GAO Survey of Agriculture Specialists in Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Government Accountability Office

Introduction

  The U.S. Congress has asked the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), an audit and evaluation agency of the Congress, to review agricultural inspections at U.S. ports of entry. We are conducting this survey to help us more fully understand the work of CBP Agriculture Specialists who do these inspections.

It is important that you respond so that views of Agriculture Specialists from all ports are represented in the results.
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  To learn more about completing the survey, printing your responses, and whom to contact if you have questions, click here for help.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Please click on "Next page" below to begin our survey.
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Part 1 - Demographic Information

1.  What is your job title at CBP?

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  If you checked 'Other' in Question 1, please specify your job title.
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2.  For which of the following pathways did you conduct agricultural inspections during the past year? (Please check all that apply.)

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  If you checked 'Other' in Question 2, please specify the other pathway.
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3.  Were you employed by USDA as a PPQ Officer prior to March 2003?

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2. (Click here to go to Part 3 - Your Work at CBP)
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Part 2 - Information From Former USDA PPQ Officers

4.  Which of the following inspection activities did you regularly perform as a PPQ Officer prior to being transferred to CBP, and which do you regularly perform now? (Please check all that apply.)

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Regularly
performed as a
PPQ Officer
Regularly perform
now as a CBP
Agriculture Specialist
Have never
performed
a.  Boarding aircraft
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b.  Boarding ships
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c.  Compliance agreements
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d.  Compliance checks
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e.  Disinfection
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f.  Fumigation
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g.  Roving
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h.  Safeguarding
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i.  Other - (Please specify below.)
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  If you checked 'Other' in Question 4, please specify the inspection activity.
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Part 3 - Your Work at CBP

  The questions in this section are about your own work, not that of other specialists you might supervise or the work of other specialists at your port.
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5.  Do you believe that you are sufficiently trained to perform your agriculture inspection duties?

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6.  During the past six months about what percentage of your time did you spend on agriculture and non-agriculture CBP duties? (Please enter percentages in boxes. If none, enter 0. Percentage total should be 100.)

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  6a. Agriculture inspections:
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  percent
  6b. Associated activities in support of
      agriculture inspections (e.g., administrative
      work, training, etc.):
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  percent
  6c. Customs and immigration inspections:
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  percent
  6d. Associated activities in support of
      customs and immigration inspections
      (e.g., administrative work, training, etc.):
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  percent
  6e. Work other than that listed above:


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  percent
 
7.  How accurately does your submitted timecard reflect your time spent in support of the agriculture mission (e.g., conducting agriculture inspections, training, etc.)?

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8.  Are the following supplies readily available to you? (Please check one in each row.
If you do not use a supply, please select 'Do not use.')


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Always
Most of the time
Some of the time
Never or almost never
Do not
use
No
answer
a.  Supplies related to conducting pest interceptions (e.g., collection vials)
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b.  Supplies related to processing agriculture quarantine material interceptions (QMIs) (e.g., garbage bags)
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c.  Supplies related to conducting agriculture inspections
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d.  Latex gloves and other personal protective equipment
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e.  Other supplies - (Please specify below.)
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  If you indicated 'Other supplies' in Question 8, please specify here.
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9.  Do you have easy access to USDA regulatory manuals during inspections? (Please check one in each row.)

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Always
Most of the time
Some of the time
Never or almost never
Not
applicable
No
answer
a.  On-line USDA regulatory manuals
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b.  Current (updated) printed USDA regulatory manuals
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10.  Do you have enough time to look for pests in agriculture materials intercepted from passengers?

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11.  How easy or difficult is it for you to get samples to a pest identifier?

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12.  When you send a sample to a pest identifier, about how long does it usually take to get the results? (Please check one in each row.)

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One day or less
2 to 3 days
4 days to 1 week
One week to one month
More than one month
Not
applicable
No
answer
a.  Urgent sample
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b.  Prompt sample
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c.  Non-ugent sample
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Part 3 - Your Work at CBP (Continued)

13.  How are the following types of information delivered to you? If you do not receive a type of information on a regular basis, please respond "Do not receive." (Please check all that apply.)

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Email
from
CBP
Email
from another agency
Muster
DHS CBP intranet webpage (e.g., SharePoint)
Other
type of communication
Do not receive
a.  Urgent agriculture alerts
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b.  Pest alerts
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c.  Regulatory changes
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d.  Updated pages for agriculture regulatory manual
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14.  Is the information delivered to you in a timely manner to be useful? (Please check one in each row.)

