Customs Service Inspector Overtime:

Outdated Law and Inefficient Management

T-GGD-91-45: Published: Jun 13, 1991. Publicly Released: Jun 13, 1991.

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GAO discussed the U.S. Customs Service's use of overtime for inspectional services. GAO noted that: (1) Customs' inspectional overtime costs grew from $57 million to $103 million from fiscal year (FY) 1985 to FY 1990; (2) Customs paid insufficient attention to managing the day-to-day overtime assignments beyond ensuring that claims were paid expeditiously and individual inspectors did not exceed the $25,000 annual pay cap; (3) 71 percent of all FY 1989 overtime assignments included some weekday overtime, and of those, 33 percent involved overtime assignments that started or ended within two hours of the regular workday; (4) Customs could save $22 million annually if it eliminated short assignments completed within 2 hours before or after the regular workday; (5) Customs procedures for the overtime administrative process and internal control requirements were not being followed at ports, districts, and regions, leaving Customs vulnerable to fraud and abuse; (6) many of the conditions under the 1911 Act governing Customs inspectional overtime no longer applied; and (7) simple edit checks built into Customs' automated systems could prevent certain types of duplicate payments.

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