Drug Interdiction:

Should the Customs Command and Control Program Be Continued as Currently Evolving?

GGD-88-113: Published: Jul 28, 1988. Publicly Released: Sep 15, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the U.S. Customs Service's development of its Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Program, intended to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of federal drug interdiction efforts.

GAO found that Customs: (1) constructed two centers, and plans to construct a third, to aid in identifying possible smugglers, coordinating intercept operations, facilitating interagency communication, and developing anti-drug-smuggling intelligence; (2) coordinated the program's development primarily through meetings with the Coast Guard, Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Defense (DOD), Immigration and Naturalization Service, and Federal Aviation Administration; and (3) made significant changes to the program's role, level of intelligence activities, center configuration, and military involvement as a result of the other agencies' input. GAO believes that, although the program changes will enhance Customs' command and control capabilities and facilitate better use of drug interdiction resources among agencies, they will not centralize federal drug interdiction activities.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Congress, in the fiscal year (FY) 1990 budget process, reviewed Customs' command, control, communications, and intelligence center program. It enhanced the program by $5 million and identified the program separately in Customs' drug interdiction budget.

    Matter: In view of the changes made to the program by Customs and the recent passage by Congress of DOD authorization legislation, Congress should review the program's direction before additional upgrades are approved.


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