CBP to Begin Accepting Proposals for Donations to Fund Ports of Entry
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that from Oct. 20 through Dec. 23 it will accept proposals for donations of real property, personal property (including monetary donations) and non-personal services from private sector and government entities for use in activities related to the construction, alteration, operation and maintenance of new or existing ports of entry owned by CBP or the General Services Administration. Such activities may include land acquisition, design, and the deployment of equipment and technologies. CBP states that it faces a growing demand for facilities and renovations at aging ports of entry and that accepting donations provides an alternate method of financing modernization and construction projects.
According to an agency press release, CBP will evaluate proposals from private corporations, public entities, municipalities, port authorities, consortiums and any other private sector or government entity. Donation proposals will be evaluated based on their individual merit and ability to satisfy the specified evaluation criteria (e.g., operational impact, economic and community benefits, technical feasibility). While proposals requiring supplementary government funding are not discouraged, existing resource availability or out-year resource uncertainty will be taken into account when evaluating proposals. In addition, only submissions that envision federal ownership of the proposed donation will be considered.
CBP states that potential donors may submit questions on the Donations Acceptance Program and the proposal submission process through this link. CBP and GSA will not respond directly to submitted questions but rather will share their consolidated responses in early November via the Section 559 frequently asked questions page on CBP.gov. CBP and GSA will also schedule a live Q&A session via teleconference in early November to provide an overview of the DAP and respond to program-related questions.
The authority to accept donations is part of a congressionally authorized five-year pilot program that also allows CBP to enter into partnerships with the private sector and government entities at ports of entry for certain services. In 2013 CBP entered into reimbursable services agreements with the City of El Paso, Texas, The City of Houston Airport System, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Miami-Dade County and the South Texas Assets Consortium, and the agency states that these locations have already benefitted from significant wait time reductions despite rising traffic volumes. Partnerships were expanded earlier this year to 16 additional partners.