The AAPA believes that the construction of new CBP facilities at maritime ports should be sought and approved through the congressional process of appropriating and authorizing federal funds, not placed on the backs of state and local governmental authorities.
“Many ports already are straining their budgets to build the terminal, road and rail infrastructure needed to address congestion, keep freight flowing and serve the American economy,” Nagle told the CBP commissioner. “The costs of the facilities CBP is requesting are substantial, and ports face the prospect of delaying other critical projects to meet increasing demands from CBP for new facilities.”
In mid-October, Nagle recommended in another letter to both House and Senate homeland security appropriations subcommittees that they consider increasing their respective fiscal 2019 budget appropriation proposals to hire 375 CBP officers to 500, above the current annual attrition rate of 700 CBP officers.
AAPA also brought to the attention of those House and Senate subcommittees the “disturbing trend” by CBP to pressure port authorities to build new facilities for the agency and the problems related to these infrastructure requests.
“Often, change orders are requested by CBP at the last minute, driving up building costs unnecessarily,” Nagle said. “There continues to be little concern for budget overruns or timely planning in CBP requests.”
“Given the lack of clarity on CBP policy as it pertains to facility and reimbursable programs, we ask that CBP discretionary requests stop or pause until a proper oversight can be conducted,” Nagle told the lawmakers.