Asset Forfeiture

Opportunities to Improve Program Administration Gao ID: T-GGD-91-16 March 13, 1991

GAO discussed management improvements to the Department of Justice's (DOJ) and the U.S. Customs Service's asset forfeiture programs. GAO noted that: (1) consolidation of the programs within one agency could improve efficiency and save substantial dollars; (2) DOJ and Customs independently operate seized property programs, resulting in duplication of effort because the seized properties are generally from the same area; (3) there has been limited progress in developing a consolidation plan; (4) Customs believes that consolidation could hurt its relationship with state and local law enforcement groups, its property would not receive adequate attention, and DOJ information systems could not accurately track income and expenses; and (5) the U.S. Marshals Service did not always document legal owners and encumbrances of the properties, maintain current and accurate property information, prepare decision documents outlining management approach, obtain property appraisals, and provide effective oversight of property management.

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