With a mandate from President Donald Trump to hire 5,000 new Border Patrol agents, Customs and Border Protection awarded a $297 million contract to a private company to help recruit and hire the new agents and other workers.
The contract with a division of Accenture, an international professional services corporation with $35 billion in revenues in 2017, comes at a time when the Border Patrol is struggling to meet minimum staffing levels mandated by Congress and is losing more agents per year than it hires.
It also represents one of the larger expenditures so far in the Trump administration’s now nearly-year-long drive to increase border security. In October work on eight prototype border walls was completed in Otay Mesa — a project for which CBP officials set aside $20 million in the spring.
The contract with Accenture, which is up to five years, is far greater — both in its initial year and long term payout. The company will be paid $42.6 million in the first year alone, federal contracting records show.
The scope of work in the contract requires the company to manage “the full life cycle of the hiring process” from job posting to processing new hires. The company, the agency said in email response to questions, will augment the agency’s existing internal hiring programs.
It also calls for a “hard-hitting, targeted recruitment campaign consisting of promoting the CBP law enforcement careers and opportunities” and a public education campaign about CBP and Border Patrol jobs.
Accenture wil be paid to assist hiring 5,000 Border Patrol agents, as well as 2,000 customs officers and 500 agents for the Office of Air and Marine Operations.