The U.S. Marshals Service's
Control Over Weapons and Laptop Computers

Report No. 02-29
August 2002
Office of the Inspector General


APPENDIX XII

OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL, AUDIT DIVISION
ANALYSIS AND SUMMARY OF ACTIONS NECESSARY TO CLOSE THE REPORT

  1. Closed.
  2. Unresolved.†The USMSís response states that it will revise the USM-134 to include the NIC number for sensitive property and the level of classification or sensitivity of information maintained on laptop computers or other equipment with data storage capability.† However, the USMSís response states that: ďThe date the loss was discovered corresponds to the date of the USM-134.† Since lost property is to be reported immediately upon discovery of loss, the introduction of this additional data element will cause confusion.Ē† We disagree with the USMSís position, as our audit identified instances where the loss was not reported in a timely manner.

    Furthermore, during the audit we requested instructions for the preparation of the USM-134.† USMS officials responded that no instructions existed and commented that the USM-134 was self-explanatory; if someone had a question they would call.†Based on the results of our audit, we strongly encourage the USMS to reconsider its position and include all of the recommended data elements while revising the USM-134, and to issue explanatory guidelines for completing the form.† To resolve this recommendation, please provide us with the revised USM-134 that contains all of the suggested data elements and any explanatory guidelines that are issued.

  3. Unresolved.†The USMS response states that it agreed with the recommendation and issued a memorandum on April 16, 2002.†However, this memorandum does not specifically reiterate the USMSís policy for reporting losses of USMS property including the submission of USM-134s and the timing of NCIC entries.† To resolve this recommendation, this policy should be reiterated to all employees.
  4. Resolved.†To close this recommendation, please provide us with evidence that the Board of Survey met on the dates specified in your response, and reviewed and adjudicated all outstanding losses of weapons and laptop computers.
  5. Resolved.†To close this recommendation, please provide us with: (1) a copy of the Board of Survey schedule once published as a Business Service Division program directive, and (2) a copy of the policy statement stating that meeting postponements must be approved by the Assistant Director.
  6. Resolved.†According to the USMSís comments, Board of Survey policies will be revised by September 30, 2002.† To close this recommendation, please provide us with a copy of the revised policy that makes the referral and adjudication of all weapon losses mandatory.
  7. Resolved.†To close this recommendation, please provide us with a copy of the next semiannual report and transmittal letter that includes all previous omissions and is submitted to the Department in a timely manner.
  8. Resolved.†This recommendation can be closed when we receive and accept evidence that the USMSís property management and accounting systems have been integrated.† We understand that specific dates will be provided to us after the USMS Chief Information Officer (CIO) vacancy is filled and the CIO has an opportunity to review the project.† In the interim, please provide us with progress reports on the status of the project.
  9. Resolved.†This recommendation can be closed when we receive evidence that the two outstanding laptop computers, denoted as work in progress, were properly recorded in the property management system.
  10. Resolved. This recommendation can be closed when we review and agree with the revised policy and form USM-199, Employee Exit Check Out Record.
  11. Resolved.†This recommendation can be closed when we receive and accept documentation to support that the inventories, especially those that were suspended or postponed due to emergencies, have been completed.
  12. Resolved. This recommendation can be closed upon our receipt and acceptance of the revised weapons policy that was to be issued around June 1, 2002.
  13. Unresolved.†The USMSís response states that the recommendation was not accepted because stun equipment can be purchased through numerous suppliers, is not uniformly serialized, and not governed by federal statute or regulation and is inherently non-lethal.† The intent of our recommendation was to increase controls over stun equipment that could result in danger to the public if the item was lost or stolen.† By not including these types of items in the official property management records and not periodically inventorying them, the USMS may not realize that stun equipment has been lost or stolen.† The draft policy directive attached to the USMSís response is silent about accounting and safeguarding these items.† By not mandating that this type of equipment be secured and relying on each office to institute the appropriate safeguards, the risk of potential harm to the public increases.

    We continue to believe that these items are potentially dangerous, can be easily safeguarded, and if necessary, can be bar-coded.† We strongly encourage the USMS to reconsider its position and to provide us with additional comments addressing the intent of our recommendation.