Customs modernization plan on mark, GAO says

Customs modernization plan on mark, GAO says

By Preeti Vasishtha

GCN Staff

JUNE 7—The Customs Service's request for $45 million for the Automated Commercial Environment, the first project under its modernization program, meets legislative conditions, the General Accounting Office said.

The plan underwent Office of Management and Budget review and complies with Customs' enterprise architecture and federal acquisition rules, GAO said in a report released yesterday, Customs Service Modernization: First Automated Commercial Environment Expenditure Plan.

The plan follows GAO recommendations to make incremental investment decisions and to manage software acquisition better, the report said. ACE will replace the 17-year-old Automated Commercial System, which depends heavily on paper and manual input.

But GAO did not agree with investment in the International Trade Data System for governmentwide collection and dissemination of trade data. There are conflicting roles and responsibilities, the report said, for the independent verification and validation contractor that would review system processes and products.

GAO recommended that Customs transfer responsibility for ITDS to the ACE modernization program manager and include ITDS' costs, benefits and risk justification in the next ACE expenditure plan.

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