Hill highlights wasteful Customs and Border Protection hiring practices

Recent findings that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spent $5.1 million on polygraph tests for job applicants who had already divulged disqualifying details about their past, like drug abuse, drew the ire of U.S. Rep. French Hill (R-AR).

In response to an Office of Inspector General (OIG) report that CBP’s recruiting process often failed to flag candidates who had provided disqualifying information in application documents or pre-test screenings before polygraph tests were administered, Hill bestowed the “Golden Fleece Award” upon the CBP.

Former U.S. Sen. William Proxmire (D-WI) established the unofficial Golden Fleece Award for wasteful government spending and issued the award 168 times from 1975 to 1988.

In awarding the Golden Fleece Award on Thursday, Hill said the OIG report’s finding that CBP paid $5.1 million on 2,300 polygraph tests on disqualified candidates “is just one more example of inefficient government bureaucracy.”

“Hardworking Arkansans and Americans across the nation should not have their tax dollars spent on this kind of waste,” Hill said. “This is the kind of oversight and accountability I am proud to deliver for my constituents.”

The Anti-Border Corruption Reauthorization Act, H.R. 2213, which was introduced by U.S. Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ), would enable CBP to forgo polygraph tests on candidates that meet specific law enforcement or armed services qualifications. The House approved the bill earlier this year.

“I have visited our southern border several times and I’ve heard about how hard it is for the CBP to hire qualified candidates,” Hill said. “Part of that has to do with the polygraph process. While I am giving the CBP this month’s Golden Fleece award, it is time for the Senate to act on the House’s bill and get it to the president’s desk to sign so that the CBP will have the flexibility they need.”