Department of the Treasury:

Information on the Office of Enforcement's Operations

GAO-01-305: Published: Mar 2, 2001. Publicly Released: Mar 2, 2001.

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Laurie E. Ekstrand
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This report discusses GAO's review of the Department of the Treasury's Office of Enforcement. The office was created to provide oversight, policy guidance, and support to Treasury's enforcement bureaus. GAO found that no comprehensive source provided guidance to either the office staff or to the bureaus on the circumstances under which bureaus are required to interact with the office. In addition, established documentation did not exist for 12 of the 29 circumstances under which the bureaus are required to interact with the office, and when it did exist, the documentation was generally broad in nature and did not provide explicit information on one-half of the expected interaction. About one-half of the bureau officials that GAO interviewed said that they were not aware of written requirements for their bureaus' interactions with the office or that they knew when to interact through such factors as their professional responsibility, experience, judgment, or common sense. An agency's internal control needs to be clearly documented and that documentation should be readily available for examination. Without a clearly defined and documented set of policies and procedures covering operational and communications activities, the office runs the risk of not being able to perform its functions and meet its goals efficiently.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Due to Treasury's divestiture of enforcement responsibilities, this recommendation is no longer applicable.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Treasury should direct the Under Secretary (Enforcement) to strengthen internal control by developing a policies and procedures manual to ensure that the policies and procedures on the circumstances under which the bureaus are to interact with Enforcement are clearly defined, documented, and readily available for examination by bureau officials and others.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury


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