Expansion of PACS
As reported in Issue 5 of The SAR Activity Review, FinCEN has significantly eased the cost of filing BSA forms by instituting the Patriot Act Communication System (PACS). PACS is a highly secure method of filing BSA forms through the Internet, including single forms and batches of forms, using the filing institutions existing anti-money laundering systems and processes, and an Internet connection. It enhances the security of the BSA form filing process through the use of digital signatures and secure Internet connectivity. The system accelerates the delivery of BSA information to federal and state law enforcement and it reduces the expense to the financial institution by eliminating the need for magnetic tapes and paper forms. An institution incurs no cost to sign up or use PACS.
When PACS was first released on October 1, 2002, the system was capable of processing forms filed primarily by depository institutions?the CTR and the SAR forms. The system?s first year of operation proved quite successful, with approximately 650,000 BSA forms processed. The system has already saved both the government and the industry scarce human and capital resources, and, most importantly, has reduced the amount of time required to get these critically important reports to law enforcement.
Building on the system?s success, FinCEN is currently expanding the capability of PACS to allow for the filing of the following BSA forms:
FinCEN has been testing this new capability since August 2003 with members of the MSB and the Securities and Futures industries; since the beginning of September 2003, testing has been underway with members of the casino industry. This ?pilot test? will ensure that the technical approach is sound and is useful to the industry. PACS became available to all filers of FinCEN Form 101, TD F 90-22.56, FinCEN Form 102 and FinCEN 103 on October 1, 2003.
For further information about PACS, visit the PACS website, www.pacs.treas.gov.
Excerpted from SAR Activity Review Issue 6, page 67
First published on 11/01/2003