U.S. Customs Service: Office of Investigations Case Management Problems

GGD-99-121 Published: Jul 20, 1999. Publicly Released: Jul 20, 1999.
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO determined whether the Customs Service's Office of Investigations (OI) follows its case management policies and procedures. GAO visited two Special Agent in Charge (SAC) offices to determine whether: (1) agents were entering statistics in the case management database; (2) first-line supervisors were reviewing investigative case files quarterly; (3) agents completed reports documenting their opening reports of investigation on time; and (4) the two SAC offices were maintaining and storing their case files appropriately.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
United States Customs Service The Commissioner of Customs should direct MID to routinely summarize its findings relating to major organizational units within Customs to identify systemic problems and make appropriate recommendations to correct them.
Closed – Implemented
Customs' 31 U.S.C. 720 response states that Customs has implemented the Self-Inspection Program to provide a comprehensive mechanism for management oversight. Each organization is to identify systemic problems. MID will also perform independent inspections. According to GAO's Liaison at Customs, Ms. Brenda Smith, "At the direction of the Commissioner, Management Inspection Division (MID) has implemented the U.S. Customs Service, Self-Inspection Program (SIP) which provides a comprehensive mechanism for management oversight of programs and processes, including the core area of 'case management.' The SIP will require all first line field office managers to assess compliance with existing policy and to semi-annually certify the assessment with respective Asst. Commissioners. Organizations are responsible for analyzing SIP results and addressing systemic problems. MID also reviews offices on a regular cycle to identify programmatic and internal control weaknesses, and reports to appropriate senior management with recommendations for corrective actions."

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