The Office of the Inspector General, Audit Division, has completed an audit of the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program grant numbers 2005‑DJ‑BX‑0354 and 2006‑DJ‑BX‑1180 in the amounts of $778,785 and $444,794, respectively. These grants were awarded by the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), to the City of Fort Worth (City), which acted as the cognizant agency and fiscal agent for the six disparate jurisdictions of Tarrant County and the cities of Arlington, Fort Worth, Haltom, Hurst, and North Richland Hills. The jurisdictions entitled their collaborative effort the Tarrant County Area Justice Assistance Grant Project. The purpose of the JAG Program is to allow state and local governments to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime and to improve the criminal justice system. JAG Program funds can be used to pay for activities such as training, personnel, equipment, supplies, contractual support, and information systems for criminal justice.
Since 1984, OJP has provided federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, improve the criminal and juvenile justice systems, increase knowledge about crime and related issues, and assist crime victims. The BJA mission is to provide leadership and assistance in support of local criminal justice strategies to achieve safer communities. The BJA's overall goals are to: (1) reduce and prevent crime, violence, and drug abuse and (2) improve the functioning of the criminal justice system.
The JAG Program replaced the Byrne Formula and Local Law Enforcement Block Grant (LLEBG) Programs and simplified the administration process with a single funding mechanism. The formula used to allocate JAG Program funds is the same as was used under the LLEBG Program and is based on population and crime statistics, in combination with a minimum allocation, to ensure that each state and territory receives an appropriate share of the funding. Disparate jurisdictions are required to submit a joint application for the aggregate of funds allocated to the units of local government and to receive JAG Program funds in accordance with agreements established between the disparate local and county jurisdictions.
The purpose of this audit was to determine whether reimbursements claimed for costs under the grant were allowable, supported, and in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, guidelines, and terms and conditions of the grant and to determine program performance and accomplishments. The objective of our audit was to review performance in the following areas: (1) the internal control environment; (2) drawdowns; (3) grant expenditures; (4) personnel costs; (5) budget management and control; (6) property management; (7) program income; (8) Financial Status and Progress Reports; (9) program performance and accomplishments; and (10) monitoring of subgrantees. As shown in the table below, the City was awarded $778,785 for FY 2005 and $444,794 for FY 2006, for a total of $1,223,579.
TARRANT COUNTY AREA JUSTICE ASSISTANCE GRANTS PROJECT
We tested compliance with what we consider to be the most important conditions of the grant. Unless otherwise stated, the criteria we audited against are found in the OJP Financial Guide and the award documents. We tested the City’s grant expenditures, monitoring of subgrantees, Financial Status Reports (FSRs) and Progress Reports, drawdowns, program income, budget and management control, and program performance.
Based on our analysis and testing of the City’s and its subgrantees’ documentation, we concluded the following:
- Risk was deemed to be high related to grant administration and appropriate accounting for the use of grant funds.
- There is a risk that equipment purchased with grant funds would not be adequately accounted for under the current property accountability process.
- The City did not report program income of its subgrantees on the FSRs.
- The City did not accurately report expenditures of its subgrantees on the FSRs.
- The City is not monitoring its subgrantees effectively as required by the OJP Financial Guide.
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.