Washington, DC – In an effort to bolster U.S. security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has awarded a $297 million contract to a private company to assist with recruitment of new agents and department employees, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
The effort is the result of President Donald Trump’s Jan. 25 executive order to increase the Border Patrol’s ranks by 5,000 agents.
Unfortunately, the agency has been struggling to meet even minimum staffing levels, and lost more agents per year than it has been able to hire.
To assist with this problem, the federal government hired Accenture, an international professional services corporation, on Nov. 17.
Accenture is now tasked with the duty of recruiting and hiring 5,000 new Border Patrol agents, as well as 2,000 customs officers and 500 Office of Air and Marine Operations agents, FOX News reported.
The company will be paid $42.6 million during the first year of the contract, which may continue for up to five years, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Accenture will help with applicant testing, screening, and streamlining of the application process, Washington Technology reported. It will also handle market research, data analytics, and advertising functions.
The contract has authorized Accenture to manage “the full life cycle of the hiring process” from job posting to processing new hires.
It also called 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, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
CPB said that they resorted to hiring outside assistance due to several factors, including “changing generational values, the state-wide legalization of marijuana, and a growing distrust of law enforcement,” The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
The agency said that recently, they’ve had to recruit 133 applicants just to fill a single open agent position.
“Not unlike other major companies and organizations, we are expanding our recruiting and hiring efforts to find better, more effective ways to recruit, hire and retain frontline personnel,” the CBP said in a statement, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.