Drug Enforcement CoordinationGao ID: 120616 February 17, 1983
In response to a congressional request, GAO testified on Federal drug interdiction efforts. Federal efforts to curb smuggling of illicit drugs into the country have three major components: international programs, interdiction at the border, and domestic drug law enforcement. Although Federal resources devoted to drug interdiction have more than tripled in the last 5 years, the results remain limited. While joint special projects conducted by two or more agencies have proven especially effective in combating drug smuggling, their positive results are not typical of the day-to-day operations of Federal investigative agencies. The authority and responsibility for Federal drug interdiction efforts are split among three executive departments, each with different programs, goals, and priorities. Congressional oversight and executive department resource allocation decisions relative to drug interdiction are at best difficult under these circumstances. GAO believes that there is a need for strong central leadership and a more definitive strategy to clarify the various agencies' drug interdiction roles. Interdiction is only one part of the Federal effort to reduce the drug supply and alone cannot be expected to solve the drug problems. GAO also believes that the executive department should have one individual or group with the responsibility for evaluating operations and making recommendations for resource allocation, not only for interdiction, but within and across all components of the Federal drug effort.