The GAO states such inconsistencies can ripple throughout the entire DHS. "As a result, the data DHS uses to inform its strategic and tactical plans are of undetermined reliability," the report concludes.
To correct the data inconsistencies, the GAO recommended that CBP first determine why absconder and deserter data differs between seaport field offices and headquarters and then work with the Coast Guard to address their interagency data differences on the subject. The GAO also advised the two agencies to devise an interagency process to share and reconcile their data to ensure its integrity.
DHS agreed with the recommendations and told the GAO it was co-locating CBP and Coast Guard personnel to eliminate such inconsistencies in the future.
♦ Docked cruise ship by Port of San Diego/Flickr