Activities of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

T-GGD-91-19: Published: Mar 20, 1991. Publicly Released: Mar 20, 1991.

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GAO discussed the various actions that could improve the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms' (BATF) efficiency and minimize the detrimental effects of resource trade-offs. GAO noted that: (1) the BATF 1992 funding request of $317 million reflected an increase that was primarily targeted for law enforcement; (2) the fiscal year (FY) 1992 budget request would cut the alcohol program by $16 million and 258 staff years, which would result in 2,000 fewer inspections; (3) the FY 1992 budget reduced the firearms programs by $634,000 and 9 staff years, which would result in about 600 fewer firearms inspections; (4) BATF budgeted for its tobacco and explosives programs to receive additional funds; (5) law enforcement activities were authorized 2,649 staff years and $220.5 million in FY 1991, and BATF requested 2,691 staff years and $241 million for FY 1992; (6) reductions in the BATF presence in the alcohol industry could put alcohol excise tax revenues at risk; (7) tax compliance inspectors were not required to have accounting backgrounds; and (8) BATF is considering requiring inspectors to have 6 credit hours of college-level accounting, but GAO believes that 12 credit hours would be more appropriate.

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