Money Laundering:

Project Gateway

GGD-94-91R: Published: Feb 15, 1994. Publicly Released: Feb 15, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of the Treasury's initiative to facilitate states' access to Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) data, focusing on: (1) its implementation of Project Gateway; (2) whether BSA data are useful; and (3) why state officials are purchasing BSA data on magnetic tape for in-state processing if they have access to the entire BSA database. GAO noted that: (1) authorized state officials can obtain information on specific individuals, but they cannot conduct general analyses of the types of institutions reporting transactions over $10,000; (2) federal law enforcement officials have found BSA data very useful in combating money laundering; (3) Treasury and six states have entered into agreements that permit the states to maintain their own currency transaction report databases; (4) Treasury periodically supplies each state with state-specific BSA data; (5) analyses of BSA data are limited, since each state receives only the reports filed by institutions located in the state; (6) Texas officials have obtained BSA data on magnetic tape to conduct broader analyses of BSA data; and (7) Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has proposed allowing the states direct access to the BSA database without any limitation as to what records they can access.

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