Bonner leaves Customs and Border Protection top job

Commissioner Robert C. Bonner of the Homeland Security Department's Customs and Border Protection agency announced that he will retire at a date to be determined in consultation with Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff.

Bonner has been CBP commissioner since March 1, 2003. Before then, he had been commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service since Sept. 24, 2001.

Bonner's tenure was marked by the establishment of the agency's National Targeting Center, which is designed to pinpoint risky cargo and travelers headed for the nation's ports.

He also oversaw the continuing progress of CBP's Automated Commercial Environment program, a massive effort the agency is carrying out with prime contractor IBM Corp. to modernize customs collection and processing.

CBP has modified ACE since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to buttress its security aspects, a change that has figured as one factor slowing the program down and increasing its cost, according to the General Accounting Office.

Bonner's departure this week, combined with the resignation of DHS chief privacy officer Nuala O'Connor Kelly, further increases the number of open positions at DHS.

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