comments from the Users Congress meeting, as well as other observations from committee member visits to local NIBIN installations.

Another source of commentary on specific enhancements to improve NIBIN is the operational audit of the program conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General (2005). The audit offered 12 formal recommendations to ATF; see Box 6-1. The audit included examination of a complete snapshot of the NIBIN database and its attempt to link NIBIN data to Uniform Crime Reports data based on Originating Agency Identifier (ORI) codes: hence the specific recommendations to ensure ORI

BOX 6-1

Recommendations from 2005 U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General Audit of NIBIN Program

Based on its review of NIBIN practices, the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General (2005) offered 12 specific recommendations to ATF in its audit report:

  1. Determine whether additional IBIS equipment should be purchased and deployed to high-usage nonpartner agencies, or whether equipment should be redistributed from the low-usage partner agencies to high-usage nonpartner agencies.

  2. Provide additional guidance, training, or assistance to the partner agencies that indicated they did not perform regional or nationwide searches because they either lacked an understanding of the process or lacked manpower to perform such searches.

  3. Ensure that NIBIN partner agencies enter the [Originating Agency Identifier (ORI)] number of the contributing agency for all evidence entered into NIBIN.

  4. Resolve the duplicate case ID number issue in the NIBIN database for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation–Montrose; and the Rhode Island State Crime Laboratory.

  5. Research the reasons why 12 agencies have achieved high hit rates with relatively low number of cases entered into NIBIN and share the results of such research with the remaining partner agencies.

  6. Establish a plan to enhance promotion of NIBIN to law enforcement agencies nationwide to help increase participation in the program. The plan should address steps to: (1) increase the partner agencies’ use of the system, (2) increase the nonpartner agencies’ awareness and use of the system, and (3) encourage the partner agencies to promote the NIBIN program to other law enforcement agencies in their area.

  7. Determine whether new technology exists that will improve the image quality of bullets enough to make it worthwhile for the participating agencies

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