Detailed Information on the
Terrorist Interdiction Program Assessment

Program Code 10001110
Program Title Terrorist Interdiction Program
Department Name Department of State
Agency/Bureau Name Department of State
Program Type(s) Direct Federal Program
Assessment Year 2004
Assessment Rating Effective
Assessment Section Scores
Section Score
Program Purpose & Design 100%
Strategic Planning 100%
Program Management 100%
Program Results/Accountability 70%
Program Funding Level
(in millions)
FY2007 $5
FY2008 $12
FY2009 $18

Ongoing Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments

The Administration will take further action to relate spending to achieving annual and long-term goals. Funding requests will be directly tied to the key indicators that the Program has established.

Action taken, but not completed After five years of stagnant program under-funding, S/CT in FY 2008 initiated a long-term effort for sustained and increased budgetary support to meet each of the key indicators, especially the increasing number of high priority ports of entry equipped with TIP PISCES and percentage of foreign government usage of the system.

Improved coordination with other complementary U.S. Government programs will be further detailed in budget justifications to ensure that a comprehensive approach is presented to meet the outcome goal of improving a host nation's border control capabilities.

Action taken, but not completed In FY 2008, S/CT intensified and deepened program and budgetary coordination with another federal agency to plan, implement, and manage the Terrorist Interdiction Program in order to constrain terrorist mobility globally by helping countries at risk of terrorist activity to enhance their border security capabilities.

The Administration will continue to push for a more robust funding environment for the Terrorist Interdiction Program (TIP). The program has been provided no significant additional funding for five years and the current levels are insufficient to meet program goals. With a budget reflecting actual program requirements, TIP will upgrade and enhance existing installations of its computer-based watchlisting system in countries where deployed and will reach out to additional countries at high risk of terrorist travel to promote expanded border control cooperation.

Action taken, but not completed In FY 2008, at S/CT's recommendation, the Department requested significant budget increases for TIP/PISCES in order to support substantial upgrades of program biometrics capabilities, both hardware and software, for provision to participating countries. These upgraded capabilities will enable participating countries reliably to confirm and verify identities of known and supected terrorists and other malefactors, and thus constrain terrorist mobility globally. Ongoing action.

Completed Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments

Program Performance Measures

Term Type  
Long-term/Annual Outcome

Measure: Number of TIP PISCES phased installations completd per yearly appropriation (in millions)

Explanation:Corrects definition of efficiency measure to bring it in line with actual PART submission of 2004

Year Target Actual
2002 Baseline .16
2003 1.0 1.2
2004 1.2-1.4 1.4
2005 1.2-1.4 1.0
2006 1.2-1.4 1.2
2007 1.3-1.5 2.4
2008 2.0-2.5
2009 2.0-2.5
2010 2.5-2.7
2011 2.5-2.7
2012 2.5-2.7
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Percentage of the 60 highest priority countries capable of screening for terrorists through implementation of the Terrorist Interdiction Program.

Explanation:Achieve significant increases in global counterterrorism cooperation with the United States by enabling 100% of the highest priorities countries threatened by terrorist transit to conduct terrorist watchlisting at key ports of entry by the end of 2009.

Year Target Actual
2002 0.0 8%
2003 20% 20%
2004 33% 32%
2005 46% 37%
2006 50% 38%
2007 56% 28%
2008 56%
2009 60%
2010 70%
2011 70%
2012 75%
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Percentage of travelers screened by participating nation governments with the Terrorist Interdiction Program's watchlisting system across all sites at which the system is installed. Target is 100% by the year 2009.

Explanation:By the end of 2009 foreign governments participating in the Terrorist Interdiction Program are screening 100% of travelers at sites in which the watchlisting system is installed.

Year Target Actual
2002 30% 30%
2003 58% 55%
2004 64% 60%
2005 72% 70%
2006 80% 80%
2007 85% 90%
2008 95%
2009 95%
2010 97%
2011 97%
2012 97%
Annual Outcome

Measure: Annual increase in the number of highest priority foreign ports of entry equipped to conduct terrorist watchlisting in cooperation with the United States.

Explanation:Increase the number of the highest priority foreign ports capable of conducting terrorist watchlisting in cooperation with the United States by at least 20.

