MBA Strategic Plan Paper
STRATEGIC PLAN PAPER
The strategic plan for the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), National Targeting Center (NTC) was established on October 21, 2001 in direct response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. It has become the preeminent anti-terrorism facility to keep terrorism at arm’s length by screening people before they arrive in the United States.
Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations, National Targeting Center was officially operated as a branch of the Department of Homeland Security in March 2003 by Executive Order. The Office of Field Operations “brings together approximately 30,000 employees, including 17,000 inspectors in the Agricultural Quarantine Inspection program, Immigration and Naturalization inspection services, Border Patrol and the Customs Service, including canine enforcement officers” (Saba, 2003). The origin of CBP starts with the country itself:
In 1789, when Congress first assembled in New York City to launch this country on its proper course, it had one overriding concern….money: where to find it, how to collect it, how to keep it rolling in. Fighting a revolution had left the national cupboard bare, but James Madison proposed a remedy that would eventually make the nation solvent: Impose a duty on imports and create a well-regulated agency to ensure its due collection (Saba, 2003).
Enacted under the fifth act of the First Congress by President George Washington on July 31, 1789, the first agency of the new United States Government was formed. Customs, “funded the functions of the Executive Departments, paid the salaries of those on military and civil lists and effectively dissolved the huge national debt by 1835″ (Saba, 2003). The National Targeting Center “shift through information looking for miniscule pieces of evidence” (CBP today, 2005). The targeting employees determine if a passenger is high risk to terrorism, on the Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) No-fly list and who presents no threat at all.
According to Customs and Border Protection’s website the mission statement is:
“We are the guardians of our Nation’s borders. We are America’s frontline. We safeguard the American homeland at and beyond our borders. We protect the American public against terrorists and the instruments of terror. We steadfastly enforce the laws of the United States while fostering our Nation’s economic security through lawful international trade and travel. We serve the American public with vigilance, integrity and professionalism”(2008).
This statement best reflects what Pearce and Robinson states, “the purpose that identifies the scope of its operations in product and market terms and sets it apart from other firms in the same industry is the company’s mission” (2005).
Though the mission statement is clearly defined to determine the basic goals and philosophies that shape CBP‘s strategic position, no vision statement was even written. The image that CBP wants to project should comply with Pearce and Robinson who stated, “the firm’s self concept, the principle produce or service areas, and the customer needs the firm will strive to satisfy” (2005). The vision statement for the National Targeting Center will read,
The National Targeting Center is the centralized coordination point for all of the Department of Homeland Security’s anti-terrorism knowledge committed to providing professional quality information gathering and intelligence to law enforcement community while fostering a caring and supportive environment for our employees.
The values statement within CBP is non-existent. There is no focus of how the organization wants to run. The three statements combined will help aid in reaching CBP‘s future goals and how to obtain the desired end state at the National Targeting Center.
With vigilance, integrity and professionalism, NTC
- Bring intelligence together for all key stakeholders, federal and law enforcement communities.
– Provide updated and innovate intelligence research tools for our customers.
– Provide an environment that allows for suggestions, new resources, trust and reward those employees who desire to make improvements to the system.
- Provide a quick response with detailed data to the customer.
Political influence to keep free trade.
Political influence is a major consideration for Customs and Border Protection to continue their mission of protecting the United States from terrorism while facilitating international trade into and out of the country. According to Pearce and Robinson, “political factors define the legal and regulatory parameters must operate” (2005). In the officers eyes the Customs-Trade partnership against terrorism (CTPAT) places constraints on the organization by allowing this policy to dictate what the officers target and search when containers of merchandise enter the country. In the eyes of CBP and the executive branch of the U.S. government it, “aims to facilitate trade as well as improving international supply chain and US border security” (Howarth, 2006). This is a benefit to the nation to receive goods that are protected from the time it leaves the manufacturer to when arrives in the United States at a seaport. Political influences like these have great benefits and problems. It depends on which side you are on. Since CBP is part of the Department of Homeland Security, the primary responsibility is to protect the United States from terrorism. Political forces can benefit or hamper the protection needed depending on what the powers to be want; either to help the U.S. businessman or protection from terrorism that will be the question. Either way CBP will continue to provide avenues of support for the CTPAT program as introduces more companies into it and provides structure of how commodities come into the country.
