Hundreds of FBI Laptop Computers and Weapons Missing, IG Audit Shows

Feb 12, 2007 4:54pm

More than 300 laptop computers and guns were lost by the FBI over nearly four years, according to a new Department of Justice Inspector General report.  At least 10 of 160 laptop computers reported lost or stolen over that period contained sensitive or classified information, the report said. The audit was a follow-up to a 2002 audit of the FBI’s internal controls on guns and laptop computers.  The new audit, which looked at a 44-month period ending Sept. 30, 2005, showed improvement in the rate of lost or stolen guns and lost laptops over the 2002 audit.  But there was an increase in the rate of laptops stolen from the FBI in the most recent audit.  The contents of missing FBI laptops, which contain 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 in a sports bar.  Another gun was stolen with a fanny-pack in a restaurant.   Several weapons were stolen from FBI vehicles.  Many of the firearm 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.  Click Here for Full Blotter Coverage. 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." 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." Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of 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."

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