Sen. Carper Statement on Homeland Security IG Report on Using Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Border Security

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, responded to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General report on U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) – drones – which are intended to provide reconnaissance, surveillance, targeting, and acquisition capabilities. The report showed inadequate planning by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to properly employ resources to support the use of these systems.

Sen. Carper’s full statement follows:

“Protecting our nation’s borders is vital to the security of our nation, and that is why I have worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make sure the Department of Homeland Security has the tools and resources it needs to keep Americans safe. However, as we continue to invest billions of dollars into our border security, we must also ensure that we are using taxpayer dollars effectively and responsibly.

“This Inspector General report raises a number of important questions about the use and cost-effectiveness of unmanned aircraft systems to monitor our borders. The findings in this report are very troubling given the billions of taxpayer dollars we have spent in recent years to deploy technology to better protect our borders only to find that these border security technologies have not achieved the expected results. U.S. Customs and Border Protection must find ways to work smarter with its unmanned aircraft systems and to achieve better results with all of the resources invested in the effort to protect and secure our borders.

“Just as I know that everything I do, I can do better, the federal government can also improve its operations to be more efficient and effective. I look forward to working with Secretary Napolitano and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to ensure that the recommendations of the Inspector General are met and that we are doing all that we can to maximize our national security efforts while also using scarce taxpayer dollars responsibly.”

To read a copy of the DHS Inspector General report, please click here.