Cargo Crimes and Threats: Government Accountability Office

GAO Report

Government Accountability Office (GAO) report was first published after the September 11 attacks. It was published during the attempt to improve on the security of the United States. After the September 11 attacks, the government realized the nation was not as secure as earlier thought. Before the attacks, the cargos were being inspected for drugs, smuggling, and theft protection. The inspectors did not think of bombs and other dangerous weapons. The attack was a wake-up call for the port inspectors and the government to upgrade the security at the ports.

The government and other private companies came to fund the security sector for them to implement high techniques of inspections and also to employ more skilled security personnel. The department of Homeland security is responsible for security provision by ensuring that there are no threats of terrorism in the cargos. The department of Homeland security‘s U.S customs and border protection use a targeting strategy and automated targeting system to inspect cargos. This paper will evaluate the GAO report and the circumstances under which it was first published and after its publication.

When the GAO report was first published, the Coast guard was responsible for the inspection and evaluation of the commercial ships. They inspected ships entering the United States waters to ensure there are no terrorists. U.S custom and border protection inspected trade cargos. It was also responsible for inspecting the ships transporting cargos and passengers to the U.S. The transport security administration at first used to inspect the air cargos but now it has the authority to inspect all the modes of transport in the U.S (Ritter, Barrett and Wilson, 2007).

After the attacks, GAO has reported that the coast guard has initiated a method that would improve the quality and timing of shipping and transport of information. This is aimed at gathering information regarding terrorism as early as possible. They have also developed the use of maritime domain awareness to collect all the information on security implementation of all the agencies to have a picture of what is being done to ensure security.

The U.S custom and border protection has developed new programs to inspect on terrorism. These programs include container security initiative and the customs trade partnership. The U.S customs and border protection invested in the automated targeting machines which would be used to screen cargos at the marine port (U.S. Customs & Border Protection, 2011). GAO assessed the challenges customs and border protection had gone through and they gave their recommendations. GAO found out that customs and border protection had not assured that the automated targeting system is effective in inspecting the cargos at marine.

GAO assessed the targeting strategy of the CBP whether it had implemented on recognition of the key risk management and how well the strategy has been implemented. The assessment by GAO has been useful as the customs and border protection has responded by establishing a national targeting center for cargo inspection. It has also established a national training program for its security workers. It has also improved the automated targeting system.

GAO has reported that there are still challenges in targeting oceangoing cargo containers for inspection. GAO has also reported that the skills of the staff of custom and border protection have not yet been tested for effectiveness (Homeland Security, 2011). With GAO reports the department of homeland security has improved on its services to ensure there are no cargo crimes and threats to avoid a repeat of what happened on September 11 in the U.S.

Reference List

Homeland Security (2011). Preliminary Observations on Efforts to Target Security Inspections of Cargo Containers GAO-04-325T. Web.

Ritter, L., Barrett, J. M., and Wilson, R. A. (2007). Securing Global Transport Networks. New York: McGraw hill professional.

U.S. Customs & Border Protection. (n.d). National Terrorism Advisory Systems. Web.

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