FBI Wiretaps Hung Up by Late Phone Bills

Bureau admits its accounting system is inadequate
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2008 6:53 PM CST
US Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy questions Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Wainstein of the Justice Department's National Security Division, as he speaks at a Senate...   (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – You’re not alone: The FBI apparently has trouble paying its bills on time, too. A Justice Department audit released today shows that, in general, the FBI handled money earmarked for use in undercover operations poorly, and cited instances in which a phone line used to deliver surveillance information to the Bureau was disconnected because of late payment, Reuters reports.

In one instance, the audit notes, the disconnected line was delivering information required under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which covers terrorism and intelligence cases. FBI officials say the interruptions were temporary and did not hurt investigations, and asserted that the Bureau was working to improve its outdated accounting system.