Return to the USDOJ/OIG Home Page
Return to the Table of Contents

Immigration and Naturalization Service
Management of Property

Report No. 01-09
March 2001
Office of the Inspector General



This audit was conducted in accordance with Government Auditing Standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States. However, we may not be considered to be completely independent of the INS, as required by the standards, because the INS has reimbursed us for work pertaining to INS fee-supported programs. Nonetheless, we consider ourselves independent and do not believe that our reimbursement arrangements with the INS have had any effect with regard to our conduct of this audit.


The objectives of the audit were to determine the: (1) adequacy of management controls over property, (2) extent of compliance with laws and regulations, and (3) reliability of INS property management records.

Scope and Methodology

On-site audit work was conducted at INS Headquarters, 13 District Offices, 6 Border Patrol Sector Offices, and 6 Headquarters field offices between March and May of 1999. (Refer to Appendix II.) Our tests included: (1) reviewing applicable laws, policies, regulations, manuals, and memoranda; (2) interviewing responsible personnel; (3) testing management controls; and (4) reviewing property records. These tests were performed in the following three areas as they pertained to AMIS:

Our testing of the AMIS database was based upon the universe of property records maintained in the system as of September 30, 1998. The graphs on the following page detail the universe by number and dollar cost of property by type.

       Universe of AMIS Property by Cost (in millions)

      Universe of AMIS Property by Number of Items

Source: INS Office of Administration

Our first area of testing required that we physically verify the existence of those property items that were recorded in AMIS. To make this determination, relating to AMIS as a whole (rather than select locations with no projection capability), we incorporated a multi-stage statistical sampling model. Please refer to Appendix IV for further detail on the statistical sampling model and the corresponding results.

The second area of testing included tracing property physically located at the sites reviewed to AMIS. We tested 679 items that were found at the 26 locations reviewed. The audit team used judgment in selecting items from the floor in order to trace those items to AMIS. The valuation of items tested was based on either an evaluation of comparable items in the office inventory or through estimates provided by INS staff on-site.

The third area of testing included identifying accountable property recently purchased by office personnel, verifying whether it was added to AMIS, and physically verifying its existence. Our review of purchased property concentrated on, but was not limited to, the period July 1, 1998 to December 31, 1998. These dates were selected to give INS staff adequate time to add the property from these purchases into the AMIS database by the time we began field work in March 1999. We tested 198 local purchases of accountable property items at the sites reviewed.

In addition to the testing detailed above, we performed further reviews of the INS's accountability for weapons. The initial basis for our analysis was the 539 weapons that the INS had categorized as lost, stolen, or missing as of November 1999. Related NCIC queries were made between November 1999 and January 2000.