U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement needs to significantly improve its contracting process for the purchase of firearms and ammunition, according to a GAO report that found millions of dollars worth of inaccuracies between internal agency data and publicly available data on USASpending.gov, a government source for federal contract data.
The GAO found that from 2010 to 2017:
- ICE reported to GAO spending $2.5 million on firearms, while $17.2 million was reported on USASpending.gov — a difference of 677 percent
- ICE reported to GAO spending $48 million on ammunition, while $146.2 million was reported on USASpending.gov — a difference of 205 percent
According to the report: “Some differences result from other agencies using ICE contracts to make firearms and ammunition purchases, and ICE not properly identifying the funding agency for those purchases in the system that supplies data to USASpending.gov. Because ICE does not accurately report the agency that funded these purchases, the public does not have accurate information on how much ICE—and the agencies that make purchases using ICE contracts—have spent on firearms and ammunition.”
In all, the 20 federal law enforcement agencies in GAO’s review reported spending at least $38.8 million on firearms, $325.9 million on ammunition, and $1.14 billion on tactical equipment—at least $1.5 billion in total—from fiscal years 2010 through 2017.