The Department of Homeland Security is considering privatizing some of
the cargo security duties currently handled by U.S. Customs and Border
As part of the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism program,
participating companies wanting to ship cargo to the U.S. are required to
submit security programs for inspection and validation by the Department of
But Jayson Ahern, assistant commissioner of field operations for the
customs agency, told the House Homeland Security Economic Security Subcommittee
the government does not have enough inspectors to handle the validation of the
security plans submitted for approval by container shipping companies.
Testifying before the committee on Thursday, March 16, Ahern said that,
while the agency plans to hire 40 more inspectors in the next 45 days, it is
still not close to the number it needs.
According to United Press
International, Ahern stated that the agency is considering using
private firms to validate the security plans from companies that work out of
countries with a low risk of terrorism.
Ahern said that, since the inception of the program in 2002, 10,000
companies have submitted security plans, and only 1,545 have had their plans