CBP Increases Polygraph Exams Oversight

3 years 8 months 3 weeks ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 August 18, 2017 5:37 PM August 18, 2017 in News

WESLACO – A Office of Inspector General report claims a federal agency is costing taxpayers thousands in polygraph exams.

The OIG report shows U.S. Customs and Border Protection spent more than $5 million on polygraph exams to applicants who did not pass pre-polygraph interviews.

The reports states applicants admitted in their pre-polygraph interviews, from fiscal years 2013 to 2016, to know or commit illegal acts, including illegal drug use, drug smuggling, human trafficking and knowing people doing such crimes.

OIG officials explained this cost taxpayers $2,200 for each applicant. In the report, they reviewed 380 polygraph exams.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS learned what Rio Grande Valley law enforcement officers go through during the exam process.

Polygraph examiner Rolando Munoz said an exam consists of three parts.

"The first process or the first stage is a pretest interview. That is when we are going to discuss the issue at hand,” he said.

Munoz said the second step is the physical exam.

Also a retired Texas Department of Public safety trooper, Munoz administers tests for different police departments across the Valley.

"My job is to help them have positive outcome in the polygraph exam so they can have an opportunity. But my job is also to have them be truthful on their personal history. That’s why we do the polygraph,” he explained.

The third part is the evaluation of an applicant’s results. Munoz said the polygraph exam is the same across different agencies. However, each department can set their own protocols in their hiring process.

"Not all law enforcement departments will conduct a pre-employment polygraph.  But those that do, they basically has set some standards that they need to go by or want to go by,” he said.

Munoz explained the average polygraph exam can cost up to $200 to $300 in the Valley.

He added larger police departments in the Valley do conduct pre-employment hiring polygraph exams and some do not.

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