Customs Service Modernization: Third Expenditure Plan Meets Legislative Conditions, But Cost Estimating Improvements Needed, Report to Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 347KB]

The U.S. Customs Service is acquiring a new trade processing system known as the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). ACE is intended to: promote more efficient movement of legitimate trade and more effective enforcement of trade laws; strengthen border security operations; and include a single system interface between the trade community and the federal government known as the International Trade Data System (ITDS), which is to reduce the data reporting burden placed on the trade community and facilitate the collection and dissemination of trade data for agencies with trade-related missions. Customs is required in its appropriation' not to obligate funds for ACE until it submits to the Congress ACE expenditure plans that: meet the capital planning and investment control review requirements of the Office of Management and Budget (0MB), including security planning; comply with the Customs enterprise architecture; comply with federal acquisition rules, requirements, guidelines, and systems acquisition management practices; are reviewed and approved by the Customs Investment Review Board, Treasury, and 0MB; and are reviewed by GAO. On May 24, 2002, Customs submitted its third ACE expenditure plan to its House and Senate appropriations subcommittees, seeking release of $190.2 million from the ACE appropriation. Since 1999, we have conducted a series of reviews of Customs' ACE/ITDS program and made recommendations for strengthening program management.

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