System Integrity

Stronger Controls Needed for Customs' Automated Commercial System Gao ID: IMTEC-87-10 February 10, 1987

GAO reviewed the U.S. Customs Service's Automated Commercial System (ACS) to determine if it had any weaknesses that could affect its integrity or reliability in helping Customs staff to identify and examine imports, collect duties, and supply the government with current import data.

GAO found no actual fraud, waste, or abuse involving ACS, but did identify several weaknesses in ACS internal controls and development procedures, including: (1) a lack of established controls to prevent employees from unwarranted access to ACS functions beyond those necessary to perform their assigned jobs; (2) inadequate documentation of the operational interrelationships among the 15 ACS modules, which could cause delays or errors during ACS maintenance or modification, especially if any of the key managers were unavailable; and (3) a lack of adequate test plans, increasing the risk that the ACS software will contain serious errors. GAO believes that, as ACS becomes more complex, the possibility will increase that fraud, delays, or errors resulting from these weaknesses could compromise Customs' enforcement and collection efforts.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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