Top Oversight Democrat Wants Hearing on Trump ‘Wasting’ DHS Funds

Agency paid consulting firm nearly $14 million to hire two border patrol agents

Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly has called for a public hearing on the Trump administration’s reported wasteful spending on border security. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly has called for a public hearing on the Trump administration’s reported wasteful spending on border security. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted December 11, 2018 at 11:14am

The second-highest ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is calling for a public hearing on the Trump administration’s reported wasteful spending on border security.

The inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security found that a staffing plan green-lighted by the president has been marred by wasted resources and overlapping responsibilities among employees and contractors.

In one case, the government paid outside consulting firm Accenture nearly $14 million to hire two border patrol agents.

“While President Trump threatens a holiday shutdown for a wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for, we find out his Administration spent $14 million to hire two border agents,” Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly said in a statement, referring to Congress’ Dec. 21 deadline to get a spending package or continuing resolution to the president’s desk to stop the government from shutting down over Christmas.

Connolly is in line to be the vice-chairman of the House Oversight Committee when Democrats take back the majority in January.

“Congress gave him money for border security and he is wasting it,” Connolly said of Trump. “The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee must look into this.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inked the Accenture group’s federal services subsidiary to a $297 million contract in 2017 to hire thousands of new employees as part of Trump’s plan to curb illegal crossings along the U.S.-Mexico border.

But Accenture is “nowhere near satisfying its 7,500-person hiring goal over the next 5 years,” the inspector general wrote in a report issued last week. “Further, CBP has used significant staffing and resources to help Accenture do the job for which it was contracted. As such, we are concerned that CBP may have paid Accenture for services and tools not provided.”

The customs agency “risks wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on a hastily approved contract that is not meeting its proposed performance expectations,” the inspector general reported.

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