US-VISIT, a program that tracks visitors to the US through biometrics(i.e. fingerprint scans), was awarded to a company based out of the Bahamas called Accenture. Michael Cutler over at The Counterterrorism Blog
questions whether this thing will ever come to fruition. This of course is another example of our government outsourcing our security to a company not even based in the U.S. Granted, Accenture is in the Bahamas to avoid paying taxes -- ignore the fact that the majority of it's income seems to be from
taxes -- and is not really
a foreign company, but why should we be rewarding companies that pull this crap with offshoring to avoid paying taxes to the country that it derives its main source of income from?
The article alludes to the fact that Accenture, the company that ultimately won the bid for the implementation of US-VISIT, engineered its success in winning that incredibly lucrative contract. Accenture, according to the article, "...had once been associated with the now-defunct Arthur Andersen LLP accounting firm. The company, then operating as Andersen Consulting, blossomed during the high-tech boom of the late 1990s, in part by offering governments and businesses solutions to their technology problems. In 2001, the company renamed itself Accenture. It employed 75,000 people in 47 countries and had revenue of more than $11 billion. Based in Hamilton, Bermuda, the company called itself a "global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company."
As I am sure you recall, Arthur Andersen, LLP met its demise in the wake of the Enron fiasco. Arthur Anderson was one of the "Big Five" international accounting firms and was found to have shredded Enron files and otherwise obstructed the investigation of Enron! Accenture is an "offshore" company to which our government has entrusted a multibillion dollar contract that is, at its basis, is designed to help do nothing less than protect our nation and our people from another terrorist attack! I know that the article is long and tedious, but please read it thoroughly- this article is a true horror story!
Accenture may never "get it right" where the implementation of US-VISIT is concerned, however, they will still be paid billions of dollars, even if they fail!
US-VISIT in and of itself is a great idea in my opinion. Our current "system" -- if you could call it that -- is based on trust in the visitor to our country that they will obey our laws and leave when they are suppose to. I just hate to see the waste, corruption and trust that seems to have been placed in this offshored company known as Accenture.