Administrative Operations of the Boston District Office and the Northeast Regional Office, Immigration and Naturalization Service

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-04-30.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

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                                  UNITED STATES GENERAL AC~OUMTING OFFICE
                                            WASHINGTON,   D.C.   20548



           '    Dear Mr. Farrell:

                      The General Accounting Office has made a review of selected
                administrative   operations of the Boston District  Office.  Boston,
                Massachusetts,   and the Northeast Regional OFfice, Burlington,   Vermont,
                of the Immigration    and Naturalization Service (INS), Department of

                          We reviewed and evaluated selected     administrative       procedures              and
                    internal  controls,  including such tests    of financial      transactions               as
                    we deemed appropriate.

                           On February 24, 1971, we issued a letter   report to the Regional
                    Commissioner, Northeast Regional Office,    concerning the need to improve
                    a number of administrative   procedures and internal     controls.    A copy
                    of the report was furnished your office.      In addition,    we found ques-
                    tionable overtime claims and a need to reevaluate the usefulness of
                    electronic   vehicle and pedestrian counting devices.      These matters are
                    discussed below for your consideration    and appropriate     action.

                                             OVERTIME CLAIMS

                         Our review showed that,investigators     of the Boston District  Office
                    often traveled to and from places where official     business was trans-
                    acted outside the normal workday and in excess of the basic 40-hour
                    workweek. These investigators     claimed travel time as compensable
                    uncontrollable  overtime..

                        In a memorandum dated January 11, 1962, to all INS regional
                 offices,   the Associate Commissioner, Management, stated that travel
                 time was considered as hours of employment only when it (1) occurred
                 within the employee's regularly      scheduled workweek, including regularly
                'scheduled overtime,     (2) involved the nerformance of work while traveling,
                 or (3) was carried out under arduous conditions      which had the effect of
                 making such travel inseparable from work.

                         Officials    of the Boston District    Office informed us that travel
                    time to locations    where official   business was transacted may be

     compensable as uncontrollable      overtime but that the return travel time
     to the investigator's     residence was not compensable,       An official of
!-   the Northeast Regional Office informed us that none of this travel time,
     whether to or from a site where official         business was transacted,  was
     compensable.    Accordingly,    the instructions    on this matter have been
     subjected to varying interpretations         and should be clarified.


           Our review showed that electronic    vehicle counting devices installed
     by INS at ports of entry at Madawaska and Lubec, Maine, and Derby Line,
     Vermont, and a pedestrian counting device at Madawaska, Maine, were
     inaccurate and frequently   inoperable.    We were informed by an INS
     regional office employee that substantial      costs were incurred in the
     procurement and installment    of the electronic    counting devices.

          He informed us also that hand counters costing about $25 each were
     more reliable  than the electronic      devices and were preferred by person-
     nel at the border-crossing    stations.      The inexpensive hand counters
     were in use at a number of border-crossing         stations at the time of
     our review and at March 30, 1971.

           We also noted that section 2301.05 of the Administrative Manual
     does not require exact counts of vehicles and pedestrians crossing the
     border into the country but provides for estimating  the count of border
     crossers admitted.

            In view of the maintenance and operating problems that have been
     experienced with electronic    traffic  counters and the significantly
     higher cost for these devices compared to other types of traffic
     counters, we believe that INS should reevaluate the use made of the
     electronic    traffic counters already installed   and determine whether the
     less costly and more reliable     types of traffic  counters would serve
     INS needs.

           We will be pleased to discuss the matters presented herein with
     you or your representatives.    We wish to acknowledge the courtesies  and
     cooperation extended to our representatives   during the review.    We
     would appreciate receiving   your comments as to the action taken or
     planned with respect to the matters discussed in this letter.

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                                  Copies of this report    are being furnlshed   to the Assistant   Attorney
                             General for Administration.
                                                                  Sincerely   yours,

                                                                  Irvine M. Crawford
                                                                  Associate Director

                             The Honorable -Raymond F. Farrell
                             Commissioner, Immigration and
                               Naturalization  Service
                             Department of Justice