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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the effectiveness and the development of the U.S. Customs Service's automated Entry Summary Selectivity (ESS) subsystem, intended to assist import specialists in tracking duty payments and trade laws violations and to provide for uniform treatment of importers and imported merchandise.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Treasury In order for ESS to meet its objectives in a timely and economical manner, the Secretary of the Treasury should direct the Commissioner of Customs to postpone further development of ESS beyond the phase II pilot until Customs institutes sound management practices in developing and operating ESS. This includes: (1) appointing a project manager for ESS; (2) performing cost-benefit analyses; and (3) developing detailed system requirements, formal test plans, and plans specifying milestones and required resources.
Closed - Not Implemented
The recommendations in this report are no longer applicable because the GAO general management review (GMR) of Customs recommended starting over with ESS. Customs is starting from ground zero and working with Earl Walter, GAO, on the GMR recommendations.
Department of the Treasury In order for ESS to meet its objectives in a timely and economical manner, the Secretary of the Treasury should direct the Commissioner of Customs to postpone further development of ESS beyond the phase II pilot until Customs corrects the operational and system problems that have been identified so far. This includes assessing the adequacy of ESS training and terminal access and availability and taking action to ensure that any problems identified are expeditiously addressed.
Closed - Not Implemented
The recommendations in this report are no longer applicable because the GAO GMR of Customs recommended starting over with ESS. Customs is starting from ground zero and working with Earl Walter, GAO, on the GMR recommendations.
Department of the Treasury In order for ESS to meet its objectives in a timely and economical manner, the Secretary of the Treasury should direct the Commissioner of Customs to postpone further development of ESS beyond the phase II pilot until Customs develops adequate plans for phases II, III, and IV, relying on government guidelines and sound business practices.
Closed - Not Implemented
The recommendations in this report are no longer applicable because the GAO GMR of Customs recommended starting over with ESS. Customs is starting from ground zero and working with Earl Walter, GAO, on the GMR recommendations.

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