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.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Treasury should direct the Commissioner of Customs to: reduce the number of regions and districts in keeping with workload requirements and sound organizational principles, clarify the responsibilities of organizational levels and units, realign responsibilities for functions among and within organizational levels, and establish definitive criteria for reviewing port status and use these criteria to identify unneeded ports.

    Agency Affected:


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