Drug Interdiction:

Funding Continues to Increase but Program Effectiveness Is Unknown

GGD-91-10: Published: Dec 11, 1990. Publicly Released: Jan 14, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on federal drug interdiction programs run by the Customs Service, Coast Guard, and Border Patrol and supported by the Department of Defense, focusing on: (1) the available measures of program performance and the comparability of performance among different programs; (2) program funding; (3) quantities of drugs seized through the programs; and (4) the relationship between drug seizures and the use of advance information on drug shipments.

GAO found that: (1) drug interdiction programs lacked common criteria to compare performance due to measurement problems and the programs' use of different indicators to measure performance; (2) federal interdiction funds increased from $1.47 billion in fiscal year (FY) 1989 to $2.03 billion in FY 1990; (3) quantities of drugs seized varied by program and type of drug; and (4) most drug seizures occurred during routine interdiction, although prior intelligence was involved in some larger seizures.

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