Customs and INS: Random Inspection Programs Can Be Strengthened.
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.
GAO-02-215R December 3, 2001