Review of the Drug Enforcement Administrationís Custodial Accountability for Evidence Held at the Field Divisions
Report Number I-2004-003
DEA OFFICE OF INSPECTIONS' RECOMMENDATIONS
The Office of Inspections made six recommendations to improve the DEA's custodial accountability for evidence. They were:
Recommendation 1: The Office of Resource Management should conduct a workload/staffing analysis related to the custodial duties for handling evidence in the field division offices to include drug/bulk drug, non-drug evidence, seized monies and recovered monies held for evidence. The analysis should specifically address the workload issues of the division office custodians and the collateral duties of the Special Agents.
Recommendation 2: The Office of Resource Management should conduct a workload/staffing analysis, assessing the duties for handling evidence in the Southwest Border resident offices, specifically addressing the manpower issues and the need for full-time Evidence Custodians for handling bulk marijuana.
Recommendation 3: The Office of Operations Management should produce an Evidence Custodian Handbook for the use of personnel assigned custodial duties in the program areas of drug evidence, bulk drug evidence, non-drug evidence, seized monies, and recovered monies. The handbook should establish a comprehensive set of policies and standard operating procedures that ensure uniformity and assist the custodians with ensuring proper accountability.
Recommendation 4: Field division offices should obtain pre-printed logbooks for all required logs to ensure standardization and proper evidence accountability and to meet audit requirements.
Recommendation 5: The DEA should identify a single point-of-contact (expert on drug/bulk drug, and non-drug evidence, including seized monies and Official Advance Funds) at DEA Headquarters to respond to inquiries regarding evidence.
Recommendation 6: The Office of Training, in conjunction with the Office of Operations Management, should develop a comprehensive training program for personnel assigned custodial duties in the program areas of drug evidence, bulk drug evidence, non-drug evidence, seized monies, and recovered monies. Formal training should be mandatory for all Evidence Custodians, scheduled within three months of assignment, and conducted in a formal training setting, the field division, or DEA Headquarters.