The SBInet program has the operational end-user coordination, program management (PM) controls, management oversight, and external audit activities necessary to ensure that ARRA funding is being used in accordance with its intended purpose and ARRA accountability objectives. As the operational benefactors, the OBP has assessed which geographic areas on the southwest border are high priorities for terrorist threat potential or other illegal cross-border activities. Coordination with OBP is extensive at both the headquarters level, and with operators in the field. SBInet program managers frequently meet with Border Patrol Sector personnel on the southwest border to ensure close collaboration on requirements and plans, and to assess satisfaction with program progress and delivery of SBInet capabilities.
Based on OBP’s input, ARRA funding for SBInet will be obligated promptly (August to November 2009 timeframe) for the procurement and deployment of surveillance technologies and associated command and control technologies, and deployment of P-25 tactical communications. Planned use of this funding was detailed in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Expenditure Plans American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Report to Congress, dated April 3, 2009, and has been aligned with the overall SBInet Program Plan.
SBInet’s PM framework provides for the necessary government leadership, contractor support, subject matter expertise, processes, and tools to effectively align and integrate this large scale and complex program. A dedicated SBInet acquisition and program management office was established to manage the program, and the SBI executive director reports directly to the CBP Commissioner. This strategic organizational alignment at the highest levels within CBP ensures focused executive leadership, effective communications, and streamlined decision-making and execution. An Executive Steering Committee (ESC), chaired by the Deputy Commissioner and comprised of designated Assistant Commissioners, provides oversight of SBI. The ESC makes corporate decisions on work scope, priorities, acceptability, and integration in relation to other CBP programs and initiatives.
Led by senior program managers who are Level III-certified in acquisition program
management, CBP has developed an extensive and effective PM structure to ensure the cost, performance, and schedule targets are met, and to manage program risk. SBInet has structured recurring management venues and reporting mechanisms to ensure effective communication, coordination, and integration, and alignment of program activities. The centerpiece is the monthly Joint Program Management Review, which is attended by government and prime contractor program leaders, and the operational customer, to ensure transparency and engagement on program requirements, plans, and challenges. The PM approach and methodologies used are based on government and industry best practices. This includes Earned Value Management, which is an effective methodology to provide insight into program cost and schedule performance, and an enhanced ability to measure program progress and forecast results. The SBInet program team tracks funding obligations and expenditures routinely using a financial management database, which is reported in the aforementioned management venues and to other program stakeholders as required. Also, a robust risk management program has been established, enabling visibility and mitigation of risks and issues.
In addition to management coordination and reporting through CBP, DHS, Office of Management and Budget, and congressional channels, the SBInet program is routinely audited by the Government Accountability Office, and the DHS Office of the Inspector General. Over time, these audits include nearly every key aspect of the SBInet program, and the results are published for public review.