Customs Service:

The Self-Inspection Program Shows Promise but Remains a Work in Progress

GAO-01-676: Published: Jun 1, 2001. Publicly Released: Jun 1, 2001.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Richard M. Stana
(202) 512-8816
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

The Customs Service's responsibilities include collecting revenue from imports and enforcing U.S. laws and regulations, preventing the smuggling of drugs into the United States, and overseeing export compliance and money laundering issues. Customs recently began a self-inspection program (SIP) to aid in its diverse responsibilities. This report discusses (1) SIP's use as a mechanism for oversight and accountability, (2) problems related to SIP implementation, and (3) improvements and refinements underway to enhance the value of the program. GAO found that SIP is a useful mechanism for managers to identify and correct problems at the local level and to obtain more control over activities that they oversee. Implementation problems included a lack of detailed instructions on how to complete self-inspection worksheets and inadequate worksheet review by responsible officials. Customs is trying to correct deficiencies in key internal control areas.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In its May 22, 2001, agency comments to GAO, Customs emphasized that it will be implementing an action plan to fully address GAO's recommendation. Customs provided GAO with a draft of the action plan, which shows that all worksheets should be updated with new and clear guidelines by September 30, 2001.

    Recommendation: To help improve SIP, the Acting Commissioner of Customs should direct the Management Inspections Division Director to review all worksheets and provide clear guidance for proper documentation to support worksheet answers.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury: United States Customs Service

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In its May 22, 2001, comments to GAO, Customs emphasized that it will be implementing an action plan to fully address GAO's recommendation. Customs provided GAO with a draft of the action plan, which shows that all worksheets will be updated with new, clear guidelines by September 30, 2001.

    Recommendation: To help improve SIP, the Acting Commissioner of Customs should direct the Management Inspections Division Director to review all worksheets and provide clear guidance for determining the universe of activity to include in the self-inspection and the appropriate sample size, if required.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury: United States Customs Service

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 21, 2016

Aug 3, 2016

Aug 1, 2016

Jul 14, 2016

Jul 5, 2016

Jun 30, 2016

Jun 28, 2016

Jun 23, 2016

Jun 22, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here