Since the inception of U.S. Customs in 1789, CBP has been the leader in the United State government in providing financial strength, commitment and integrity to the American people. Customs has been through every American crisis since inceptions and has been able to adapt to every situation. With technology advancing on a daily basis, CBP has offered several options to their consumer. Whether it is a form for someone doing business with CBP or increasing the knowledge of the officer through new intranet based targeting tools, CBP has been able to adapt to the times we live in. The targeting framework and tools that help the officer to find cargo and passenger that could threaten the lives of the American people was put into operation not only to cut the cost of research that each officer but to increase the tools to help the officers be efficient and to target with the right information. Pearson states it best, “to avoid obsolescence and promote innovation, must be aware of the technological changes that might influence it industry” (2007, p 45). In this statement, Pearson explains two very important facts; not only does technology help to decrease the costs, which is Customs and Border Protection’s fundamental responsibility but how the organization can increase profits through fees, fines and cost efficiency by reducing the amount of sources he or she has to get through to determine the subject is not a risk. CBP has helped finance the government through purchases of land or even wars, but now it is to continue to help our leaders balance the budget through CBP‘s collection of funds.
Relevance. In today’s economy the talk is recession. It is the responsibility of CBP to focus on technology to fight terrorism, but also to have a reliable and efficient plan to protect the interest of the consumer. Costly technological mistakes will have direct impact on what protection level the government is at, but will also have a direct impact to companies that are working to find new technological advances to detect and deter those weapons of mass effect. Though it is important for Department of Homeland Security to continue using grants to help companies, it is important not to overspend in technology that will be obsolete tomorrow.
Adaptability. The technological changes that have been implemented by CBP through environmental scanning have enable the organization to encounter a savings through new product development. This process has effectively reduced the number of complaints by employee regarding the use of outdated DOS based programs to complete research of cargo and passenger entering the United States. By developing a targeting framework that is internet based, the technology has been expanded from cargo to travelers, shipping, air consignments and many others through the requirement of airlines, sea going vessels, cruise ships and other carriers to transmit their manifests before the vessel ever leaves the foreign country. By providing this technology that is easily accessible, user-friendly and widely available, each employee enables Customs Border Protection the ability to supply good intelligence. In turn, their officers have the information they need to make Customs and Border Protection an organization that is able to supply good intelligence to the officer to make a seizure or arrest to protect the overall consumer.
The U.S. economy is moving into an uncontrollable spiral of recession. According to Pearson, “economic factors concern the nature and direction of the economy in which a firm operates. Because consumption patterns are affected by the relative affluence of various market segments, each firm must consider economic trends in the segment that affect its industry (2004, p. 122). With consumer spending reduced drastically due to increased fuel prices, cost of living and high unemployment. CBP will help the fed bolster the economy by playing a role by moving federal money into businesses that have developed products that will help in the mission
The use of technology for CBP is one of the no-economic factors that have effects on companies and countries. An example is the logistical infrastructure is China costs the country lost revenue. According to Hoffman, total shipping costs are 40 to 50 percent higher than in the United States (2008). The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation regulates the logistics industry with a complicated approval process. According to Pearce and Robinson, “the remote environment comprises factors that are usually outside and organization’s operating situation” (2005). One example is the use of the Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID). This non-economic factor involves the government; CBP to pressure the use of the RFID by national carriers even though there are more economical alternatives. Pearce and Robinson also state, “These factors can present organization with opportunities, threats and constraints. In most cases and organization must react to these factors and does not have the power to exert reciprocal changes” (2005). In this case, China since they have been a leader in piratical good; fake goods, quotas have been set that charges a higher fee of certain items coming into the United States. The change can only come by governmental intervention by implementing new technological advanced monitoring systems. These items changes the lives in both countries because one might not be able to acquire one item because it has a quota restriction or the other in China who cannot sell his item this month because of the restriction.
