Two DHS agencies lost nearly 1,000 computers, $14 million in equipment in 2008 

Two agencies within the Department of Homeland Security lost 4,522 inventory items in fiscal 2008 that had cost taxpayers approximately $13.4 million, according to documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by Todd Shepherd of the Independence Institute.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) lost 1,975 items worth $7.6 million, including nearly 600 computers, dozens of Blackberry phones and 300 pieces of expensive night vision goggles, sights and cameras, each valued at between $1,400 and $18,700. One lost "infrared optical device" was valued at $232,000. The agency lost track of 72 personal radiation detectors valued at about $1,300 each.

Among CBP's roughly 550 "lost" computer items was a Storage Area Network system that had been purchased for $871,236. A similar system, worth only $528,359, was also listed as "lost." CBP told Shepherd that the items had been exchanged with their vendor for new ones, but that the exchange had not been properly documented.

Also "lost" were 13 Cisco multiport computer switches worth an aggregate $325,000. Three 14-inch high intensity LCD panels were also lost, each one costing just under $5,400.

CBP also reported two SUVs as "stolen" -- a $43,000 Chevy Tahoe and a $13,000 Chevy Blazer. The agency lost track of four trailers, worth a combined $16,000.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), another DHS agency, reported 1,547 items lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed for a total price tag of $5.8 million.

(See the full inventory lists for CBP and ICE here.)

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David Freddoso

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David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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