INS Staffing Levels

FPCD-81-67: Published: Aug 20, 1981. Publicly Released: Aug 25, 1981.

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GAO was asked to review the staffing levels for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS); the allocation of INS staff to the regional, district, and headquarters offices; and the lack of an adequate work measurement system in INS.

In its review, GAO found that the Office of Management and Budget reduced the INS personnel ceiling by 350 full-time permanent positions for fiscal year 1981 and plans a further reduction of 750 positions for 1982. These reductions occurred in specific program areas: inspections, adjudications, investigations, status verifications, and records. GAO also found that the funds used to pay for overtime inspectional activities were substantially reduced. The reductions in personnel and funding were carried out despite the fact that INS records show that workloads in the affected program areas are increasing and that the personnel ceiling reductions will result in larger work backlogs. INS records also show that INS lacks adequate workload measurements and accurate workload and productivity statistics. Because of the unreliable workload measurements in INS and its inadequate workload reporting system, GAO could not determine if the INS staff had been proportionately allocated to INS offices or analyze the effect of the recent hiring freeze and personnel ceiling reductions on the ability of INS to perform its mission.

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