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Always
Most of the time
Some of the time
Never or almost never
Do not
receive
No
answer
a.  Urgent agriculture alerts
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b.  Pest alerts
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c.  Agriculture regulatory changes
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d.  Updated pages for agriculture regulatory manual
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15.  How often do you enter the same agriculture data into both USDA and CBP databases because the systems are not compatible?

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16.  Are you a canine handler? (Please click on one of the buttons below. If you answer 'No' then click on the hyperlink to skip over the questions for canine handlers.)

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Part 4 - Questions for Canine Handlers

17.  Are the following resources readily available to you? (Please check one in each row.)

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Always
Usually
Sometimes
Never
Not
applicable
No
answer
a.  Funding for veterinary visits
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b.  Funding for supplies (for example, training aids)
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c.  Funding for kennel space
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d.  Space for storage of supplies and practice materials
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e.  Refrigerator(s) for perishable training materials
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f.  Other resources - (Please specify below.)
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  If you indicated 'Other resources' in Question 17, please specify here.
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18.  During the past year, in your opinion, did your supervisor have adequate agriculture canine expertise to advise you on any work-related concerns?

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19.  Does CBP management allow you enough time each month to conduct training with your dog?

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20.  During the past year, about how frequently have you been directed to perform duties outside your primary mission as a Canine Handler?

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Part 5 - Your Views and Opinions About Working at CBP

21.  Based on your own experiences, how would you describe the work-related communication between Agriculture Specialists and others listed below? (Please check one in each row.)

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Excellent
Good
Fair
Poor
No basis
to judge
No
answer
a.  Agriculture specialists at other ports
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b.  CBP Officers at your port
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c.  CBP supervisors
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d.  CBP chief
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e.  Port and Assistant Port Directors
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f.  USDA Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ)
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g.  USDA Veterinary Services
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h.  USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
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Excellent
Good
Fair
Poor
No basis
to judge
No
answer
i.  USDA meat inspectors
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j.  Fish and Wildlife Service
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k.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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l.  Food and Drug Administration
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m.  Public Health Service
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n.  State Departments of Agriculture
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o.  Other - (Please specify below.)
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  If you indicated 'Other' in Question 21, please specify here.
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22.  In your experience, does your port currently have enough Agriculture Specialists to carry out agriculture duties?

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23.  How prepared do you feel you are for your duties as an Agriculture Specialist?

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24.  In general, do you feel that the work of a CBP Agriculture Specialist is respected by CBP Officers and Management? (Please check one in each row.)

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Definitely yes
Probably yes
Uncertain
Probably not
Definitely not
No
answer
a.  CBP Officers
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b.  CBP Management
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25.  With respect to conducting agriculture inspections, performing safeguarding, and processing pest interceptions at your port, how much of a challenge, if any, is presented by each of the following factors? (Please check one in each row.)

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Very major challenge
Major challenge
Moderate challenge
Minor challenge
Not a challenge
No
answer
a.  Sufficiency of training to perform agriculture inspection duties
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b.  Amount of time spent on
non-agriculture CBP duties
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c.  Availability of supplies and equipment
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d.  Timeliness of information provided to agriculture specialists
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e.  Staffing levels of agriculture specialists
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Very major challenge
Major challenge
Moderate challenge
Minor challenge
Not a challenge
No
answer
f.  Overtime policy
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g.  Appropriateness of targeting at the primary inspection level
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h.  Priority given to the agriculture mission
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i.  CBP chain of command
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j.  Other challenge - Please specify below.
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  If you checked 'Other challenge' in Question 25, please describe that challenge.
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Part 6 - Your Comments

26.  What is going well with respect to the work of Agriculture Specialists?

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27.  What would you like to see changed or improved with respect to the work of Agriculture Specialists?

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            Please continue to the next screen to officially complete your GAO survey.
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Completing Your GAO Survey

28.  Have you completed your GAO survey?
(Answering "Yes" is equivalent to mailing a completed paper survey to us. It tells us that your answers are official and final.)

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  Before exiting this survey, you may view and print your responses by clicking on the "Summary"
link in the menu to the left.

                                     Thank you very much for your assistance.


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U.S. Government Accountability Office

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