Year 2000 Computing Crisis:

Customs Has Established Effective Year 2000 Program Controls

AIMD-99-37: Published: Mar 29, 1999. Publicly Released: Mar 29, 1999.

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Jack L. Brock, Jr
(202) 512-4841


Office of Public Affairs
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the Customs Service's efforts to address its year 2000 computing problem, focusing on whether Customs has established effective management structures and processes for managing and reporting on key aspects of its Year 2000 program.

GAO noted that: (1) Customs has established effective Year 2000 program management controls, including structures and processes for year 2000 testing, contingency planning, and year 2000 status reporting; (2) as a result, the agency's latest status reports to the Department of the Treasury show good progress in converting its systems and mitigating century date change risks to its core business operations; (3) specifically, as of January 1999, Customs had met milestones recommended by the Office of Management and Budget for renovating and validating most of its mission-critical systems; (4) also, Customs has actions under way, and plans and management controls in place, to help ensure that it completes remaining validation and implementation activities for all its mission-critical systems by June 1999; (5) very important tasks remain to be accomplished, such as completing end-to-end tests and validating contingency plans for ensuring continuity of core business functions, and serious risks outside of Customs' control remain, such as year-2000-induced failures of both public infrastructure and business partner systems; (6) Customs has plans in place for completing key tasks and addressing external risks, and it has the management controls in place to ensure that they are accomplished; and (7) while these controls do not guarantee that year-2000-induced system failures will not occur, if Customs follows through on its plans and continues to implement its management controls as it has to date, its risk of year-2000-induced business failures will be effectively reduced.

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