U.S. Customs Service:

Compliance with the Inflation Adjustment Act

GAO-02-1045R: Published: Sep 9, 2002. Publicly Released: Sep 9, 2002.

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Earlier this year, GAO began a governmentwide review of the implementation of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990. The act requires each federal agency to issue a regulation adjusting its covered maximum civil monetary penalties for inflation by October 23, 1996, and requires each agency to make necessary adjustments at least once every 4 years thereafter. During the review, the Customs Service's Office of Chief Counsel indicated that three of the agency's civil penalties are covered by the act but that the agency had not adjusted any of them for inflation.

Status Legend:

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  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Recommendation for Executive Action

    Recommendation: The Commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service should initiate a regulatory action to adjust for inflation all of the agency's civil penalties that are covered by the Inflation Adjustment Act.

    Agency Affected: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Border and Transportation Security

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On March 21, 2003, the Customs Service published a final rule in the Federal Register adjusting its covered penalties for inflation. The rule specifically referenced the Inflation Adjustment Act, noting that the adjustment was to have been made by October 23, 1996.

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