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The Drug Enforcement Administration's
Control Over Weapons and Laptop Computers

Report No. 02-28
August 2002
Office of the Inspector General


Office of the Inspector General Audit Report
DEA's Control Over Weapons & Laptop Computers


Office Abbreviations
Office of Training, Firearms Training Unit (TRDG)
Office of Security Programs (IS)
Board of Professional Conduct (HB)
Operational Support Division (SC)
Property Management Unit (SAOP)
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Office of Inspections (IN)

  1. Reiterate to all DEA employees the guidelines for the security, safety, and storage of weapons as outlined in the DEA Firearms Policy, Subsection 6l22.42, Firearms Security, Safety, and Storage.
TRDG DEA Headquarters Teletype No. 10990, dated June 14, 2002 (attached) reminded agents of their responsibility for the security, safety, and storage of weapons. -- 6/14/02 Completed. DEA requests the OIG close this recommendation based upon the attached documentation.
  1. Reiterate to all DFA employees the policy for reporting losses of property as outlined in the DEA Firearms Policy, Section 6122.13, Loss, Theft, or Destruction of a Firearm.
TRDG TRDG will prepare a teletype for DEA-wide distribution reminding agents of the requirements of Agents Manual Subsection 6122.13, Loss, Theft, or Destruction of a Firearm. 7/31/02    
  1. Provide semiannual Department Theft Reports for the reporting periods from July 1 to December 31, 1999, and January 1 to December 31, 2000.
IS DEA will retroactively review its records to complete the Theft Reports for these time periods and submit them to the Department. 9/30/02    
  1. Ensure the timely and complete submission offuture semiannual Department Theft Reports.
IS The most recent Theft Report was submitted to DOJ well in advance of the July 31, 2002 due date.   6/6/02 DEA requests that the OIG close this recommendation based upon the attached Theft Report that was timely submitted.
  1. Ensure that the missing weapons are promptly entered into the NCIC system.
TRDG Prior to July 31, 2002, TRDG will prepare a teletype for DEA-wide distribution reminding agents of the requirements of Agents Manual Section 6122.13 B2 concerning the entering of' weapons into NCIC. 7/31/02    
  1. Insure that appropriate action is taken on laptop computers that are identified as lost, stolen. or missing as a result of the reconciliation of the property inventory.
All DEA Headquarters, Domestic and Foreign offices will ensure HB is notified of all lost stolen or missing accountable property items (to include laptop computers) so that appropriate disciplinary action can be taken. 8/30/02   DEA will provide documentation of the most recent notifications at the conclusion of its current laptop inventory reconciliation
  1. Ensure that a perpetual list of lost, missing, or stolen laptop computers is maintained and that notifications and investigative procedures are performed.
DEA will establish a list of missing laptops after the reconciliation of the current accountable property inventory. All DEA Headquarters, Domestic and Foreign offices will conduct a Board of Survey and notify HB of any lost, missing or stolen accountable property (to include laptops) identified as a result of the reconciliation of the property inventory. 9/30/02    
  1. Develop internal controls, operating manuals, audit trails, and system requirements appropriate to ensure the reliability of inventory data in the Weapons Database.
TRDG DEA has completed the following:
    Internal Controls
  • All entries into the database are restricted to TRDG staff.

  • Field components are e-mailed their respective inventories for reconciliation purposes on a quarterly basis.
  • The accuracy of the inventory system is checked quarterly by division Primary Firearms Instructors (PFIs) and annually by a physical inventory. Quarterly reviews are used to facilitate an accurate annual inventory as required by the DEA Agents Manual.
  • The Office of Inspections (IN) reconciles the Weapons Database to a physical inventory at a division during routine scheduled inspections.

  • Operating Manuals
  • Operating instructions for the new inventory program were provided DEA-wide in Headquarters Teletype No. 02224, dated February 7, 2001 (attached).

  • Inventory procedures and requirements were also provided to Primary Firearms Instructors (PFls) in the April 2002 Firearms Training Directive (attached).

  • Audit Trail
  • Beginning October 2001, TRDG has maintained all DEA-17s, current and previously completed, for each weapon. Therefore, a manual history exists and can be recreated from October 2001 forward. To provide a nexus between the purchasing and inventory records, the Office of Training (TR) implemented Divisional Order 47 (attached) that require a binder be established for all weapons purchases. The binder contains a copy of the weapons receipt document listing the make, model, and serial number of all weapons received, along with a copy of the weapons inventory record for each weapon. The binder is reviewed and signed off by the Unit Chief for completeness.






Effective on October 1,2001, DEA/TRDG developed a new inventory database as an interim measure to tighten controls over its weapons inventory until problems with the Fixed Asset System (FAS) could be resolved. DEA established necessary internal controls and guidance for this system.

Neither the old weapons inventory system (M204) nor the new Weapons Database was designed to provide an automated audit trail for a weapon. The current system cannot be programmed to provide an audit trail; however, a manual audit trail is currently available and DFA will maintain the audit information manually until the automated audit trail can be established via the integration of the Weapons Database into the FAS.
  1. Ensure that a valid inventory is available to all PCAs, based on completed reconciliation of FAS inventory records to correct the problems created from the conversion from the M-204 system.
SAOP SAOP is currently correcting problems resulting from the M-204 conversion. The results of the completed reconciliation will provide all PCAs with a valid inventory of property in their areas. 8/31/02   The validated inventory will be provided to the OIG after its completion.
  1. Integrate the DEA's financial system with the property management systems so that the inventory is routinely and timely updated when a weapon or laptop computer is purchased.
  TBD 10/1/00 Administrative Property was integrated with DEA's financial system on 10/01/00.

