Immigration Service:

Allegation of Adverse Actions Taken Against INS Agents

GGD-89-70: Published: May 1, 1989. Publicly Released: May 18, 1989.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO assessed whether the: (1) Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) retaliated against eight agents and their supervisors as a result of the agents' correspondence with members of Congress; (2) INS objectively investigated the agents' allegations; and (3) agents properly recorded their work hours to their activities.

GAO found that: (1) INS management took unfavorable actions against the agents and their supervisors, including significantly different and inadequately documented promotion/transfer assessments, lower performance records, and unwanted transfers; (2) there was no legal determination that retaliation occurred because it was unclear whether the letter or concerns about performance motivated the unfavorable actions; (3) although certain aspects of the INS investigation could have indicated bias or a conflict of interest, they did not affect the investigation as a whole; and (4) although the agents incorrectly charged education activities to anti-smuggling activities on their attendance reports, INS correctly made the time charges on another system, so the inaccurate time charges did not affect productivity and workload statistics.

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