International Trade:

Observations on the Operations of the International Trade Commission

NSIAD-87-80: Published: Feb 25, 1987. Publicly Released: Feb 25, 1987.

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GAO evaluated the International Trade Commission's (ITC) operations, identifying problems with ITC programmatic, administrative, and information resource management activities and its internal evaluations.

GAO found that ITC uses incomplete and unverified questionnaire data, since: (1) the questionnaires may contain format weaknesses; (2) the questionnaire response rates are low and respondents do not answer some questions; (3) its investigative field work is limited; and (4) its investigative reports do not contain summaries and generally do not set forth the scope and methodology of the investigations. GAO also found internal administrative control weaknesses in ITC handling of: (1) classified security information and confidential business information; (2) procurement activities; (3) property management; and (4) extended lunch periods. GAO noted that ITC: (1) could eliminate, combine, or decrease the frequency of some recurring reports so that it issues only reports that the government or private industry need; and (2) has never regularly audited its financial and program activities. In addition, GAO found that ITC has: (1) a fragmented organizational structure for managing its information resources functions; (2) not yet established an overall comprehensive information resource management (IRM) plan; (3) not placed the senior IRM official and other key executives on its Information Systems Planning Committee; and (4) not adequately documented its need for microcomputers.

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