Audit: INS can't account for missing weapons, computers

A recent audit by the Justice Department's inspector general revealed thousands of computers are unaccounted for and hundreds of weapons are missing from the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The audit, which investigated the agency's record-keeping over the past three years, said that 61,000 items worth nearly $70 million were missing from INS, according to an Associated Press report. Greg Gagne, a spokesman for the agency, said the audit was a draft report that had not yet been released by the inspector general's office. Gagne said he did not know when the IG would release the final report. The draft report criticized INS for failing to keep track of equipment costing less than $1,000, including several thousand computers. More than 500 hundred weapons, including six that were linked to crimes, were among the lost items. Some INS agents are required to carry firearms. Despite the criticism, the inspector general said INS had improved its record-keeping system since 1998. A 1999 IG report found that INS had mismanaged its $3 billion information technology systems modernization effort, leading to rising costs, delays and doubts that the effort would improve INS operations.
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