Customs Automation:

Internal Control Weaknesses in Customs' Revenue Collection Process

IMTEC-89-50: Published: Apr 11, 1989. Publicly Released: Apr 27, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the Customs Service's Automated Commercial System's (ACS) controls for ensuring that its collected revenues were deposited in the U.S. Treasury.

GAO found that Customs has been aware, since at least 1987, of significant internal control weaknesses in its accounting systems, revenue collection procedures, and the ACS Financial System module, including ACS: (1) failure to detect two major frauds resulting in the theft of over $4.2 million in revenues; (2) inability to reconcile collection and deposit amounts recorded in ACS, with collections exceeding deposits by the cumulative unreconciled amount of $53.5 million as of February 1989; and (3) software limitations preventing monthly automated reconciliation between collections and deposits. GAO also found that Customs formed a task force in March 1989 to study its collection and deposit reconciliation problems after internal studies indicated that ACS lacked essential management attention and adequate resources.

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