The Immigration and Naturalization Service and
the United States Marshals Service
Intergovernmental Service Agreements for
Detention Services with the
County of York, Pennsylvania
York County Prison
Report No. GR-70-01-005
June 25, 2001
Office of the Inspector General
Jail Day Rates
Based on our audit of costs incurred and the average daily population at York for the period of January 1, 2000 through December 31, 2000, we calculated an audited jail day rate of $37.07 as shown in the following table.
|Audited Jail Day Rate|
|Total Incurred Costs||$ 24,628,612|
|Net Allowable Costs||$ 22,821,080|
|Days per Year||3662|
|Average Daily Population||1,682|
|Audited Jail Day Rate||$ 37.07|
We evaluated York's operating costs based on INS and USMS policy and Office of Management and Budget Circular A-87, Cost Principles for State, Local, and Indian Tribal Governments. Based on our evaluation, we took exception to $308,548 of the incurred costs. In addition, we determined that York received $1,498,984 in offsetting credits resulting from revenue accounts (see Note 5 under Incurred Costs for additional details). Because the agreement established a $60 jail day rate and the audited rate was $37.07, during York's FY 2000 the INS overpaid York $22.93 a day for its average daily population of 729 detainees, or an overpayment of $6,118,045. In addition, the USMS overpaid York $7.93 a day for its average daily population of 17 detainees, or an overpayment of $49,340. The BOP averaged .4 prisoners per day and, using the USMS agreement, overpaid York $1,161. The total overpayment by the Department to house federal detainees at York for the period under review was $6,168,546.3 Had there been no audit exceptions or revenue offsets for FY 2000, the jail day rate would have been $40.01 and the Department still would have been overcharged $5,365,390.
As part of our audit, we also calculated potential annual savings to the INS, USMS, and BOP for York's FY 2001 based on our audited rate. We are reporting these savings as "funds to better use." We have taken a conservative approach of assuming a constant prison population in projecting funds to better use of $6,366,917. This includes $6,311,536 for the INS, $54,108 for the USMS and $1,273 for the BOP. The difference between questioned costs and funds to better use results from (1) allowing costs associated with INS and EOIR administrative space for FY 2000 but not for the future years when the space should be acquired through a more appropriate method, and (2) excluding from future years a nonrecurring cost for a legal settlement involving payments to correctional officers for time that was spent in meetings. Because our estimate is conservative, an increase in the prison population would result in a lower rate and greater savings.
The following table presents our analysis of the costs incurred by York for the period January 1, 2000 through December 31, 2000. Audit exceptions are explained in the notes following the table.
York County Prison Fiscal Year 2000 Expenditures
Source: York County purchase orders, budgets, direct payment authorizations, invoices and receipts.
Detention Services Cost Statement
Although we determined an audited jail day rate of $37.07 for York's FY 2000, we also reviewed the FY 1999 data that York used to support the current IGA with the INS. In completing its cost statement, York understated its average daily prison population. Understating the average daily population resulted in increasing the rate at which the INS reimbursed York for housing federal detainees. York stated an average daily population of 996 which, when divided into its stated 1999 operating costs for the prison, yielded a jail day rate of $60. We examined the prison's inmate counts for 1999 and determined that the actual average daily population was 1,544, or 548 more inmates housed per day on average than York had stated to the INS. The prison warden told us that because the INS guaranteed York a daily average of only 100 federal detainees, he thought it was fair to add only 100 to the county prisoner population rather than use the actual count. By dividing the actual average daily population into the prison's reported 1999 operating costs of $21,812,405, the jail day rate as awarded would have been $38.70 instead of $60, which was an overstatement of $21.30 per prisoner per day.
