WASHINGTON (AP) -- The FBI is instituting new security protocols after a government audit showed the Justice Department lost track of hundreds of weapons and laptop computers.
Many of the 400 lost computers may have contained classified information.
At least a few of the 775 weapons were recovered after they were used in armed robberies and at least one was registered as evidence in a homicide, the department's inspector general, Glenn A. Fine, said in a report released Monday.
Most of the weapons belonged to the FBI and Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Before last year, the FBI had not taken a complete inventory of laptops and weapons in almost a decade, despite an agency policy requiring one every two years, the investigation found. Last year's inventory was prompted when other agencies, including the INS, reported large numbers of missing weapons.
"The FBI showed serious deficiencies in management in keeping track of weapons and laptops," Fine said Monday.
Fine reported in March 2001 that an audit of the INS found the service had lost about 500 weapons. The audit prompted criticism from Congress and a request by Attorney General John Ashcroft to review the Justice Department's other component agencies.
The new report, which includes the INS figures revealed in the March 2001 audit, prompted more criticism Monday.
"This problem has sparked consequences, in criminal acts and danger to national security," said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, a senior member of the Judiciary Committee.
"It stems from weak discipline, lax standards, tardy reporting and few, if any, consequences."
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