The Office of the Inspector General, Audit Division, has completed an audit of Convicted Offender DNA Backlog Reduction Cooperative Agreements 2005‑DN‑BX‑K039 and 2006‑DN‑BX‑K241 totaling $521,469 awarded by the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), National Institute of Justice (NIJ), to the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP).3 The objective of the overall cooperative agreement program is to accelerate the analysis of convicted offender samples collected by states in order to provide CODIS-compatible data for all 13 CODIS core Short Tandem Repeat (STR) loci for local, state, and national DNA databases so that law enforcement is provided with critical investigative information in a timely manner.2 All convicted offender DNA profiles obtained with this funding are to be included in CODIS and the National DNA Index System (NDIS). The result of receiving Convicted offender DNA Backlog Reduction (In-House Analysis) funding should be a demonstrated reduction in the estimated number of convicted offender samples awaiting DNA analysis.
OJP works in partnership with the justice community to identify crime-related challenges confronting the justice system, and to provide information, training, coordination, and strategies and approaches for addressing these challenges. The NIJ is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and is dedicated to researching crime control and justice issues. In addition to sponsoring research and development and technical assistance, the NIJ evaluates programs, policies, and technologies.
The MSHP Crime Laboratory opened in May 1936. In addition to its headquarters located in Jefferson City, Missouri, it has six satellite laboratories located throughout the state. Effective January 1, 2005, the State of Missouri expanded its DNA database law by requiring collection of DNA from all felons. This expansion increased annual DNA submissions to the MSHP Crime Laboratory in two ways: (1) annual submissions to the Laboratory rose from approximately 2,200 offender samples per year to over 28,000 per year, and (2) an additional 100,000 DNA samples now had to be collected from prior offenders who became eligible for collection for past felonies. Since the change in law took effect, the database has increased in size from 27,211 convicted offender profiles to over 100,000 convicted offender profiles.
The purpose of this audit was to determine whether reimbursements claimed for costs under the cooperative agreements were allowable, supported, and in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, guidelines, and terms and conditions of the cooperative agreements, and to determine program performance and accomplishments. The objective of our audit was to review performance in the following areas: (1) internal control environment; (2) drawdowns; (3) cooperative agreement expenditures, including personnel and indirect costs; (4) budget management and control; (5) matching; (6) property management; (7) program income; (8) financial status, progress, and performance metrics reports; (9) cooperative agreement requirements; (10) program performance and accomplishments; and (11) monitoring of contractors and subgrantees. We determined that indirect costs, matching, property management, program income, and monitoring of contractors and subgrantees were not applicable to these cooperative agreements. As shown in the following table, the MSHP was awarded a total of $521,469. The MSHP did not use the 2006 award; as a result, $254,471 was deobligated.3
CONVICTED OFFENDER DNA BACKLOG REDUCTION PROGRAM
COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS TO THE MSHP
We examined the MSHP’s accounting records, financial and progress reports, and operating policies and procedures and found:
- The MSHP did not inform OJP of its intent to use sole-source vendors and not use competitive bidding for all laboratory supplies purchased. As a result, we questioned $249,617;
- The MSHP charged the cooperative agreement $4,543 in unallowable fringe benefits, $7,310 in unreported positions, and $652 in unsupported overtime. As a result, we questioned these costs.
- The MSHP did not submit required reports on time, prepare reports correctly, or provide accurate information in its reports to OJP.
These items are discussed in detail in the Findings and Recommendations section of the report. Our audit objectives, scope, and methodology are discussed in Appendix I.
- The MSHP was awarded two cooperative agreements ($266,998 for 2005 and $254,471 for 2006). However, OJP deobligated the 2006 funding because the MSHP did not use any of the money.
- The Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) links DNA evidence obtained from crime scenes, thereby identifying serial criminals. CODIS also compares crime scene evidence to DNA profiles obtained from convicted offenders, thereby providing investigators with the identity of the putative perpetrator. In addition, CODIS contains profiles from relatives of missing persons, unidentified human remains, and anonymous DNA profiles for a population statistics file. There are three levels of CODIS: (1) the Local DNA Index System (LDIS), used by individual laboratories; (2) the State DNA Index System (SDIS), used at the state level to serve as a state’s DNA database containing DNA profiles from LDIS labs; and the National DNA Index System (NDIS), managed by the FBI as the nation’s DNA database containing all DNA profiles uploaded by participating states.
- Because the 2006 award was not used and the funds were deobligated, there was not significant activity to audit. However, the MSHP submitted required reports for this award prior to the deobligation. We reviewed that reporting activity and provide the results in the Reports section of this report.