The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosivesí
National Integrated Ballistic Information Network Program
Audit Report 05-30
Office of the Inspector General
The ATF provides customer support to NIBIN partner agencies through a contractor (Forensic Technology, Inc.). The ATF also provides field support through a network of support representatives that include both ATF and contract personnel. These support systems are discussed below.
The ATF uses a contractor to provide program and project management oversight. The services provided by the contractor include:
The contractor conducts a training class to prepare NIBIN partners to enter firearms evidence into NIBIN. The contractor also monitors the IBIS equipment and provides preventative maintenance services. Further, the contractor administers scheduled upgrades of NIBIN.
The training offered by the contractor ensures that each partner has the knowledge and ability to be proficient in the operation of the IBIS equipment deployed within their agencies. The training includes: (1) initial/basic user training upon the receipt and installation of new equipment, (2) advanced user training offered to established users with prior experience, and (3) IBIS equipment administration training for users who perform administrative functions.
The initial/basic user training ensures that users become proficient in system components and functionality; case creation; cartridge case acquisition; correlation, scoring and comparisons; bullet acquisition; damaged bullet and fragment acquisition scoring and manual correlations; hit creation; reporting; and practical application of acquired knowledge and understanding.
The advanced user training is offered as a refresher training following upgrades to the IBIS equipment. This training reinforces concepts and elements from the basic user training and presents more detailed expert instructions. The training also provides a refresher of the topics covered in the basic user training along with training for upgrades to the IBIS equipment.
IBIS system/administration training assists users who will perform system administrative functions; issue and manage user or administrator accounts; perform backup functions; and help with any other IBIS equipment in support of some disaster recovery and data restoration actions.
NIBIN Field Support
The ATF established field level staffing for the NIBIN program to provide assistance in the administration at the field level. Support at the field level is thought to be crucial to the success of the program. The field level support is offered through: (1) regional coordinators, (2) NIBIN coordinators, (3) NIBIN contractors, and (4) the NIBIN Users Congress.
The regional coordinators act on behalf of the NIBIN headquarters office in Washington, D.C., within their respective regions. The regional coordinators also:
NIBIN Special Agent Coordinators
The NIBIN special agent coordinators work with the NIBIN contractors to ensure that the NIBIN program is succeeding in their region of responsibility. The special agent coordinators also represent the ATF at laboratories and at state and local partner agencies. The special agent coordinators perform this duty in addition to their regular duties. The special agent coordinators:
The NIBIN contractors are assigned to the field divisions to provide immediate assistance to the partner agencies. These individuals are usually retired law enforcement personnel. The NIBIN contractors report to the NIBIN coordinator at the field division level. The NIBIN contractors:
NIBIN Users Congress
To offer additional support at the field level, the NIBIN Users Congress was established in November 2002. The NIBIN Users Congress is comprised of a representative from a partner agency from each region and is responsible for: (1) advising program participants on policies and standards, (2) seeking out and publicizing best practices for implementation, and (3) assisting in audits of NIBIN sites.