistant commissioner for intelligence and operations coordination. He helped with the establishment of the Border and Transportation Security Directorate during the creation of the Department of Homeland Security after 9/11 and served as the executive director of the Container Security Initiative and the Secure Freight Initiative.
Before becoming chief of staff, Farrelly served as director of targeting programs at the National Targeting Center, where he led an overhaul of targeting rules to improve security and minimize reviews of legitimate cargo and passengers in response to events such as the 2010 Times Square car bombing attempt. He also served as chief of staff for the Office of Field Operations.
The homeland security and customs consulting field has become crowded in Washington, with former colleagues competing for business. Also working in a similar space is The Chertoff Group, founded by former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff with the help of people like former CBP Acting Commissioner Jayson Ahern, and The Sentinel Group, founded by former chief of staff Brian Goebel. Other top CBP officials have joined firms such as Sandler & Travis Trade Advisory Services.