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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

September 17, 2008


Contact: Robert Browning

(202) 648-8500

ATF Response to the OIG Audit of ATF Controls Over Firearms, Laptop Computers and Other Sensitive Property

The following response is from ATF Assistant Director W. Larry Ford of the Office of Public and Governmental Affairs:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) appreciates the diligence of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for its findings and recommendations in its report on ATF controls over weapons, laptop computers and other sensitive property.

ATF is committed to strengthening controls over weapons, laptops and ammunition by more strictly enforcing established agency policies and by developing new procedures outlined in our response to the OIG.

The OIG noted that ATF had appropriate controls over explosives and had improved controls over laptop computers after it issued written guidelines to protect data. ATF also took appropriate disciplinary action against employees whose negligence or improper handling of their weapons resulted in the weapon being stolen, lost or misplaced. Still, ATF is revising procedures for reporting losses and will issue a memorandum to all employees as a reminder of their responsibility to account for losses in a timely manner.

ATF is committed to safeguarding its inventory of weapons and laptop computers in the interest of public safety. ATF agrees that rigorous and thorough internal controls will enhance its ability to account for, and most importantly prevent, thefts and losses of weapons and laptop computers.