Asset Forfeiture Programs:

Corrective Actions Underway but Additional Improvements Needed

T-GGD-88-16: Published: Mar 4, 1988. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 1988.

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GAO discussed the Department of Justice's (DOJ) and Customs Service's asset forfeiture programs, specifically their funds management problems. GAO found that, although Customs and DOJ took action to resolve problems concerning the handling of seized cash and the management of seized property, improvements were still needed, including: (1) ensuring that Customs' field offices complied with its newly established policies and procedures for depositing seized cash; (2) identifying and monitoring seized real property equities; and (3) complying with forfeiture requirements for the transfer of clear title in order to eliminate delays in finalizing sales of forfeited properties. GAO also found that: (1) since legislation requiring that DOJ apply adequate control and oversight of its forfeiture fund surpluses will expire at the end of fiscal year 1988, Congress may wish to decide how DOJ should manage its future surplus funds; and (2) Customs should propose the statutory amendments it believes are necessary to bring its fund accounting into compliance with Federal Manager's Financial Integrity Act standards.

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