Assistant Commissioner Wagner details partnerships to improve POEs

Assistant Commissioner John Wagner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) described efforts to partner with the private sector to improve ports of entry (POEs) on July 16 at a congressional hearing.

Wagner told the House Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security that the partnerships are beneficial as CBP in light of budget and resource constraints.

"CBP is frequently asked by our stakeholders to provide new or additional services at POEs across the country," Wagner said. "We recognize the potential economic impact for new or expanded service, and we very much want to support these endeavors. However, we are not always able to accommodate these requests."

Wagner outlined how CBP received congressional authorization to enter into up to five contracts on a reimbursable basis to improve services at POEs. That effort resulted in an additional 7,000 CBP officer assignments and the opening of more lanes and booths at POEs.

Wagner said that CBP also accepts donations of real and personal property, including monetary contributions, from the private sector or government entities.

The assistant commissioner said both reimbursements and donations help to meet a growing demand for new and expanded facilities. Wagner said programs allow especially for the continued modernization of POEs in the U.S.