Long Term Objectives
With any strategic analysis, it is important to look at future successes, but also look at achieving goals by getting a clear understanding of strengths and weaknesses in the organization. Long term objectives are measurable and achievable while readily understood by all the stakeholders. According to Pearce and Robinson, organizations should not look at short-run objectives because it does not allow for sustained growth and profitability (2005). Since the government operations do not look at profitability as an objective, it is best to look at what it needs to improve on at the National Targeting Center.
• Improve workforce
1. Recruit and retain staff that has organizational skills to access the current threat and be able to conduct an analysis of incoming intelligence to provide a comprehensive overview to management.
2. Provide options to upgrade the employee’s knowledge, skills and abilities to target high risk targets.
3. Develop a plan to train employees to improve their career goals and provide the agency with new managers.
4. Provide on-going training for employees as new information and technology advances.
• Improve technology and programs that assist in targeting.
1. Add more ports to Immigration Advisory Program, providing more experienced officers to provide immediate and through inspections of passengers in the host country.
2. Develop a new non-DOS program that incorporates Treasury Enforcement and Customs system. Providing an up to date programs that can query multiple look-outs on National Crime Information Center, Interpol and Department of Homeland Security systems.
• Improve communications with law enforcement communities.
1. Provide experienced Customs and Border Protection officers and Border Patrol Agents to assist in the Joint Terrorism Task Force in the Washington D.C. area.
2. Provide officer/agents to the Terrorist Screening Unit, currently being operated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
3. Add options to increase liaison support to other governmental entities including the National Security Agency, Central Intelligent Agency, Transportation Security Administration, Coast Guard, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Washington District of Columbia metro/New York police departments.
Strategic Analysis and Choice
National Targeting Center strengths and weaknesses:
Internal Strengths and Weaknesses:
S1 Appropriate Use of Teams
S2 Work Ethic
S3 Effective departmental communication.
W1 Staff Turnover
W2 Inadequate number of employees
O1 Expanding intelligence gathering
O2 Needed information from other agencies
O3 Increased expansion to other countries
External Strengths and Weaknesses:
S1 Developing intelligence for other countries
S2 Interagency cooperation with Australia, England, Canada and Mexico
W1 Euro requirements to see foreign travel completed before Nexus
W2 Other federal agencies are law enforcement organizations with LE retirement
T1 Other agency competition (still going on since 9/11)
T2 Lack of candidates to fill positions even for the Port of Entries.
T3 Union constantly fighting about management, law enforcement techniques.
T4 Low image of how officers conduct themselves to the American Public
NTC SWOT Analysis:
Strengths – The National Targeting Center have target analysts that are well trained, qualified and proud of their work and it shows. They provide a product that is unique to Transportation Security Administration, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to name a few. The division of teams and how they use the teams work well for the need of information to be passed to other governmental entities including local police. While the whole center from Director on down provides updated information for the organization and success stories of good targeting techniques. In the external environment National Targeting Center has been working with Australia, United Kingdom, Canada and Mexico. Using the information, the countries help to target suspected terrorist and terrorism supporters from entering their countries. The cooperation of all agencies has helped in catching terrorist before they enter the United States while providing information to United States federal agencies for investigative purposes.
Weaknesses – The organization is not at full capacity causing an increase in overtime for all employees, thus affecting amount of time off and interruptions of vacations. Morale is reduced because of the increased workload, new programs for example Electronic Systems for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and the lack of the organization as a whole to increase retirement benefits as law enforcement officers. The external weaknesses of the organization deal with the interaction or laws of foreign countries. For example, target analysts can see the travel from the last foreign country before entering the United States, but cannot see prior travel to countries of interest including: Iran, Iraq, Syria and others. Finally, other agencies are recruiting our target analysts to enter their law enforcement organization with the benefits such as the enhanced retirement.
With SWOT analysis, NTC needs to answer certain questions. 1) How can we use these strengths? 2). How can we stop each weakness? 3). How can we exploit each opportunity and 4). How can we defend against each threat?
