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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the potential impact of the Customs Service's Automated Export System (AES) and the views of the export community regarding AES, focusing on whether AES is likely to achieve its objectives of improving export data, enhancing enforcement efforts, and streamlining export data collection.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Treasury The Secretaries of the Treasury and of Commerce should direct the Commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service and the Director of the Bureau of the Census to delineate the concrete actions needed to improve the Automated Export System's (AES) potential, and after doing so, assess the costs and benefits of continuing to implement AES.
Closed - Implemented
Customs and Census have substantially implemented the recommendation to take concrete actions to improve AES; as a result, they have succeeded in increasing the level of exporter participation in the system which GAO cited as being critical to meeting program objectives. For example, in June 1999, the two agencies changed their regulations to allow exporters to more easily input data into AES. Further, they have identified ways to incorporate other agencies' export requirements into AES--another area GAO cited as needing attention. Although they have not yet conducted a cost/benefit analysis of continuing to implement AES, they are scheduled to conduct such an analysis in January 2000 after an older export filing system has been completely phased out.
Department of Commerce The Secretaries of the Treasury and of Commerce should direct the Commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service and the Director of the Bureau of the Census to delineate the concrete actions needed to improve the Automated Export System's (AES) potential, and after doing so, assess the costs and benefits of continuing to implement AES.
Closed - Implemented
Customs and Census have substantially implemented the recommendation to take concrete actions to improve AES; as a result, they have succeeded in increasing the level of exporter participation in the system which GAO cited as being critical to meeting program objectives. For example, in June 1999, the two agencies changed their regulations to allow exporters to more easily input data into AES. Further, they have identified ways to incorporate other agencies' export requirements into AES--another area GAO cited as needing attention. Although they have not yet conducted a cost/benefit analysis of continuing to implement AES, they are scheduled to conduct such an analysis in January 2000 after an older export filing system has been completely phased out.

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