Year Target Actual
2002 0 3
2003 25 25
2004 45 50
2005 65 73
2006 75 75
2007 95 104
2008 115
2009 125
2010 130
Annual Outcome

Measure: Percentage of foreign government usage of the Terrorist Interdiction Program's watchlisting system across all sites at which the system is installed.

Explanation:Increase participating nation usage of the Terrorist Interdiction Program's watchlisting system by 10% each year across all sites at which the system is installed.

Year Target Actual
2002 30% 30%
2003 58% 50%
2004 64% 60%
2005 72% 70%
2006 80% 80%
2007 85% 90%
2008 95%
2009 95%
2010 95%

Questions/Answers (Detailed Assessment)

Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design
Number Question Answer Score

Is the program purpose clear?

Explanation: The Terrorist Interdiction Program (TIP) strives to interdict terrorists or deny them unrestricted movement between countries by: providing select countries with a capability to accurately check the identity of persons passing through air, land and sea ports of entry, against a terrorist watchlist; achieving full and effective use of a watchlisting capability in every country in which it is installed; and by expanding international cooperation with the United States in the global fight against terrorism.

Evidence: a.FY 05 Congressional Budget Justification statement b. Bureau Performance Plan BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers:

YES 20%

Does the program address a specific and existing problem, interest or need?

Explanation: Terrorists are known to take advantage of nations with little or no effective capability to identify or track their passage, and which therefore pose little risk of apprehension. By providing a fast, secure and reliable means to gather information on every person entering or leaving through national ports of entry, and the means to instantly check each person's identity against a terrorist watchlist, TIP provides the potential to dramatically complicate or disrupt terrorist planning and execution. The mobility which terrorist groups continue to display clearly validates the ongoing nature of this problem.

Evidence: a. FY 05 Congressional Budget Justification statement b. Bureau Performance Plan c. Numerous classified documents BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers:

YES 20%

Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of any other Federal, state, local or private effort?

Explanation: Although there are several complementary government watchlisting programs that focus on travelers entering or leaving the United States, Mexico, and Canada, there is currently no program equivalent of TIP in terms of providing watchlisting capabilities, in close cooperation with the United States, to countries beyond the North American continent. There is no known overlap with any government or private sector similar program in any country in which TIP is employed.

Evidence: There is no duplicative government or private programs providing the same capabilities and opportunities for counterterrorism cooperation with the United States. No other federal agency is providing a terrorist watchlisting capability to any country currently engaged through TIP.

YES 20%

Is the program design free of major flaws that would limit the program's effectiveness or efficiency?

Explanation: TIP is free of major flaws that limit the program's effectiveness or efficiency. At this time there is no evidence or indication that another approach to terrorist watchlisting or border security would be more effective or efficient than TIP.

Evidence: a.TIP program description. b.TIP watchlisting system description. As part of its continuing evaluation of program effectiveness and ongoing effort to improve performance, the Department is attentive to both government and private technology developments, particularly with respect to name recognition, database manipulation and document screening. Program personnel recently attended a presentation on a TIP-like system being developed under a government/university partnership specifically to support Caribbean nation security deficiencies. While this system may provide similar capabilities, it is too early to assess its potential as a cost-effective TIP replacement.

YES 20%

Is the program effectively targeted, so that resources will reach intended beneficiaries and/or otherwise address the program's purpose directly?

Explanation: Countries selected to participate in TIP and receive program resources are identified, by and large, from an interagency approved list of candidate nations. Countries placed on the list are threatened by terrorist transit, have a need for TIP's capabilities, and demonstrate willingness to cooperate with the United States in counterterrorism activities. Ports of entry to receive the TIP watchlisting system within a particular country are likewise chosen through cooperation between the U.S. embassy and host nation government,with emphasis placed on sites with high volume of traveler traffic or high threat potential.

