The OIG initiated a review to examine the Department of Justice’s oversight of asset seizure activities, focusing on assessing the scope of federal seizure activities and the success rate of those actions, as well as the nature and extent of Department-organized or funded asset seizure training initiatives. Our review will cover the policies, practices, documentation, and outcomes of these activities and training programs.
The OIG is reviewing the Department’s and ATF’s implementation of recommendations in the OIG’s September 2012 report, A Review of Operation Fast and Furious and Related Matters. The OIG made six recommendations in that report designed to increase oversight of ATF operations, improve coordination among the Department’s law enforcement components, and enhance the Department’s wiretap application review and authorization process. Since the Fast and Furious report was issued, the Department has provided the OIG with information describing measures it has taken to implement the OIG’s recommendations. The current review will examine this and other information to evaluate the progress and effectiveness of these measures.
The OIG is reviewing allegations that ATF failed to timely investigate and arrest subjects involved in trafficking firearms that were used in an attack on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Mexico in 2011. One of the agents, Jaime Zapata, died from injuries he sustained during the attack. The OIG investigation is examining the information that was available to ATF about the firearms traffickers prior to Agent Zapata’s death.
The OIG is reviewing ATF’s oversight of certain of its storefront operations. One of the key findings of the OIG’s September 2012 report, A Review of ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious and Related Matters, was that ATF failed to exercise sufficient oversight of activities that posed a danger to the public or otherwise presented special risks. ATF recognized this problem and established a Monitored Case Program to improve its oversight capabilities. The OIG’s review will examine several storefront operations that continued or began after the inception of the Monitored Case Program, and evaluate the effectiveness of the Monitored Case Program as an oversight tool.
The OIG is examining the nature, frequency, reporting, investigation, and adjudication of sexual misconduct (including the transmission of sexually explicit text messages and images) where the conduct potentially affected the workplace or the security of operations within ATF, DEA, FBI, and USMS. The OIG is also reviewing whether these law enforcement components can effectively address allegations of sexual misconduct in a consistent manner.
The OIG is auditing the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which provides criminal background checks in support of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993. The OIG will evaluate the effectiveness of processes related to the FBI’s referral of denials to ATF; ATF’s initial screening and referral of denials to its field offices for investigation; ATF field offices’ investigation of denials; and the U.S. Attorney Offices’ prosecution of crimes associated with denials.