DHS slow to implement US-VISIT recommendations
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has since 2002 issued many recommendations that should be implemented in the Department of Homeland Security’s US-VISIT program. According to a recent GAO progress report, DHS is slow to implement many of them.
The U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) is a directive to collect, maintain and share information, including biometric identifiers, on selected foreign nationals entering and exiting the United States. US-VISIT uses digital fingerscans and photographs to screen persons against watch lists and to verify that a visitor is the person who was issued a visa or other travel document.
The key recommendation, which GAO issued more than two years ago — and that has yet to be adopted — is to develop and begin implementing a system security plan and a privacy impact assessment.
“Although considerable time has passed since the recommendations were made, key actions have not yet been taken,” GAO said in its report. “The department lags in assessing security risks and planning cost-effective controls to address the risks, weighing the project’s value against its cost and risk, and testing the controls.”
“The longer that U.S. Visit takes to implement the recommendations, the greater the risk that the program will not meet its stated goals on time and within budget,” the report adds.