Evidence: a.TIP Joint-Agency Tier List b. FY 04 Program Plan. Endorsement of a country's willingness to cooperate and its capability to effectively use and safeguard program resources is provided by the appropriate U.S. embassy before TIP is introduced. Additionally, the participating nation must sign a memorandum of intent to cooperate with the United States on program objectives before the first resource is provided. Resources, specifically computer hardware and related system peripherals, are provided in quantities and installed in locations agreed to in advance and formalized in a project system requirements document tailored to each country. Ordering of equipment, and its installation, is directly controlled by the U.S. program office, hence there is little chance of specific resources being redirected to unintended legitimate beneficiaries.

YES 20%
Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design Score 100%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning
Number Question Answer Score

Does the program have a limited number of specific long-term performance measures that focus on outcomes and meaningfully reflect the purpose of the program?

Explanation: As formally stated in the explanation to question 1.1, TIP strives to significantly increase global cooperation with the United States in counterterrorism through widespread terrorist watchlisting. Increasing the number of countries participating with the United States in continual watchlisting and increasing the number of overseas ports of entry at which terrorist watchlisting is continually conducted, is fundamental to the program's purpose and success. A broad global array or "coalition" of U.S. partners conducting continual terrorist watchlisting at as many air, land and sea ports of entry as the threat dictates, and funding allows, is the over-arching outcome desired of TIP.

Evidence: Long-term performance measures are listed in the PART worksheet and the Goals Paper

YES 14%

Does the program have ambitious targets and timeframes for its long-term measures?

Explanation: As with other counterterrorism programs, TIP strives to field terrorist watchlisting capabilities to an many places as possible, as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence. Since progress is directly tied to annual funding levels, program managers establish long-term and annual targets based on a best-case scenario. Given the many variables associated with each country-specific project, success in meeting targets, even in a best-case scenario, demands careful planning and execution, as well as continual efforts to stretch program dollars as far as practical.

Evidence: Targets are listed on the PART worksheet and the Goals Paper

YES 14%

Does the program have a limited number of specific annual performance measures that can demonstrate progress toward achieving the program's long-term goals?

Explanation: TIP annual performance measures are linked directly to the program's long-term progress goals.

Evidence: Annual performance measures are listed on the PART worksheet and the Goals Paper

YES 14%

Does the program have baselines and ambitious targets for its annual measures?

Explanation: Although realization of annual performance targets is tied directly to actual annual program funding, program managers nevertheless establish targets that are reasonable, yet strive to exact the maximum output from program dollars.

Evidence: Annual performance targets are listed on the PART worksheet and the Goals Paper

YES 14%

Do all partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and other government partners) commit to and work toward the annual and/or long-term goals of the program?

Explanation: Program managers from all entities involved with TIP participate in the development of both long-term and annual performance goals and are committed to maximizing program output for the funding dollars received each year. Given the innumerable variables inherent to a complex program like TIP, close cooperation and coordination between managers across the program has been and will continue to be the key to program progress in the face of uncertain funding levels year over year.

Evidence: a. FY 04 Program Plan. Program partners actively participate in the preparation of the fiscal year's program plan which provides the anticipated focus, direction and level of effort for the year's terrorist watchlisting implementation activities.

YES 14%

Are independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality conducted on a regular basis or as needed to support program improvements and evaluate effectiveness and relevance to the problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: The Terrorist Interdiction Program has not yet been independently evaluated. The program is only in its second year of broad operational employment. Insufficient data has been generated to warrant an independent evaluation at this point. An initial evaluation in mid-2005 would be appropriate.


NA 0%

Are Budget requests explicitly tied to accomplishment of the annual and long-term performance goals, and are the resource needs presented in a complete and transparent manner in the program's budget?

Explanation: Budget requests correspond directly to the personnel and material resources required to meet program performance goals. Budget requests are formulated based on the number of new countries planned for the program that year (as well as the size of the anticipated installation), the number of new ports of entry to receive TIP in countries in which with program is already operating , and finally, the costs to upgrade and sustain the program in countries across the board. Resources include computer systems hardware, software engineering development, systems installation and training labor/travel costs, country-specific infrastructure improvements, and installed systems sustainment costs.

Evidence: a. FY 06 budget request documentation

YES 14%

Has the program taken meaningful steps to correct its strategic planning deficiencies?

Explanation: The program has taken necessary steps to bolster its program management staff, improve long-term and annual performance measures, develop more ambitious targets for performance measures, and develop an appropriate and reasonable efficiency measure.

