Customs Automation:

Weakness in Revenue Collection at John F. Kennedy International Airport

IMTEC-90-16: Published: Sep 27, 1990. Publicly Released: Sep 27, 1990.

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GAO reviewed Customs Service's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) Area Office's security, controls, and accountability over revenue collection.

GAO found that: (1) physical security weaknesses at the cashier's office in the JFK Area Office included uncontrolled checks, an unlocked safe, unlocked doors, and inappropriate access; (2) inadequate separation of duties existed; (3) employees failed to adhere to stated procedures pertaining to accountability, control, and storage of prenumbered collection documents; (4) the JFK office untimely deposited revenue, resulting in lost interest revenue; (5) there was an excessive number of prenumbered collection documents in use; (6) Customs' deposit information system cited some inaccurate collection dates for some deposits; (7) some inspectors failed to timely turn their collections into the cashier's office; and (8) the identified weaknesses substantially heightened the office's vulnerability to fraud, waste, and abuse.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: GAO observed that Customs installed counter-to-ceiling partitions, repositioning certain computer equipment, installed closed-circuit cameras, and added spring-type locks to access doors, to enhance security in the cashier's office. Customs also added armored courier service to ensure that revenues are deposited in a timely manner.

    Recommendation: The Commissioner, U.S. Customs Service New York Region, should ensure that all corrective actions planned by the JFK Customs Area Office are carried out.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury: United States Customs Service: Regional Office, New York, NY

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: GAO determined that Customs has since reissued to staff updated procedural guidance to improve control, accountability, and storage of prenumbered collection documents.

    Recommendation: The Commissioner, U.S. Customs Service New York Region, should ensure that supervisors follow stated policies and procedures and that they reinforce the importance of those directives to their staffs.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury: United States Customs Service: Regional Office, New York, NY

 

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