The Comptroller of the Currency Should Decide the Extent to Which His Action Control System Is Needed

GGD-81-93: Published: Sep 28, 1981. Publicly Released: Sep 28, 1981.

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Arthur R. Goldbeck
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As part of its study of changes in bank supervision since 1976, GAO reviewed the Action Control System (ACS) of the National Bank Surveillance System under the supervision of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The review consisted of an overall study of supervisory changes and a review of selected cases of banks requiring special supervisory attention to determine how ACS was used.

In its review, GAO found that ACS was not meeting its objective of assuring uniform, timely action by OCC for banks deserving supervisory attention. OCC never made an adequate study of how best to solve its perceived problem and, consequently, the ACS design was faulty. As a result, neither regional nor headquarters personnel fully use the system. According to the Action Control Improvement Committee, ACS is receiving limited use because its output is not in a format usable to readers. Additionally, officials at other regulatory agencies question the need for a computerized system to monitor their banks which are of supervisory concern since each bank is already closely monitored. GAO believes that a primary cause of the problems of ACS was the lack of an adequate system justification study before ACS was developed. Moreover, since some OCC regions and other banking agencies question the need of a computerized system to insure adequate followup, the system may not be the right system to fulfill the need of a standardized monitoring system.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Comptroller of the Currency should expand the study of the Action Control System to assess the system's purpose, usefulness, and role in monitoring banks, as well as its cost effectiveness, and to evaluate the risks that reducing the system's coverage would entail.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury: Internal Revenue Service


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    Priority Open Recommendations:

    Internal Revenue Service
    GAO-20-548PR: Published: Apr 23, 2020. Publicly Released: Apr 30, 2020.

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