Customs Service:

Comments on Strategic Plan and Resource Allocation Process

T-GGD-98-15: Published: Oct 16, 1997. Publicly Released: Oct 16, 1997.

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Norman J. Rabkin
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GAO discussed the strategic plan submitted by the U.S. Customs Service, as required by the Government Performance and Results Act.

GAO noted that: (1) the Customs Service's plan addresses the required elements; (2) it also contains a discussion of management challenges but, in GAO's opinion, does not adequately recognize Customs' need to improve its financial management and internal control systems, its controls over seized assets, its plans to alleviate year 2000 problems, and its plans to improve computer security; (3) regarding its resource allocation process, Customs officials told GAO that they were not aware of any formal agencywide efforts prior to 1995 to determine the need for additional cargo and passenger inspectional personnel for its 301 ports; and (4) however, Customs officials told GAO that in June 1995, in preparation for its fiscal year 1997 budget request and a new drug enforcement operation (Hard Line), Customs conducted a formal needs assessment using factors such as the need to: (a) fully staff inspectional booths; and (b) balance enforcement efforts with the need to quickly move complying cargo and passengers through the ports.

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