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Highlights

GAO reviewed the federal drug interdiction efforts and recommended ways to improve the effectiveness of these efforts.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Executive Office of the President 1. The President should direct the development of a more definitive federal drug strategy that stipulates the roles of the various agencies with drug enforcement responsibilities, to include a determination of whether the role of the U.S. Customs Service should be expanded to assist in follow-up investigations of interdiction cases.
Closed - Implemented
The Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 requires that a Policy Board be constituted to develop a drug strategy.
Executive Office of the President 2. The President should make a clear delegation of responsibility to one individual to oversee federal drug enforcement programs.
Closed - Implemented
The Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 designated the Attorney General as chairman of the Drug Policy Board.
Department of Justice 3. The Attorney General and the Secretaries of the Treasury and Transportation should direct DEA, the Customs Service, and Coast Guard officials to work together to develop a management information system which accumulates interdiction program results such as drug seizures, level of prosecution, and case disposition, and identifies the resources devoted to drug interdiction programs.
Closed - Not Implemented
Justice has taken action to produce better program results information, but GAO has not assessed the value of that action. Events, such as the creation of the National Narcotics Border Interdiction System, have also confused this issue. GAO is currently undertaking a review of federal interdiction capabilities, which will reassess this issue.
Department of Transportation 4. The Attorney General and the Secretaries of the Treasury and Transportation should direct DEA, the Customs Service, and Coast Guard officials to work together to develop a management information system which accumulates interdiction program results such as drug seizures, level of prosecution, and case disposition, and identifies the resources devoted to drug interdiction programs.
Closed - Not Implemented
Transportation has taken action to produce better program results information, but GAO has not assessed the value of that action. Events, such as the creation of the National Narcotics Border Interdiction System, have also confused this issue. GAO is currently undertaking a review of federal interdiction capabilities, which will reassess this issue.
Department of the Treasury 5. The Attorney General and the Secretaries of the Treasury and Transportation should direct DEA, the Customs Service, and Coast Guard officials to work together to develop a management information system which accumulates interdiction program results such as drug seizures, level of prosecution, and case disposition, and identifies the resources devoted to drug interdiction programs.
Closed - Not Implemented
Treasury has taken action to produce better program results information, but GAO has not assessed the value of that action. Events, such as the creation of the National Narcotics Border Interdiction System, have also confused this issue. GAO is currently undertaking a review of federal interdiction capabilities, which will reassess this issue.
Office of Management and Budget 6. The Director, Office of Management and Budget, should accumulate budgetary data on drug enforcement costs that are provided by Coast Guard, Customs, and DEA, and submit this information to Congress concurrent with these agencies' budget submissions.
Closed - Implemented
The Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 requires Policy Board review and approval of programming of funds.
Department of Justice 7. The Attorney General should direct the Administrator of DEA to review current overseas staffing to determine whether additional personnel could be reassigned and used more effectively in the Caribbean.
Closed - Implemented
Please call 202/512-6100 for information.
Department of State 8. The Secretary of State should prepare a Narcotics Assessment and Strategy Paper and, if it is found to be warranted, follow up with projects designed to aid interdiction efforts.
Closed - Not Implemented
State has taken action on this recommendation, but changing events limited the affects of the actions. This issue will be reassessed during a current GAO review of federal efforts to interdict drugs.
Department of Justice 9. The Attorney General and the Secretaries of the Treasury and Transportation should direct DEA, Customs, and Coast Guard units to recognize the importance of promptly reporting all information on drug smuggling to the El Paso Intelligence Center.
Closed - Implemented
Please call 202/512-6100 for information.
Department of Transportation 10. The Attorney General and the Secretaries of the Treasury and Transportation should direct DEA, Customs, and Coast Guard units to recognize the importance of promptly reporting all information on drug smuggling to the El Paso Intelligence Center.
Closed - Implemented
Please call 202/512-6100 for information.
Department of the Treasury 11. The Attorney General and the Secretaries of the Treasury and Transportation should direct DEA, Customs, and Coast Guard units to recognize the importance of promptly reporting all information on drug smuggling to the El Paso Intelligence Center.
Closed - Implemented
Please call 202/512-6100 for information.
Department of Justice 12. The Attorney General and the Secretaries of the Treasury and Transportation should provide additional staff to the El Paso Intelligence Center.
Closed - Implemented
Please call 202/512-6100 for information.
Department of Transportation 13. The Attorney General and the Secretaries of the Treasury and Transportation should provide additional staff to the El Paso Intelligence Center.
Closed - Implemented
Please call 202/512-6100 for information.
Department of the Treasury 14. The Attorney General and the Secretaries of the Treasury and Transportation should provide additional staff to the El Paso Intelligence Center.
Closed - Implemented
Please call 202/512-6100 for information.
Department of the Treasury 15. The Secretary of the Treasury should direct the Commissioner of Customs to transfer to the El Paso Intelligence Center the drug intelligence analysis activities in the Office of Border Operations that are similar to those at the El Paso Intelligence Center and assign the staff necessary to carry out such activities.
Closed - Not Implemented
The recommendation is valid, but for political reasons, Treasury will not send that function which supports the Customs operations to the El Paso Intelligence Center.
Department of Transportation 16. The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Commandant of the Coast Guard to transfer to El Paso Intelligence Center the marine drug intelligence activities at the Atlantic Area Command.
Closed - Not Implemented
The recommendation is valid, but for political reasons, Transportation will not send that function which supports the Coast Guard missions to the El Paso Intelligence Center.

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