York's Outmate Program permits county prisoners, but not federal detainees, to work full-time through work release. York officials informed us that in FY 2000 an average of 125 prisoners per day participated in the program. We did not allow $28,537 for trailer rental for the program during the last four months of the year, nor did we allow $118,767 for salaries and $37,293 in benefit costs for the three full-time correctional officers assigned to the program. Also, as discussed in note 5 on page 8, we offset $600,000 in revenue from living expenses that program participants paid to York from their work release wages. Such room and board payments to York by program participants from their outside employment provides revenue that helps offset the prison's operating costs.
INS and EOIR Administrative Space
York provided administrative space for about 30 INS and EOIR employees involved in deportation, detention and adjudication activities (15,950 square feet in the prison and 1,444 square feet in a historic farmhouse based on information provided to us by York) and for two administrative courts and associated support space for the EOIR (4,032 square feet). Rather than securing administrative space through a rental agreement, the INS on its behalf and on the behalf of the EOIR, included the costs in the jail day rate. The INS and the EOIR should reimburse York for the costs of providing office and administrative space. However, such costs are not properly included as care and housing of INS detainees and should not be paid through the jail day rate.
The Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977 (P.L. 95-224) requires that contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements be used to obtain services from State and local governments. The Department is authorized to enter into contracts and cooperative agreements with State and local governmental entities for the care and housing of federal detainees pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 4013(a). The INS has authority pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1103(a)(9) "to make payments from funds appropriated for the administration and enforcement of the laws relating to immigration, naturalization, and alien registration for necessary clothing, medical care, necessary guard hire, and the housing, care, and security of persons detained by the Service pursuant to Federal law under an agreement with a State or political subdivision of a State."
In 1982 the Director, Office of Management and Budget, issued an exception that allowed the INS, USMS, and BOP to forego contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements and enter into IGAs with State and local governments for the provision of prisoner detention services. The exception only extended to the reimbursement of the cost of detention services for federal prisoners. Therefore, it was not intended for the jail day rate to pay for administrative space.
Since the INS and the EOIR administrative space is being paid for through the jail day rate, the amount paid for the space may fluctuate based on the total prison population, the number of the INS detainees, and total allowable costs. Because the costs of detention services and the number of the INS detainees housed are unrelated to the cost per square foot of administrative space, the jail day rate is not a reasonable vehicle for reimbursement to York. The INS already recognizes that certain services such as translators and outside medical care should be paid directly based on the actual cost of those services rather than through the jail day rate. Administrative space should be obtained through other direct methods such as the cost of square footage. In our judgment, the costs associated with maintaining the INS and the EOIR administrative space should not be included in the calculation of the jail day rate.
Based on information provided to us by York, we determined the portion of the prison's 376,100 total square feet of space used for the INS and the EOIR administrative activities. Accordingly, we excluded from our calculation of the audited jail day rate a total of $123,951 for depreciation (except for the fully depreciated farmhouse), utilities, maintenance and repairs, and janitorial services associated with the administrative space used by the INS and the EOIR. Because the INS and the EOIR should reimburse York for providing administration space, we are not including the $123,951 in the questioned costs total.
Primarily because it inaccurately stated the prison's average daily population, York overcharged the Department of Justice $6,168,546 for detention services in York's FY 2000. This overcharge is based on our audited jail day rate of $37.07. Applying our results to FY 2001 would result in savings of about $6.4 million. For purposes only of calculating questioned costs, we are allowing $123,951 in costs associated with the INS/EOIR administrative space. Consequently, we are questioning $6,044,595 of the total overcharge.
We recommend that the INS:
We recommend that the USMS:
We recommend that the Bureau of Prisons:
We conducted an exit briefing with representatives from York, the INS and USMS. We discussed how we determined the audited jail day rates for the facility, including our computations for the overpayments. During the exit conference, the warden of the York County Prison reiterated that the average daily prison population stated on the INS cost sheet supporting the IGA was based on only 100 federal detainees over the county prison population rather than the actual population because 100 detainees were all that the INS guaranteed. He also said that he reports to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania a jail day rate of $38.58 based on actual operating costs and fringe benefits. York officials provided no other comments on the audit results.