Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice, No Suspect Casework DNA Backlog Reduction Program, Fiscal Year 2003, Cooperative Agreement Awarded to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Agreement Number 2003-DN-BX-K047, Nashville, Tennessee
Audit Report GR-40-06-005
Office of the Inspector General
The Office of the Inspector General, Audit Division has completed an audit of the No Suspect Casework DNA Backlog Reduction Program Fiscal Year 2003 cooperative agreement awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. The purpose of the cooperative agreement was to facilitate the examination of 2,800 backlogged no suspect cases, some dating back to 1983, by providing funding for overtime, equipment, supplies, and contractor expenses. No suspect cases are cases where law enforcement has not developed a suspect, or cases in which a suspect has been eliminated through testing or other investigative means. When the cooperative agreement expired April 30, 2005, the TBI had received and expended $537,605 of the $3,369,813 cooperative agreement award. We tested the TBI’s accomplishment of the cooperative agreement objectives. We also tested the TBI’s accounting records to determine if reimbursements claimed for costs under the cooperative agreement were allowable, supported, and in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, guidelines, and terms and conditions of the cooperative agreement.
We found that the TBI substantially complied with the requirements of the cooperative agreement. However, the TBI did not achieve a program objective to examine 2,800 no suspect cases. This occurred because the TBI used an unreliable methodology to estimate the number of backlogged cases for which funding was needed. Moreover, after funding was awarded, the TBI found that other agencies were unwilling to submit backlogged cases for processing by the TBI. As a result, federal funds were obligated to the program that could not be spent, and the effectiveness of national and state DNA databases as a resource to solve and prevent future criminal activity is diminished. In addition, we found one Progress Report that did not accurately reflect cooperative agreement activity.
We identified $2,832,208 in obligated cooperative agreement funds that should be put to better use.1 Our findings are discussed in detail in the Findings and Recommendations section of the report. Our audit objectives, scope, and methodology appear in Appendix I.