Estimated Revenues To Be Deposited in the Panama Canal Commission's Fund

Gao ID: ID-81-34 February 24, 1981

The Panama Canal Act requires the Comptroller General to certify the estimated revenues to be deposited in the Panama Canal Commission Fund by the Panama Canal Commission. GAO proceeded by testing the Commission's computations of fiscal year (FY) 1982 estimates, by reviewing the method employed to compile the estimates and forecasts, and by reviewing actual revenues for FY 1980 and the first quarter of FY 1981.

The estimated total deposits are made up of toll and non-toll revenues. The toll revenue estimate is based on a study which combined aggregate economic forecasting techniques with statistical analysis and economic judgment in forecasting traffic and tolls. It also used disaggregative techniques for certain commodities, such as grain and oil, where changes could impact heavily on Canal traffic. Non-toll revenues, such as navigation services or water and power production and delivery, are based on the Commission's most recent estimates for FY 1981. GAO found that, subject to the uncertainties in financial forecasting or unanticipated events that may occur, the Commission's FY 1982 estimate of receipts to be deposited appears to be reasonable. However, the discontinuation of one Commission operation, a decision made subsequent to submission of the estimate, may result in an overstatement of these revenues.

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