Role of Interpol and the U.S. National Central Bureau

GGD-87-93BR: Published: Jun 25, 1987. Publicly Released: Jun 25, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the practices and procedures the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and the United States National Central Bureau (USNCB) employ in their efforts to combat world terrorism and safeguard U.S. citizens' privacy.

GAO found that USNCB: (1) generally adhered to a Privacy Act provision requiring publication of the existence of its information system in the Federal Register; (2) usually provided INTERPOL members and local law enforcement agencies with information dealing with terrorist activities; and (3) has a strict policy of not releasing U.S. citizens' addresses and social security numbers. GAO also found that: (1) INTERPOL members generally share information on suspected criminals and counterterrorist activities through their respective national central bureaus; (2) of the 19 INTERPOL members it reviewed, only 7 were satisfied with the quality, relevance, and timeliness of the assistance they received from USNCB; and (3) several of the countries it surveyed also receive their information from other U.S. sources, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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