Evidence: a. FY 06 PART submission. A new position for a full time government employee TIP program manager has been approved and advertised. After initial review of candidates the area of consideration has been broadened to attract potential applicants across the U.S. civil service.

YES 14%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning Score 100%
Section 3 - Program Management
Number Question Answer Score

Does the agency regularly collect timely and credible performance information, including information from key program partners, and use it to manage the program and improve performance?

Explanation: Senior program personnel meet at least weekly, and communicate daily, to discuss progress and performance. The status of program implementation in each country is briefed in detail to program leadership on a weekly basis. Problems are discussed and decisions mutually reached on solutions. The impact of resource availability, both personnel and material, is likewise fully evaluated. Program priorities, while established in general terms through a joint-agency "tier list," require nearly continual evaluation and adjustment by program managers in response to innumerable technical, logistical and diplomatic variables and uncertainties. The program has instituted an aggressive plan for monitoring, and subsequently improving, overall system usage in countries involved with the program.

Evidence: a. Program/project status sheets. The program currently has an informal mechanism in place to regularly gather system usage feedback from U.S. country teams in TIP participant nations. System usage information is used to assess participating nation cooperation, the technical performance of the system, and the quality of training provided. As an example, program managers learned that a host nation had stopped using the TIP watchlisting system to screen travelers. Upon further investigation managers learned that the country had failed to staff the system properly and had not responded to operator turn-over. Additionally, an unreported system problem had resulted in greatly increased time to screen travelers with the TIP system and hence led to unsatisfactory traveler delays. Pressure on the host government to correct staffing problems, and program attention to technical issues have not only returned system to operation , but also put the program on path to greatly expand usage.

YES 14%

Are Federal managers and program partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and other government partners) held accountable for cost, schedule and performance results?

Explanation: Federal managers are held accountable for cost, schedule and performance results. The program's prime contractor is likewise held accountable for program performance via contract award fees and option year provisions. The current contractor has been associated with the program only since early CY 2003 and was recently awarded the first option year of the contract based on satisfactory and improving performance. The previous prime contractor was terminated for unsatisfactory performance.

Evidence: a. Terms of primary support contract. The government COTR's evaluation of contractor performance can be made available as evidence. As well as the COTR's justification for terminating the original contractor.

YES 14%

Are funds (Federal and partners') obligated in a timely manner and spent for the intended purpose?

Explanation: Program funds are obligated in a timely manner. However, late appropriations (as in FY 03 and FY 04) necessitate urgent action on the part of department controllers and program managers to ensure timely obligation. Funds are always spent for the intended purpose. Department program personnel receive monthly spending reports from the program partner enabling close oversight of the expenditure of department funds.

Evidence: a. Fund expenditure reports. b. Copies of the Interagency Acquisition Agreement (and modifications) governing program funds. c. Copy of the Interagency Agreement which establishes program policy and defines the roles and responsibilities of program partners.

YES 14%

Does the program have procedures (e.g. competitive sourcing/cost comparisons, IT improvements, appropriate incentives) to measure and achieve efficiencies and cost effectiveness in program execution?

Explanation: The program's prime contract is competitively bid and contains performance-based provisions for option years and award fees. Additionally, the program managers have embarked on an aggressive initiative to improve the basic software application for the TIP system. This effort will provide a watchlisting system that is easier to customize, in response to participating nation requirements, and easier to sustain and upgrade. As a result, the program will be installed quicker, with significant anticipated savings in engineering labor. Consequently, the program's engineering resources should be able to handle many more individual country projects than they do now, with little or no additional manpower requirements.

Evidence: a. COTR contractor evaluations and documentation supporting award fees and execution of contract option years. b. Technical description of the TIP new "baseline" effort.

YES 14%

Does the program collaborate and coordinate effectively with related programs?

Explanation: Program personnel within the department coordinate closely with representatives from other State Department bureaus, and other U.S. agencies, involved in the broader border security initiative. Although the Terrorist Interdiction Program is unique, its installation in a particular country can augment or complement existing immigration/border security programs. Likewise, TIP can provide the initial framework for additional opportunities for cooperation with a host government in the fight against terrorism.

