FBI Laptops, Weapons Continue to Vanish - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/13/07

FBI Laptops, Weapons Continue to Vanish

More than 300 laptop computers and guns were lost by the FBI in a nearly four-year period, according to a new Department of Justice inspector general's report.

At least 10 of the 160 laptop computers reported lost or stolen in that period contained sensitive or classified information, the report found.

The audit was a follow-up to a similar 2002 review of the FBI's internal controls on guns and laptop computers. The new audit, which looked at a 44-month period ending on Sept. 30, 2005, showed an improvement in the rate and number of lost or stolen guns and laptops.

But while the rates may have slowed, the statistics continue to alarm Justice Department officials and FBI critics.

The inspector general's report called the losses "significant" and added that "the FBI has not taken adequate corrective action on several recommendations outlined in our 2002 audit report."

The contents of missing FBI laptops containing classified or sensitive information include software for creating identification badges, security plans and names, addresses and phone numbers of FBI personnel.

The audit found 160 guns were also lost or stolen during the audit period. One weapon was lost in a purse stolen from a sports bar. Another gun was stolen along with a fanny-pack in a restaurant. Several weapons were stolen from FBI vehicles. Many of the firearms losses resulted in suspensions without pay for the agents to whom the guns were issued.

The FBI has an inventory of more than 52,000 weapons and 26,000 laptops according to the report.

In a statement, FBI Assistant Director John Miller said, "we acknowledge more needs to be done to ensure the proper handling of the loss and theft of weapons and laptops, and the information maintained on them."

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, a frequent critic of the bureau, said in a statement, "'making progress' may seem like a win for the FBI, but it's unacceptable when you're talking about lost weapons and computers with sensitive information."

Source: ABC Newsone

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