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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Skinner: CBP financial reporting plagued by problems

IT control vulnerabilities are a material weakness in the financial reporting systems of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, according to a new independent audit released by Homeland Security Department Inspector General Richard L. Skinner.

The audit identified two material weaknesses, including the one related to IT. It also described several other reportable conditions and discovered noncompliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002, Federal Financial Management Improvement Act of 1996 and the Improper Payments Information Act of 2002.

For the IT control weakness, despite actions by the customs agency to correct previously identified inadequacies in its IT systems, there still exist vulnerabilities.

“During FY2006, we continued to find IT general and application control weaknesses at Customs and Border Protection,” the audit states. The most significant weaknesses relate to information security, it said.

The other material weakness involves refunds of various revenues collected through the Automated Commercial System. The agency collects duties, taxes and fees from importers. The automated system lacks the proper controls to prevent excessive or improper refunds, the audit said.

The independent accounting firm KPMG LLP of New York audited the fiscal 2006 consolidated financial statements.

-Alice Lipowicz, WashingtonTechnology.com

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