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Follow-up Audit of the Immigration and Naturalization Service's Airport Inspection Facilities

Report No. 03-10
January 2003
Office of the Inspector General


INS RESPONSE

 

  U.S. Department of Justice
Immigration and Naturalization Service


HQOIA 110/8.2-C

Office of the Commissioner 425 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20536

JAN 8†2003
 
 
 
MEMORANDUM FOR GUY K. ZIMMERMAN
ASSISTANT INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR AUDIT
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
 
FROM: Michael J. Garcia (original signed)
Acting Commissioner
Immigration and Naturalization Service
 
SUBJECT: Follow-up Audit of the Immigration and Naturalization Serviceís
Airport Inspection Facilities
 

I appreciate the opportunity to comment on the subject draft report and solicited input from the senior management official who is most significantly impacted -- the Executive Associate Commissioner for Field Operations. I reviewed the response and concur with the conclusions and observations. I am sure that you are aware of a recent change in Transportation Security Administration authority to establish airport security and safety requirements; therefore; recommendation 7 has been overcome by the authority given to the Transportation Security Agency. The INS will work with appropriate staff to solve security issues at airports. The response is attached for your review.

If you have any questions, please contact Kathleen Stanley, Audit Liaison, at (202) 514-8800.

Attachment

cc: Vickie Sloan, DOJ Audit Liaison

 

 

  U.S. Department of Justice
Immigration and Naturalization Service


HQINS 70/20

Office of the Executive Associate Commissioner 425 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20536

DEC 23†2002
 
 
 
MEMORANDUM FOR THE ACTING COMMISSIONER
 
FROM: Johnny N. Williams (original signed)
Executive Associate Commissioner for Field Operations
 
SUBJECT: Draft Audit Report: Follow-up Audit of the Immigration and Naturalization
Services's Airport Inspection Facilities
 

The Office of Field Operations has reviewed the report and concurs with recommendations 1 through 6, with comments. It does not concur with recommendation 7. However, the report will be an invaluable tool in improving the safety and security of the traveling public at air ports-of-entry (POE). The INS is committed to provide acceptable facilities to process arriving air passengers to ensure the border integrity of the Federal Inspection Service (FIS) area.

RECOMMENDATION 1: Communicate immediately the deficiencies identified in this audit to airlines, airport authorities and INS airport staff.

INS POSITION: Concur. The INS will prepare letters to the national airport operator organization, the national carrier organization, and INS regional officials for dissemination to the affected parties articulating the findings of the Office of the Inspector Generalís (OIG) report. The letters will be completed by January 31, 2003.

RECOMMENDATION 2: Establish a timetable for completing reviews of inspection facilities at all international airports.

INS POSITION: Concur. To address the OIGís recommendation in Report Number 01-03, the INS developed a facilities checklist to conduct reviews of individual facilities. The short-list facilities checklist was disseminated to field offices on August 09, 2002. The Office of Inspections will partner with the Office of Security to review the short-list facility checklist by March 31, 2003.

RECOMMENDATION 3: Require INS airport staff to conduct special reviews of security systems at INS inspection areas immediately, including: locks, alarms, and cameras and whether alarm events are reported at a central location.

INS POSITION: Concur, in part. The INS inspection staff at air POEs have received no training in security system operations. To comply with this OIG recommendation, the Office of Inspections will obtain the services and support of the Office of Security to conduct a special review of security systems in the inspection areas at air POEs, including locks, alarms, and cameras and whether alarm events are reported to a central location. Review of the inspection areas will be completed by December 31, 2003.

RECOMMENDATION 4: Report the findings of the special security reviews to airlines and airport authorities for immediate corrective action.

INS POSITION: Concur. The Office of Inspections will obtain the services and support of the Office of Security to report their findings to the local airlines and airport operator within 60 days of the completion of their inspection. Report findings will be completed February 28, 2004.

RECOMMENDATION 5: Establish a program of periodic reviews and testing of security systems including: (a) tests of locks, alarms, and cameras, (b) documentation of review results, (c) recommendations to airlines and airport authorities for needed repairs, and (d) plans to monitor actions taken.

INS POSITION: Concur. The INS will establish a program of periodic reviews and testing of security systems. The Office of Inspections will obtain the services and support of the Office of Security to conduct these reviews. A program for periodic reviews will be established by May31, 2003.

RECOMMENDATION 6: Ensure that the INS communicates the results of its border integrity security reviews to airlines and airport authorities and establishes a program to monitor actions taken.

INS POSITION: Concur. The Office of Inspections will obtain the services and support of the Office of Security and communicate the results of its surveys and establish a program to monitor actions taken by May 31, 2003.

RECOMMENDATION 7: Establish written agreements with other agencies or organizations that clearly define responsibilities for monitoring and responding to alarm events within the FIS area.

INS POSITION: Nonconcur. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has the statutory authority to establish security and safety requirements to ensure the safe movement of air carriers and passengers. The airport authority operator is responsible for the implementation of TSA mandated security and safety policies for the physical operation and maintenance of airport structures and facilities, which also includes the FIS area. The airport authority operator is responsible for responding to violations of the sterility in the FIS area. The INS will work in partnership with the TSA, airport authority operators, and other FIS agencies on issues involving airport security.

The point of contact for this response in the Office of Inspections is Assistant Chief Inspector Robert Hutnick, at (202) 616-7499.