4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Bersin’s bungling?

Did Bersin bungle a big Customs and Border Protection build back East?
Did Bersin bungle a big Customs and Border Protection build back East?

The Customs and Border Protection department’s Advanced Training Center in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia — to which San Diego Border Patrol sector trainees are regularly dispatched for a high-tech education in all manner of shooting, hand-to-hand fighting, and investigative methods — has come in for a bad review by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general’s office. Complete with pretend motel, sample border crossing checkpoint, and model airport baggage carousel, the center has cost taxpayers plenty, say the auditors. The latest criticism stems from a $55.7 million expansion undertaken in 2010 during the reign of Alan Bersin as Customs and Border Protection commissioner.

Nominated to the post by president Barack Obama in September 2009, Bersin had previously been Bill Clinton’s controversial U.S. Attorney here and later superintendent of San Diego city schools. After the Senate failed to confirm him to the customs job, Bersin got a so-called recess appointment from Obama, lasting only until the end of the congressional session in December 2011, when he was forced by law to step down. Obama’s head of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano subsequently made Bersin assistant secretary of international affairs and chief diplomatic officer, a position he still occupies. The audit report, released this February, says the agency’s building effort, intended to include “a shower/locker room facility, contractor maintenance facility, dining facility, welcome and security center, and dormitory and conference center,” was badly bungled.

“None of the five buildings to be constructed,” says the document, “was completed within planned cost, schedule, and performance requirements. Three of the five buildings were completed about 10 months after the target completion date, and as of July 30, 2013, none was being used for its intended purpose.

“These delays resulted in increased labor costs, which contributed significantly to the $2.5 million (16.2 percent) in project cost overruns. Construction of the fourth building (contractor maintenance facility) was canceled because of agency funding constraints. Construction of the fifth and largest building (dormitory and conference center) was delayed for more than 3 years because of legal issues unrelated to CBP oversight.” Adds the report, “CBP procurement officials also approved millions of dollars worth of…contract modifications for labor cost increases and add-ons to the dormitory and conference center without the required supporting documentation.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Tofu House goes to college

At latest chapter of Korean favorite, a robot brings hot stone pots to the table
Next Article

Mira Mesa First Assembly of God Church: a life transformed

Keeping the world out of the church and getting the church into the world
Did Bersin bungle a big Customs and Border Protection build back East?
Did Bersin bungle a big Customs and Border Protection build back East?

The Customs and Border Protection department’s Advanced Training Center in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia — to which San Diego Border Patrol sector trainees are regularly dispatched for a high-tech education in all manner of shooting, hand-to-hand fighting, and investigative methods — has come in for a bad review by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general’s office. Complete with pretend motel, sample border crossing checkpoint, and model airport baggage carousel, the center has cost taxpayers plenty, say the auditors. The latest criticism stems from a $55.7 million expansion undertaken in 2010 during the reign of Alan Bersin as Customs and Border Protection commissioner.

Nominated to the post by president Barack Obama in September 2009, Bersin had previously been Bill Clinton’s controversial U.S. Attorney here and later superintendent of San Diego city schools. After the Senate failed to confirm him to the customs job, Bersin got a so-called recess appointment from Obama, lasting only until the end of the congressional session in December 2011, when he was forced by law to step down. Obama’s head of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano subsequently made Bersin assistant secretary of international affairs and chief diplomatic officer, a position he still occupies. The audit report, released this February, says the agency’s building effort, intended to include “a shower/locker room facility, contractor maintenance facility, dining facility, welcome and security center, and dormitory and conference center,” was badly bungled.

“None of the five buildings to be constructed,” says the document, “was completed within planned cost, schedule, and performance requirements. Three of the five buildings were completed about 10 months after the target completion date, and as of July 30, 2013, none was being used for its intended purpose.

“These delays resulted in increased labor costs, which contributed significantly to the $2.5 million (16.2 percent) in project cost overruns. Construction of the fourth building (contractor maintenance facility) was canceled because of agency funding constraints. Construction of the fifth and largest building (dormitory and conference center) was delayed for more than 3 years because of legal issues unrelated to CBP oversight.” Adds the report, “CBP procurement officials also approved millions of dollars worth of…contract modifications for labor cost increases and add-ons to the dormitory and conference center without the required supporting documentation.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Sergei Eisenstein: purveyor in Russian formalism

October: Ten Days that Shook the World and Alexander Nevsky
Next Article

High cloud ice crystals cause: solar halo, corona, sundogs

San Diego's most colorful liquidambars
Comments
3

Pathetic as Bersin has been in various upper-level government jobs, it isn't all that obvious that it is he who should take the blame for the botched work. What is described is typical of countless federal (and state and local) government contracts for facilities, and their subsequent use.

April 9, 2014

Really, Visduh? Whatever happened to the notions of "accountability" and placing responsibility where the buck stops? With Hillary in the wings, you haven't seen the last of Mr. Bersin in "upper-level government jobs."

April 9, 2014

Oh, I almost forgot: Superintendent Bersin's favorite personal dictat demanding high performance: "no exceptions, no excuses."

April 9, 2014

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close