Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 09/2014

Stabilizing and Enhancing Financial Management: An Independent Review of the ICE Financial Action Plan

October 2006

The National Academy of Public Administration


Since its creation in March 2003, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been the largest investigative branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The agency combined the law enforcement arms of the then-Immigration and Naturalization Service and the former U.S. Customs Service, as well as merging the Federal Protective Service (FPS) as a means to more effectively enforce immigration and customs laws and protect the United States against terrorist attacks.

Given the new and varied responsibilities, ICE struggled for two years at establishing good financial management practices to eliminate problems of the past. In 2005, KPMG, DHS’ external auditor, rendered a disclaimer on the financial statements of the department, including ICE. KPMG noted 10 department-wide material weaknesses; ICE was a co-owner of eight of them. To address these material weaknesses, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) developed a Financial Action Plan (FAP). ICE asked the Academy to conduct an independent high-level review of the plan and provide recommendations for improvement.