United States Marshals Service's Use of Independent Contractors as Guards

Audit Report 05-24
May 2005
Office of the Inspector General

Appendix I

Objectives, Scope, and Methodology


The objectives of the audit were to: 1) assess the USMS's internal controls over the procurement of independent contractors for guard service, 2) determine whether the USMS is adequately monitoring the performance of its independent contractors, 3) determine whether the independent contractors are meeting the USMS's experience and fitness-for-duty requirements, 4) evaluate the initial training provided to contract personnel, and 5) determine whether independent contractors are performing only authorized duties.

Scope and Methodology

We conducted the audit in accordance with the Government Auditing Standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States, and included the tests and procedures necessary to accomplish our objectives.

The scope of the audit encompassed USMS management of independent contract guards for FY 2003 and FY 2004. We conducted fieldwork at USMS Headquarters in Arlington, VA; and district offices located in six districts. We also conducted fieldwork at the JPATS operational hub in Oklahoma City, OK.

To accomplish our objectives we:

  • Researched and reviewed applicable laws, policies, regulations, manuals, and memoranda.

  • Interviewed officials at USMS Headquarters.

  • Interviewed officials and contract guards at USMS district offices and the JPATS operation in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

  • Interviewed district judges in the districts visited.

  • Interviewed and obtained opinions from six federal judges concerning courtroom performance of independent contractors.18

  • Reviewed district guard budgets and compared to actual expenditures.

  • Selected 223 guards on a judgmental basis to include both current and former guards active during FY 2003 and FY 2004. Former guards were selected to include guards that were terminated for cause.

  • For each guard selected, we reviewed USM-234 Personal Qualifications Statement, Affirmation of Work Qualifications, USM-333 Firearms Qualifications, and Medical Certifications for each guard selected to determine whether the guard met qualification and fitness-for-duty requirements.

  • Reviewed the procurement file to determine the hourly guard rate and contract amount, and compared these rates to payroll records.

  • Reviewed 752 time and attendance records.

  • Reviewed files of former guards to determine causes for termination and verified return of government property.

  • Designed and disseminated questionnaires on the districts' use of independent contract guards to each of the 94 U.S. Marshals. We received 63 responses. Information obtained from those questionnaires is reflected throughout the report.

  • Obtained and analyzed payroll data on all active independent contract guards during FY 2003 and FY 2004.


  1. Six of the judges sitting on the Administrative Office of the United States Courts' "Judicial Committee for Security and Facilities" agreed to be interviewed about the use of independent contractors for courtroom security.

Previous Page Back to Table of Contents Next Page