Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
Office of Information Technology (OIT)
Cargo Systems Program Directorate (CSPD) – Digital Services II
Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Information Technology (OIT), Cargo Systems Program Directorate (CSPD) contracted Impyrian, LLC as the Prime contractor to utilize US Digital Service (https://www.usds.gov/) techniques to identify and solve core user needs through the development and release of software to end users of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in the form of enhancements, while bringing best practices and new approaches to support government modernization efforts. As part of US Digital Service, the team was tasked to bring best practices and new approaches to support CBP CSPD modernization efforts in achieving key goals: to migrate to a common processing environment, support component and service-based architecture, and use proven open-source technologies.
CLIN 1: Section 321 & ACE Modernization
Develop Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) capabilities that allow CBP to collect PGA data for Section 321, de Minimis shipments while still providing industry with the duty-free benefits associated with this type of entry.
Implemented functionality changes in multiple technology stacks (including Dockerized containers) to enable processing of new entry type. Coordinated the addition of new entry type processing across multiple existing Agile teams while ensuring that existing mission-critical entry processing was not impacted. Worked on identifying potential performance issues and solutions involved with a volume increase of ten times the current daily processing numbers. Leveraged Agile risk management techniques to identify and mitigate significant risks to ensure on-time and high-quality delivery.
Handled new entry type (86) that significantly impacted the number of daily cargo releases without negatively effecting current cargo release processing. Cost saving, as the servers were dockerized to process the new entry type on demand during times of load increase instead of running constantly.
CLIN 2: EPO Brokers
Automate the collection of broker triennial fees, license fees, and user fees in ACE. This work reduces CBP dependence on non-communicating systems by replacing functionality still used in stand-alone PATS database; reduces the administrative burden on CBP by replacing labor intensive manual data entry process with the electronic upload of collection information; and improves data integrity and timely reporting.
New streamlined approach will save end users countless hours of potential mistake-filled data entry tasks. Delivered a web service solution that included SAP and Java tech stack which required coordination across multiple program directorates within CBP. Developed a highly available and efficient two-way interface that was built with the flexibility in mind to allow for multiple different functional processing, error handling and ease of re-processing if necessary.
Created a robust two-way interface which handles multiple processing efforts. Led effective communication efforts across multiple teams with occassional competing and conflicting agendas to keep the delivery on schedule.
CLIN 3: Broker Management
Streamline the reporting process for brokers and enhance messaging to field Broker Management Officer (BMO), as well as automate the generation of licenses and permits in ACE. See below for the capabilities included in this request. See the attachment starting on page 5 for the business requirements related to this work.
Was able to deliver functionality despite multiple scope changes (including both modifications and the addition of new functionality). Provided design solution that included SAP and Java tech stack which were more consistent with modern UI experience. Solution-enabled functionality to be centralized, which helped with data accuracy and conforming business processing. Incorporated embedded digital signature to current license applications and allow for multiple printing functionality, which greatly improved efficiency.
Increased productivity, data integrity and cost savings by creating a centralized database that controlled licenses updating, distribution and printing.
CLIN 4: 18-Pay-038 – Upgrade AD/CVD Portal
Upgrade the user-interface, structure, functionality, usability and flexibility of the current ACE Antidumping/Countervailing Duty (AD/CVD) Portal. The upgrades required to redesign and enhance the ACE AD/CVD Portal will include:
- User-interface screens
- Informational requirements
- Improved functionality
- New functionality including, data entry, creation of E&C inquiries, HTS implementation date tracking (tied to ITC HTS changes), message functions; and
- Business rules
In addition to upgrading the ACE portal, CBP will be responsible for the provision of training to E&C users to familiarize them with the changes to the portal. Training will be conducted at DOC Headquarters located at 1401 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.
The majority of our key stakeholders had not worked with Agile before, so it was critical that we started our efforts with an education on the benefits of the Agile process to make sure of stakeholders “buy in.” In order to most effectively train the group on key principles and benefits of Agile, we invited key stakeholders to a workshop where we customized the training to CBP’s agile process and leveraged our team’s knowledge of AD/CVD to provide content-accurate examples. Although our key stakeholders did not have prior experience with Agile, the feedback immediately following the training was very positive and allowed the entire team to start from the same foundation.
With the stakeholders aligned with CBP’s agile process, Impyrian began to utilize the digital service playbook by understanding what the stakeholders needed and addressed the whole experience from beginning to end using UI/UX user centric stories.
With requirements gathered, the Impyrian team built the ADCVD application redesign iteratively using open source technologies on a micro service architecture built in the CBP Amazon Webservice Cloud Environment (CACE). In the effort to move to the cloud the team had to migrate and convert data from IBM DB2 database system to PostGresSQL. The Impyrian team used DevSecOps to focus our continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) to ensure active testing and verification of code through automation testing, code coverage, analytics and blue/green deployments.
Impyrian was able to deliver a modernized ADCVD application, that provided more accessibility, a stronger user experience, reliability, maintainability and significant cost savings to the government.