NTC will need to look at their Human resources by finding a list of qualified applicants within CBP and Border Patrol. Provide training programs to increase the knowledge of officers out in the field and then using them to staff the NTC. Second is to provide increased law enforcement retirement and promotion potential to the permanent grade of GS-13. This will present officers with a chance to gain their 20 year retirement while meeting the same promotion levels of other federal law enforcement organizations. Morale will improve with better work schedules, increased staffing with qualified personnel and competitive benefits. Working on the operation side to increase the number of IAP ports in foreign countries will allow officers to see prior travel agendas, giving the National Targeting Center a better idea of what type of activities the subject is doing before coming back or entering for into the United States. Interaction between the foreign countries will improve once officers are assigned to these foreign location. In the process Customs and Border Protection will have access to more positions to work with the foreign law enforcement entity. Defending the country against threats is needed by incorporating other federal and state organizations into the NTC. This combined workforce will allow those organizations to get the information first hand, to share information between the organizations and improved the investigation of the subject. Working with the union with each Standard Operating procedure and allowing them to review and discuss important items will help. The biggest will be for the current and future political office holders to embrace the union and what it can do to better the organization.
Plans Goals and Implementation
In order to attain the long-term objectives, the goals for each objective are identified. The first is to improve the workforce. With the assistance of Customs and Border Protection’s Human resources, the National targeting center will work hand-in-hand to recruit a staff that has the necessary skills to target, analyze, and make the decision on threats. Give a detailed overview to management regarding the possible threat and then forward the information to the Commissioner of CBP. The National Targeting center will work in providing an intensive targeting school that provides up to date information of new programs, proper techniques, and factors to determine the appropriate response. NTC will also work with CBP training to provide employees opportunities to ready themselves for increased duties as managers including a Manager training program. Second improve the technology and programs that assist in targeting. NTC will work with the commissioner to identify and deploy officers to airports that directly impact the United States of possible terrorists entering the United States. This will provide an on-duty officer to give more information to the National Targeting center and investigators. NTC will work with the Office of Information and Technology to develop a program that incorporates the old DOS format Treasury Enforcement and Customs system. Providing an ease of analyzing information that will offer up-to-date response of what has happened to the subject during the inspection process while allowing CBP officers the opportunity to clear subjects that are no longer under investigation. Finally is to improve the communications with other law enforcement entities. Assigned NTC officers to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, Washington D.C. and the Terrorist Screening Unit will allow for inter-cooperation between the FBI, ICE and NTC. Giving access to other organizations to help target at NTC will allow for an open communication system giving officers and agents from the NSA, CIA, TSA, Coast Guard, FBI and terrorism units from the DC metro and New York Police department an opportunity to combine investigations of terrorism supporters and possible terrorists living in the United States. NTC will increase the eyes while providing more up to date information to the key stakeholders.
Financial Projections and Analysis
The current budget for Customs and Border Protection is in excess of 10.2 billion dollars. CBP‘s budget comes from appropriate resources through the U.S. government which is 8.79 billion dollars; the other 1.38 billion comes from fees and fines that CBP access to their customers. To field more officer/agents into the National Targeting Center it will cost approximately 4 million dollars to field another 20 officers/agents. This of course will reduce the amount of officer/agents in the field. One of the major upgrades to Treasury Enforcement Communication System will need $25 million dollars just for the first year to modernize the system and to give screening requirement to other agencies. The IAP program will require another 45 million dollars to hire 36 more officers and the equipment and technology to support the new airport. CBP has already started adding positions in Brazil and will add 2 other ports by January 2009. By increasing user fees, fines and other sources total revenues will be in excess of 3 billion dollars. The money will save what CBP requests in funding from the federal government for the initiatives currently set in place which include Border Patrol and CBP officer staffing, repair or building new facilities, and programs that are already running like Secure Freight initiative, Container Security Initiative and the Immigration Advisory Program. Most federal agencies have revenues coming in, but in the case of Customs and Border Protection they will continue to finance some of their own operating costs through those revenues of their customers.
