U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has not implemented an effective process to track adjudicative decisions and ensure data integrity in its Computer Linked Application Information Management System (CLAIMS3). Federal standards and DHS requirements stress the importance of internal controls over data reliability and system access to achieve effective and efficient operations. However, USCIS cannot reliably trace adjudicative decisions recorded in CLAIMS3 back to the Immigration Services Officers responsible for those decisions.
The Office of Inspector General analysis of fiscal years 2015–2017 CLAIMS3 data showed that only 66 percent of adjudicative decisions could be tracked. This is due to USCIS’ decentralized policy that allows service centers and field offices discretion in deciding which users can enter benefit decisions in the system. Additionally, USCIS did not implement adequate monitoring and system access controls to prevent intrusions and potential fraud. Instead, staff who are not officers have the same user access and privileges as Immigration Services Officers.
These weaknesses create data integrity issues and vulnerability to fraud. Further, the CLAIMS3 system itself is unreliable in supporting key management operations because of inadequate system functionality and quality control. The system does not support accurate management and productivity reporting necessary for sound management decision making.