Supply Chain Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Has Enhanced Its Partnership with Import Trade Sectors, but Challenges Remain in Verifying Security Practices, Report to Congressional Requesters [open pdf - 1MB]
"U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is responsible for ensuring the security of cargo containers shipped into the United States. To strike a balance between security and commerce, CBP oversees the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, or C-TPAT program. As part of this program, CBP aims to secure the supply chain--the flow of goods from manufacturers to retailers--through partnerships with international trade companies. Member companies agree to allow CBP to validate their security practices and, in exchange, they are awarded benefits, such as reduced scrutiny of their cargo. In 2005, GAO [Government Accountability Office] reviewed the C-TPAT program and noted operational challenges. For this report, GAO was asked to assess the progress CBP has made since 2005 in (1) improving its benefit award policies for C-TPAT members, (2) addressing challenges in validating members' security practices, and (3) addressing management and staffing challenges. To perform this work, GAO analyzed a nonprobability sample of completed validations; reviewed annual, human capital, and strategic plans; and held discussions with CBP officials. GAO is recommending that CBP improve its electronic validation instrument, improve the validation process, enhance its records management system, and establish performance measures for improving supply chain security. CBP concurred with each of the recommendations."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/