Evidence: a. Copies of meeting minutes, briefings, planning documents outlining coordination plans. S/CT program personnel ensure country desk officers, and appropriate functional bureau officers are aware of program plans and ongoing activities within their areas of expertise and responsibility. A key focus of this coordination is examination of opportunities to pool resources to achieve dual purposes, as well as to avoid unnecessary duplication.

YES 14%

Does the program use strong financial management practices?

Explanation: The department's program personnel closely track expenditure of State funds. Program personnel receive monthly status reports on expenditures of State funds, and balances remaining. Program personnel coordinate closely with partner managers and finance office personnel to ensure State funds are used strictly in accordance with department policies, priorities and legislative restrictions.

Evidence: a. Monthly spending and balance report

YES 14%

Has the program taken meaningful steps to address its management deficiencies?

Explanation: The presence of a full-time program coordinator for the past year has greatly improved department ability to maintain daily communication and coordination with the program partner and hence better monitor program activities and improve direct participation in planning and implementation. The department has obtained approval for and continues to actively seek candidates for a full-time government TIP program manager.

Evidence: a. Department TIP Program Manager billet announcement. b. Program Coordinator position description.

YES 14%
Section 3 - Program Management Score 100%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability
Number Question Answer Score

Has the program demonstrated adequate progress in achieving its long-term performance goals?

Explanation: The Terrorist Interdiction Program demonstrates measurable and meaningful progress toward achievement of all goals and objectives. The program's desired outcome is directly dependent on the program's outputs, which are tied to annual funding levels. Achieving the long-term goals depends upon both installation of the TIP program and country usage which much be monitored on an annual basis.

Evidence: a. FY 03 program status report, and results to date for FY 04. b. FY 03 and 04 Bureau Performance Plan.


Does the program (including program partners) achieve its annual performance goals?

Explanation: The program met annual performance goals for FY 03 and is on track to meet or exceed the goals established for FY 04. Achievement of annual performance goals is tied directly to yearly funding levels. Annual targets are adjusted based on anticipated funding, i.e. President's budget request.

Evidence: a. FY 03 program status report, and results to date for FY 04. b. FY 03 and 04 Bureau Performance Plan.

YES 30%

Does the program demonstrate improved efficiencies or cost effectiveness in achieving program goals each year?

Explanation: Program management personnel have kept staffing levels trim and have acted on every opportunity to reduce costs and maximize value from available funding dollars. A complete change of contractor team occurred early in FY 03 necessitating the dedication of a considerable amount of time to enable the new team to come up to speed and begin to implement its improvements to the watchlisting system and program execution. FY 04 is only the second full year of broad employment of the Terrorist Interdiction Program. During FY 01 and FY 02 the program was run predominantly as a narrowly focused pilot project to test concept feasibility and to identify and evaluate the innumerable political, technical and logistical details involved with a program of its complexity.

Evidence: a. TIP Master Schedule and Program History. FY 04 saw an approximate 10% reduction in the amount of time required to deploy the watchlisting system following completion of the technical site surveys. Although each country project is different in scope and difficulty, and presents innumerable variables, a further reduction in time to deploy is possible in FY 05. In conjunction with the change in prime contractor, the program management staff embarked on a broad initiative to completely overhaul the watchlisting system's software application. The goal of this ambitious effort is to improve system performance and capability as a counterterrorism tool, to make it simpler to sustain and upgrade, and to make it easier for host nation personnel to operate effectively. As a result, program managers should be able to further stretch the impact and value of each funding dollar, and thereby do achieve more progress with less than a proportionate increase in funding.

YES 20%

Does the performance of this program compare favorably to other programs, including government, private, etc., with similar purpose and goals?

Explanation: There is no known comparable government or private program with similar purpose and goals.


NA 0%

Do independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality indicate that the program is effective and achieving results?

Explanation: The Terrorist Interdiction Program has not yet been independently evaluated. The program is only in its second full year of broad operational employment. Insufficient data has been gathered to warrant an independent evaluation at this point. An initial evaluation in mid-2005 would be appropriate.


NO 0%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability Score 70%

Last updated: 09062008.2004SPR