Achieving Needed Organizational Change:

A Customs Service Dilemma

FPCD-78-29: Published: Mar 30, 1978. Publicly Released: Mar 30, 1978.

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The United States Customs Service is organized on four levels, or tiers--headquarters, 9 regions, 45 districts, and 303 ports. The four-tier structure stems from the Stover report, the result of a Department of the Treasury management study, which gave the impetus for the 1965-66 reorganization.

While the four-tier structure has contributed to management efficiency, the Stover report and later studies recommended a reduction in the number of regions and districts. Customs has been unwilling to make the reductions because of external opposition to consolidation. Fewer regions and districts would allow Customs to reduce overhead and reassign personnel to day-to-day operations. This could be achieved without eliminating a Customs presence at affected communities, and it would improve services.

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