Government department in charge of airport security can’t stop losing their own stuff

How upset would you be if you lost your laptop computer? How upset do you think your boss would be if your company lost not one, but one thousand of them?

The loss of 1000 computers within a single government department is apparently not much of an issue, because that is how many went missing at the Department of Homeland Security in 2008.

The department is in charge of the TSA as well as Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (the old INS).

During an audit, a total of 1,975 pieces of equipment could not be located, at a total valuation of $7.5 million. Included in the list of missing items are 235 night vision goggles, a $116,000 truck and 13 other vehicles.

The departments claim the number of missing items is perfectly normal and that they are “well within loss rates deemed acceptable by industry for asset accounting“. I’ll be sure to use that excuse next time I lose something.

Remember, these losses are on top of the thousands of items that mysteriously go missing from luggage of passengers entrusting their belongings to the TSA. Shipping your luggage suddenly doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. US Senator Tom Coburn has more about the embarrassing losses on his personal site.