Weapons will be integrated at a later date.
  1. Ensure that all purchases are entered timely into the FAS inventory.
The CFO issued a memorandum reiterating DEA's policy that requires newly acquired accountable Administrative Property and Laboratory Equipment items to be entered into FAS within 10 days of receipt.   7/5/02 Completed per attached memorandum.
  1. Ensure that employees who receive shipments of weapons do not have access to the Weapons Database.
TRDG TRDG ships weapons to PFIs in the field. Field components do not have access to the main inventory database. With the implementation of Divisional Order 47, TRDG has separated the duties of the DEA Armorer, who receives weapons, and the Firearms Control Officer, who enters the weapons into the database, and to the Unit Chief, who confirms the entry. However, DEA's only Armorer must maintain access to the database for weapons repair purposes.   3/15/02 Completed per attached Divisional Order 47.
  1. Record in FAS the names of the individuals who are accountable for laptop computers instead of the names of the PCAs.
SAOP will work in conjunction with SI to determine if LAS can be modified to add a data field to accept the names of individuals who are assigned laptop computers. 8-30-02   Currently, FAS does not provide for the recording of Personal Issue Property assigned to individuals. Accountable Officers (e.g., SACs/CAs/LDs,/OHs) are accountable for all property (including laptop computers) recorded in their FAS inventory.
  1. Ensure PCAs maintain adequate property records to show current assignment of laptop computers.
SC SC will reiterate the policy requiring PCAs to maintain hand receipts to show current assignment of laptop computers.
SI will reiterate to PCAs the policy to maintain adequate property records each time it approves requests to purchase IT equipment (to include laptop computers).
  1. Ensure that field division level PCAs are advised timely by DNA Headquarters of purchases and transfers of property items that pertain to their division.
SC In a memorandum SC issued to offices worldwide regarding retention of documents for accountable Administrative Property and Laboratory Equipment, Headquarters purchasing offices are instructed to provide receiving PCAs with copies of source documents for items purchased, and delivered to them.   6-5-02  
  1. Ensure that hand receipts for transfers are used throughout the DEA.
Laptops. SC will revise the policy for recording the transfers of property throughout DEA to require the use of hand receipts for all accountable property transfers.
Weapons. The DEA Form 17 is a hand receipt that shows custody of a weapon. It is the only document that authorizes TRDG staff changing the custody status of a weapon in the database.


Completed per Division Order 47.
  1. Ensure that details such as property descriptions, DNA property numbers. and weapon serial numbers are included on Employee Clearance Records.
IN IN will formally request changes to Form l)EA-l7la based upon the OIG audit. Item 8 of the Employee Clearance Record is reserved for weapons. The PFI's signature will be required on the Employee Clearance Record (attached). This signature authority can be delegated after consultation with the FF1 to determine the status of the weapons that the departing agent is accountable for in the Weapons Database. This procedure will be covered in the PFI Conference on July 5, 2002. 8/30/02    
  1. Ensure that updates to the property system are made timely.
Laptops. All DEA Headquarters, Domestic and Foreign offices will provide prompt notification to SAOP when changes in PCAs occur in their office. SAOP will ensure that the changes are reflected in LAS within 5days of notification so that new PCAs can immediately process updates to the property system.
Weapons. Updates to the inventory system are made within 48 hours of receipt at TRDG. The only chance of delay rests with the field component. Field components are encouraged to fax DEA-17s to TRDG and mail the original upon completion. Field components are required to send all completed DEA-l7s to TRDG with their quarterly report.

  1. Ensure that the physical inventory of weapons is performed annually as required by DEA headquarters.
All Country and Divisional Offices are required to conduct annual physical weapons inventories. This requirement is set forth in Section 6l22.22b of the Agents Manual and in the Firearms Training Directive. 10/1/02    
  1. Segregate the duties of staff who take physical inventories, perform reconciliations, and modify the property management systems.
Laptops. SAOP will issue a memorandum to each of DEA's Program Managers of property systems reiterating existing segregation of duties policy which requires individuals other than system access personnel to conduct physical inventories. SAOP will include in the memorandum that system access personnel are to reconcile physical inventory results, and that Program Managers are to validate and if necessary modify system reconciliation adjustment made by system access personnel.
Weapons The DEA Agents Manual, Section 6122.22c, requires an impartial party to inventory stock/office use weapons. The TRDG inventory completed September 30, 2001, was conducted by the Unit Chief, Armorer, and Unit Training Technician. The inventory and reconciliation of over 4,000 weapons took three weeks to complete. Future inventories will be conducted in accordance with the listed manual section.
  1. Ensure that inventories arc validated as required (or each unit within DEA headquarters.
SAOP This recommendation is linked to item 9 above. Inventories for each unit within DEA Headquarters will be validated when item 9 is complete. 8-31-02    
  1. Ensure that confirmations from law enforcement entities are received and forwarded to the FTU when weapons are excessed.
The Deputy Administrator will issue a directive to ensure that all Headquarters Office Heads assist the Headquarters PFI in complying with Agents Manual Section 6l22.22c concerning the report of annual inventory of DEA weapons.

Divisional Order 47 requires TRDG to obtain a signed receipt (DEA 12) from the law enforcement agency in which weapons were excessed.
9/30/02 3/15/02