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Major Information Systems

TITLE: Consolidated Asset Tracking System

ACRONYM: CATS

ORIGINATOR: Asset Forfeiture Management Staff

Background: The Department of Justice (DOJ) Consolidated Asset Tracking System (CATS) is managed by the Asset Forfeiture Management Staff (AFMS). One of the many tasks for AFMS involves the development, maintenance and oversight of the DOJ Asset Forfeiture Program's property management information system. The system is designed to track, throughout the forfeiture life-cycle, assets seized by federal law enforcement agencies. Seizure and forfeiture sanctions are governed by numerous statutes and regulations within the United States Code, and are initiated against property that was either used in commission of a crime or was purchased with proceeds from criminal activity.

During the 1980s, federal law enforcement agencies developed and maintained separate information systems to support their respective Asset Forfeiture Program activities. Each system resided on different hardware and software platforms that had no ability to share information.

In October 1989, the Executive Office of Asset Forfeiture (EOAF) was created. EOAF was directed by the Attorney General to explore the feasibility of a single system solution for the management and tracking of seized assets that would allow the sharing of information with the entire Asset Forfeiture Program community. A Requirements Analysis and Feasibility study was commissioned under the management of the Justice Management Division. The study focused on the agencies current and projected requirements, and interagency and management requirements at all levels. The results of the study were briefed to the Deputy Attorney General and to senior managers of all of the participating agencies. In 1990, the development of a single, integrated, asset forfeiture system was charted. This system was later named the Consolidated Asset Tracking System (CATS).

In 1993 the implementation and build-out of CATS was initiated. CATS supports the day-to-day operations for seized and forfeited assets for the following agencies:

Asset Forfeiture Management Staff, DOJ

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, DOJ

Criminal Division, DOJ

Drug Enforcement Administration, DOJ

Federal Bureau of Investigation, DOJ

US Attorneys Office, DOJ

US Marshals Service, DOJ

Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service

Food and Drug Administration

US Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General

US Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security

US Postal Inspection Service

CATS provides a consolidated asset forfeiture database for both Administrative and Judicial cases to track information and support operations in all of the asset forfeiture program business functions, including Seizure, Custody, Notification, Forfeiture, Claims, Petitions, Equitable Sharing, Official Use, and Disposal. When CATS became fully operational, it replaced several asset forfeiture computer systems that were previously maintained by participating agencies. CATS was designed to support the operational needs for forfeiture processing at the field office level and to improve the routine work flow of the asset forfeiture program. When an asset is entered into CATS, a standard identifier is applied to the asset. This standard identifier is used in all instances, and can be used by any of the participating agencies who wish to obtain the current status and processing details of any asset, regardless of the agency who initially entered the information into the system. The entire life-cycle of an asset is available through the viewing of several query screens. Electronic Mail and Document Generating Software has been integrated into CATS to simplify correspondence and communications between participating agencies.

Goals: The primary goals of CATS are to:

  • Provide a national, centralized asset forfeiture database to replace individual agency asset forfeiture systems.
  • Support and improve the processing of seized assets by reducing duplicate work efforts and automating administrative tasks.
  • Improve communications between agency offices.
  • Improve communications with other participating Federal agencies.
  • Improve reporting accuracy to support all levels of management.
  • Ensure the consistency and accuracy of the CATS database (DQT).

A recent audit by the Inspector General of the Department of Justice found that CATS has met its system objective set forth in the project charter and has met the requirements for CATS functionality, rules and edits, and protocols for access to CATS information.

ACCESS CONSTRAINTS: Access to the information is limited to the participants.
USE CONSTRAINTS: The information is for official use only.
AGENCY PROGRAM: CATS supports the Department's asset forfeiture program.
SOURCES OF DATA: The participating agencies are responsible for their own data.

OFFICE OF CONTACT FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Requests for information should be submitted in writing to:
Department/Agency Name: U.S. Department of Justice
Major Organization Subdivision: Justice Management Division
Minor Organization Subdivision: Executive Secretariat
Street Address: 950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Room 1110
City: Washington
State: D.C.
Zip Code: 20530-0001
Country: United States
Hours of Service:
Telephone: (202) 514-3123

DATE OF LAST MODIFICATION: 08/19/03


Updated: October 2012
General Information Justice Management Division
 
Leadership
Lee J. Lofthus
Assistant Attorney General for Administration
Contact
Justice Management Division
(202) 514-3101
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