OMB mandates the use of foreign-trade system

New requirement is related to the regulation of imported goods under the Safe Ports Act of 2006.

Download

Find a link to the ITDS Web site on FCW.com’s Download at www.fcw.com/download.

Amid news this summer about toxic toys and contaminated food, the Bush administration’s Import Safety Working Group saw a way to improve the safety of imported products. Within 48 hours after the group submitted its recommendations to President Bush, the Office of Management and Budget heeded those suggestions by requiring that all agencies involved in overseeing imports and exports use the International Trade Data System (ITDS) database to aid in regulating imported goods.

About 30 agencies use the system in some way. OMB’s memo with the requirements will ensure there are “no holes in the net,” said Robert Shea, OMB’s associate director for management. OMB asked agencies to submit plans for migrating to ITDS by Nov. 12 and begin entering trade data into the database by 2009. OMB will use the President’s Management Agenda score card to track agencies’ progress toward meeting the new mandate.

“For those using paper, this will be quite an exercise to use ITDS.” Tim Skud, Treasury Department

“When fully utilized, ITDS will help us reduce redundant information collections, efficiently regulate the flow of commerce and effectively enforce international trade laws,” said Clay Johnson, OMB’s deputy director for management, in the memo to agency leaders.
ITDS is part of the Automated Commerce Environment operated by the Homeland Security Department’s Customs and Border Protection agency. According to the ITDA’s Web site, it helps participating agencies produce and maintain standard data related to international trade and border regulatory and enforcement processes.

The policy memo supports the Safe Ports Act of 2006, which requires agencies to use ITDS to eliminate redundant information and improve the regulation of imported goods.

Tim Skud, the Treasury Department’s deputy assistant secretary for tax, trade and tariff policy, who leads an interagency committee that oversees the implementation of ITDS, said mandatory use of the database could increase the overall safety of imported goods. For example, when the Agriculture Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service began using the database in 2006, it initiated 44 times more regulatory actions against food importers without increasing its budget or hiring more employees, he said.

“Agencies can access data through a secure Web portal to perform risk analysis of importers,” Skud said. “There are about 40 agencies that require some documentation, and ITDS will be that one database that captures the information.”

Skud said agencies spent about $14 million on ITDS last year. “Some agencies are more experienced in using electronic data feeds, while others still use paper,” he said. “For those using paper, this will be quite an exercise to use ITDS, and they will have to figure out how they will do business electronically.”

The 2015 Federal 100

Meet 100 women and men who are doing great things in federal IT.

Featured

  • Shutterstock image (by venimo): e-learning concept image, digital content and online webinar icons.

    Can MOOCs make the grade for federal training?

    Massive open online courses can offer specialized IT instruction on a flexible schedule and on the cheap. That may not always mesh with government's preference for structure and certification, however.

  • Shutterstock image (by edel): graduation cap and diploma.

    Cybersecurity: 6 schools with the right stuff

    The federal government craves more cybersecurity professionals. These six schools are helping meet that demand.

  • Rick Holgate

    Holgate to depart ATF

    Former ACT president will take a job with Gartner, follow his spouse to Vienna, Austria.

  • Are VA techies slacking off on Yammer?

    A new IG report cites security and productivity concerns associated with employees' use of the popular online collaboration tool.

  • Shutterstock image: digital fingerprint, cyber crime.

    Exclusive: The OPM breach details you haven't seen

    An official timeline of the Office of Personnel Management breach obtained by FCW pinpoints the hackers’ calibrated extraction of data, and the government's step-by-step response.

  • Stephen Warren

    Deputy CIO Warren exits VA

    The onetime acting CIO at Veterans Affairs will be taking over CIO duties at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

  • Shutterstock image: monitoring factors of healthcare.

    DOD awards massive health records contract

    Leidos, Accenture and Cerner pull off an unexpected win of the multi-billion-dollar Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization contract, beating out the presumptive health-records leader.

  • Sweating the OPM data breach -- Illustration by Dragutin Cvijanovic

    Sweating the stolen data

    Millions of background-check records were compromised, OPM now says. Here's the jaw-dropping range of personal data that was exposed.

  • FCW magazine

    Let's talk about Alliant 2

    The General Services Administration is going to great lengths to gather feedback on its IT services GWAC. Will it make for a better acquisition vehicle?

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above