Inspector general’s audit finds U.S. marshals deviated from procurement rules

The Justice Department’s inspector general on Wednesday released a report faulting the U.S. Marshals Service for lax oversight of procurement activities within the law-enforcement agency.

In one example, the report mentions the purchase of two fully-automatic firearms without required approvals.

The inspector general’s office reviewed the Marshals Service headquarters from October 2009 through March 2011, during which time the agency made $1.4 billion in purchases.

 According to the report, the Marshals Service failed to follow mandatory guidelines for: Documenting receipt of items on 31 percent of purchases; obtaining advance approval for 20 percent of purchases; and checking to ensure that adequate funds were available for 17 percent of requests.  

The report also found that the agency did not always justify deviating from federal guidelines for full and open competition in procurement and awarding contracts. 

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Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

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