Management of Seized Assets and Evidence by the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Audit Report 06-37
September 2006
Office of the Inspector General

Appendix IV
Results of Audit Testing

During our audit testing of the eight vaults and six explosive storage bunkers, we noted several areas of non-compliance with ATF Order 3400.1B. However, we did not deem these exceptions to be the result of a systemic breakdown of internal controls. The results below are being provided to ATF Asset Forfeiture and Seized Property Branch management for action it deems appropriate.

  • Ten of 201 firearms tested from a universe of 1,144 did not have the required “zip tie” placed on the firearm to make it inoperable.21 This issue was corrected by ATF during our field work at the office.

  • Fifty-six of 124 firearm tracing results from a universe of 524 were not filed in Section 5 of the investigative file. According to ATF Order 3400.1B, Chapter G, Section 91.b, “Trace results will be placed in Section 5 of the field office case file.”

  • Ten of 604 items tested from a universe of 3,659 had a property tag attached that did not accurately identify the property. This issue was corrected by ATF during our field work.

  • Two of 24 vault custodians did not meet the minimum grade level or minimum number of years as an ATF special agent.22 The two custodians that were not in compliance were subsequently replaced with custodians who met the requirements.

  • In one of three instances where a change in vault custodian occurred, the required inventory was not conducted before the new custodian took responsibility for the contents of the vault.

  • Four of 300 items tested from a universe of 509 were not destroyed within the 90-day authorization period.23 However, appropriate documentation was presented showing the items had ultimately been destroyed.

  1. ATF defines a zip tie as a plastic wire wrap installed in a manner that causes the firearm to be inoperable.

  2. The minimum grade level for a custodian is a GS-12 with 3 years of service as a Special Agent.

  3. ATF Order 3400.1B requires that seized assets approved for destruction be disposed of within 90 days from the approval date.

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