Accountability Report — Fiscal Year 1998
Message from the Office of the Director
This year marked the attainment of several goals that will enhance ATF’s ability to fulfill its mission in reducing violent crime, collecting the revenue, and protecting the public. The completion of a unified information technology network (known as Enterprise Systems Architecture), new professional training development, and an organizational restructuring all align with ATF’s strategy to build our foundation for the future through technology, human resources, and structure. We are confident that we now have a platform from which our vision for success can be more readily achieved.
ATF’s information technology network is predicated on a state of the art computer system that will facilitate innovations in all areas of the Bureau’s operations – from improved case management tools for special agents and inspectors; to a centralized financial management framework; to an interactive human resources management system that affords employees immediate assistance and aids managers in making informed, objective personnel decisions; to a web-based conduit of information for ATF’s regulated industry members, the law enforcement community, and the public.
Recognizing that the effectiveness of any organization is dependent upon the degree to which its members perform as a team, ATF has incorporated a cross-directorate, multi-occupational element in our new professional training program. A joint course for all new professionals on ATF’s mission, strategic plan, and their roles and responsibilities allows early appreciation for the value that each person brings to our strategic plan.
Moreover, before receiving separate technical training, new special agents and inspectors undergo joint training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, reinforcing the importance of an integrated application of ATF’s criminal, regulatory, and tax authorities.
In order to take full advantage of this array of specialized tools Congress has provided us to carry out the Nation’s laws in alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives, ATF during the past few years has orchestrated a bold restructuring that united regulatory and criminal programs and processes. This year, in a further effort to more effectively deliver key services, eliminate redundancies, and promote teamwork, ATF completed the final component of that reorganization by realigning separate investigative and regulatory field structures into 23 unified field divisions.
We have been equally circumspect with respect to the resources granted us to carry out our mission. For the past four years, independent audits, conducted first by the Department of the Treasury and then by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, have produced the highest possible rating on the soundness of ATF’s financial systems. Additionally, the evaluation of our management systems for FY 1998, required by the Federal Managers’ Financial Integrity Act of 1982, demonstrates compliance with that Act. The evaluation once again disclosed no material nonconformances with ATF’s programs or administrative activities or with government-wide requirements in ATF’s financial management systems. The Bureau is also in compliance with the requirements of the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act of 1996; reflecting that ATF has implemented and maintained financial systems that comply with Federal financial management systems requirements, applicable Federal accounting standards, and the United States Government Standard General Ledger at the transaction level.
While this report provides a description of our major accomplishments and strategies, I hope that we are also able to convey the pride and commitment of our special agents, inspectors, auditors, chemists, explosives enforcement officers, fire protection engineers, attorneys, and personnel from many other occupations who enthusiastically devote the major portion of their lives to reducing violent crime, protecting the public, and collecting the revenue.
John W. Magaw