Customs and INS

Random Inspection Programs Can Be Strengthened Gao ID: GAO-02-215R December 3, 2001

This report reviews the U.S. Customs Service's Compliance Measurement Examination (COMPEX) and Immigration and Naturalization Service's (INS) Inspections Traveler Examination (INTEX). These programs, which help Customs and INS assess the nature and extent of enforcement risks at ports of entry, compare violations found during targeted inspections with violations found during random inspections. GAO found that both Customs and INS inspectors did not always adhere to guidance on sample selection and did not always conduct inspections with the minimum level of thoroughness required. As a result, statistical data generated by the programs may not reliably reflect the extent to which travelers who seek entry into the U.S. are in violation of customs or immigration laws. GAO also found that the COMPEX and INTEX programs both draw from the same population of international travelers; have similar purposes and goals; and often use Customs and INS inspectors who work side by side, particularly at land border ports of entry. Customs and INS might realize efficiencies if the two programs were combined.


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