U.S. Customs Service: Prospective Rulings More Timely, but Database Reliability Questions Remain

GAO-03-828 Published: Aug 06, 2003. Publicly Released: Aug 06, 2003.
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GAO previously reported that the U.S. Customs Service Office of Regulations and Rulings (OR&R) headquarters was not timely in issuing most of its prospective rulings, which establish the duties importers pay on imported goods. The Trade Act of 2002 required GAO to determine whether OR&R has improved the timeliness of its prospective rulings. In addition, GAO determined what actions OR&R took to improve the timeliness of rulings and whether OR&R resolved challenges it faced with the reliability of automated rulings data.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
United States Customs and Border Protection To help ensure that the Legal Case Inventory System (LCIS) data are accurate and that OR&R can reliably use the database as a management tool to record and monitor prospective rulings and measure timeliness, the OR&R Assistant Commissioner should take steps to continue to assess LCIS data reliability to determine whether recent improvements sufficiently correct past problems.
Closed – Implemented
DHS' Office of Regulations and Rulings (OR&R) has taken actions addressing GAO's recommendation, as described in a July 2003 memorandum from the OR&R Assistant Commissioner to OR&R managers.

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