<p>WASHINGTON-Thirty financial institutions, from small credit unions to large banks, are piloting a test communications system by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which is required to implement the system under the PATRIOT Act. The Patriot Act Communications System (PACS) is designed to allow participating financial institutions to quickly file Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) reports securely over the Internet. The electronic filing of BSA reports will not only speed up the reporting process and make the information available to law enforcement more quickly and at less cost, but it will also cut compliance costs for financial institutions. All BSA information submitted to PACS is encrypted for protection. Financial institutions can also file their reports on magnetic tape or paper. Following the pilot, financial institutions will have access to PACS only after receiving a digital certificate from a government-approved certificate authority. Financial institutions are not mandated to use PACS. More than 13 million BSA reports are filed with FinCEN each year. FinCEN is working with TRW Inc., Deloitte Consulting, and Deloitte & Touche to develop the system.</p>

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