Poor management practices at the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) air program have potentially cost taxpayers $41.1 million by allowing for detainees to be transferred on nearly empty flights, according to a new audit.
The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) also found that the agency’s database for tracking the transfer of detainees is riddled with errors, leaving ICE unsure of a detainees’ criminal history, gang affiliation, or even gender.
ICE Air uses charter and commercial flights to transfer detainees to foreign countries or within the United States. In many instances, the audit found, the flights are less than half full.
“Although ICE Air met its mission by transporting 930,435 detainees over a 3-1/2 year period, it could have used its resources more effectively,” the audit said. “In fact, ICE Air may have missed opportunities to improve the program’s overall effectiveness even though it has identified some ways to reduce costs associated with detainee transportation.”
“The lack of reliable data limits the ability of management to make informed decisions regarding how many planes it needs to transport the current level of detainees, whether it should revise the frequency of its flights, and how to improve operations overall,” the OIG said.
“As a result, ICE Air operated charter flights with empty seats and could have realized cost savings of up to $41.1 million upon determining optimum flight capacity,” they said.
Federal agencies don't feel the need to be efficient with taxpayer resources because our federal government has almost no fiscal accountability.
A Convention of States can impose constitutional fiscal accountability on our federal officials. Learn how here.