Critical Success Factors
The National Targeting Center prides itself as the only department within the Department of Homeland Security that provides intelligence to all agencies of the federal government. It improve NTC will provide training and education to new target analyst providing the best possible situations that deal with current trends in the organization. NTC will continually update their personnel through formal and on-the-job training. Other CSFs includes management’s commitment to offer employees with the resources to target and analyze the material in reference to a person of interest. This will improve customer satisfaction by providing investigative bodies the materials needed to find out what, when, why, where and how the subject has traveled to support terrorism. Communications will improve by updating the entire staff of what is happening on a daily basis and add significant events to the monitor. Employees will improve on the targeting by understanding what is happening during the targeting time period. Management will also effectively train employees to improve on management skills providing formal and informal training to give the employee a step up above other employees out in the field providing continuous improvement to the organization.
Controls and Evaluation
What must be done first? With any long-range plan there must be a reference to what needs to be done first and who is going to do it.
Improvement of workforce
Assistance of Customs and Border Protection’s Human resources, the National targeting center will work hand-in-hand to recruit a staff that has necessary skills to target, analyze, make the decision on a threat and then provide an overview to management to forward to the Commissioner of CBP while providing an opportunity to receive a permanent promotion to GS-13 will be completed by January 1, 2009. The National Targeting center will work in providing an intensive targeting school that provides up to date information of new programs, proper techniques, and factors to determine the appropriate response. NTC will also work with CBP training to provide employees opportunities to ready themselves for increased duties as managers including a Manager training program.
The training team will responsible of setting up schools for target analyst to improve their knowledge. Second provide school dates for the Management school for all GS-12 permanent employees. A timeline will start on March 1, 2009 with all employees to have been through the management training center by October 2009. Third improve the technology and programs that assist in targeting.
NTC will work with the commissioner to identify and deploy officers to airports that directly impact the United States of possible terrorists entering the United States. Research of common places that airlines flying in the United States start from will be completed by NTC by October 2008. Provided that funding is available CBP will start manning new airports starting in fiscal year 2009 at a rate of 3 per year.
NTC will work with the Office of Information and Technology (OIT) to develop a program that incorporates the old DOS format Treasury Enforcement Communications system. This is a multi-year project since there is so much information to work with. OIT will provide the initial program by the end of the fiscal year 2009. NTC will evaluate the program in fiscal year 2010 and recommend changes on a weekly basis during meeting with OIT. Fiscal year 2011 will allow for the roll out of the final product.
Improve the communications with other law enforcement entities. Assigned NTC officers to the JTTF, Washington D.C. and the Terrorist Screening Unit will allow for inter-cooperation between the FBI, ICE and NTC. New officers filling positions at NTC will allow 5 officers in fiscal year 2009 to be assigned as the CBP Liaison working in five offices.
Giving access to other organizations to help target at NTC will allow for an open communication system giving officers and agents from the NSA, CIA, TSA, Coast Guard, FBI and terrorism units from the DC metro and New York Police department an opportunity to combine investigations of terrorism supporters and possible terrorists living in the United States. In the same time period for NTC to fill positions, the key stakeholders will provide agents to NTC. Allowing the liaisons between government entities to open investigations found by NTC.
Information and personnel is the most power tool in CBP‘s anti-terrorism efforts. NTC has developed, coordinated and facilitated the information exchange critical to the Department of Homeland Security and our nation’s security. Though profitability is not an issue, reducing the cost to the American tax-payer is. Through the use of fees, fines and other resources, the National Targeting center can introduce new products by enhancing and upgrading new programs for the officer/agent to gather and disseminate intelligence. NTC will be able to improve the employees’ development as a manager and a target analyst improving the communication with other agencies for an overall mission to protect the United States from terrorism.
Hoffman, W. (2008). Seeking Closer shores. Retrieved on August 15, 2008 from http://www.trafficworld.com/newssection/logistics.asp?id=47498
Howarth, F. (2006). Customs-Trade Partnership against terrorism. Retrieved on August 15, 2008 from Faulkner Information Services: Security Management Practices.
Pearce, J., Robinson, R., (2005). Strategic Management: Formulation, Implementation, and Control. New York, McGraw-Hill
Saba, A. (February, 2003). The U.S. Customs Service, Always there… Ready to Serve. U.S. Customs Today. Retrieved on August 17, 2008 from http://www.cbp.gov/xp/CustomsToday/2003/February/always.xml