Three tentative selections for the Donation Acceptance Program which allows Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to enter into partnerships for certain services and to accept certain donations was announced last week.
The City of Donna, Texas; the City of El Paso, Texas; and the City of Pharr, Texas have been tentatively selected to engage in further planning and development activities in coordination with CBP and the General Services Administration (GSA).
“We are excited to partner with these three communities to further the modernization of our ports of entry,” said CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “This authority provides an alternate method for CBP to fund the infrastructure needed to facilitate the growing volume of international trade and travel to the United States that is so vital to the US economy.”
The City of Donna proposed installing new inspection facilities and technologies tofacilitate outbound empty commercial vehicle inspections at the Río Bravo International Bridge. The City of El Paso proposed removing an existing traffic island to facilitate commercial traffic flow at the Zaragoza/Ysleta Bridge. The City of Pharr proposed installing additional commercial booths and renovations to facilitate agricultural inspections at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge.
CBP and GSA will work with the tentative selectees to establish a memorandum of agreement outlining partnership terms and conditions.
Pursuant to Section 559 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, CBP and GSA are authorized to accept donations of real property, personal property (including monetary donations) and non-personal services from private sector and government entities. Accepted donations may be used for activities related to the construction, alteration, operations, and maintenance of CBP or GSA port of entry facilities.
Donation proposals were evaluated based upon the parameters of Subsection 559(f) and the guidelines laid forth in the Section 559 Donation Acceptance Authority Proposal Evaluation Procedures and Criteria Framework published on October 1, 2014.
CBP said in the announcement that, “Public-private partnerships are a key component of CBP’s Resource Optimization Strategy and allow CBP to provide new or expanded services at domestic ports of entry.”
“Earlier this month, CBP said, it “announced nine new reimbursable services agreements to promote economic growth in cross-border trade and travel. Those nine are in addition to the 20 agreements already in place which have provided more than 93,000 additional processing hours at ports of entry around the country—accounting for the processing of more than 2.3 million passengers and nearly 370,000 personal and commercial vehicles.