The OIG is continuing to examine Department of Justice conference expenditures. The preliminary objective is to review Department of Justice expenditures for conferences after the Deputy Attorney General’s March 5, 2013, memorandum and to determine whether components complied with the Deputy Attorney General’s instruction to postpone or scale back planned conferences.
The OIG is conducting a risk assessment of Department charge card programs as required by the Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012. The preliminary objective is to review travel card and integrated charge card transactions that occurred in FY 2013 to analyze the risks of illegal, improper, or erroneous purchases. The results of this annual risk assessment will be reported to the Attorney General.
The OIG is examining the Department’s and five components’ policies, guidance, and training governing the off-duty conduct of employees on official travel or assignment in foreign countries. The five components in the review are ATF, Criminal Division, DEA, FBI, and USMS.
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 examining the progress made by the Department to more effectively manage the International Prisoner Transfer Program, which allows selected foreign national inmates to serve the remainders of their sentences in their home countries’ prison systems. The review will also further evaluate factors that limit the number of inmates ultimately transferred.
The OIG is examining the efforts of OJP, BOP, USMS, and FBI to comply with the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 since publication of the Department’s National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape.
The OIG is reviewing the Department’s handling of sex offenders admitted into the federal Witness Security (WITSEC) Program. The preliminary objectives are to evaluate the Department’s admission and vetting of sex offenders into the WITSEC Program; the handling, tracking, and monitoring of sex offenders who were admitted into the WITSEC Program; and the procedures for notifying states, local municipalities, and other law enforcement agencies regarding the relocation of sex offenders.
The Crime Victims Fund (CVF), administered by the Office for Victims of Crimes (OVC), was established by the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 and is a major funding source for victim services throughout the United States. The current audit objectives are to assess EOUSA’s accounting and financial reporting of the CVF funds for FYs 2009 through 2011, and evaluate the FBI’s, EOUSA’s, and USAOs’ victim services supported by CVF funding.
The OIG is examining the Fees and Expenses of Witnesses appropriation, which, among other things, provides funding for costs associated with the provision of testimony on behalf of the federal government, largely for expert witness testimony. Expert witness funds are centrally managed by JMD’s budget staff and allocated to the General Legal Activities account and EOUSA for the administration of the expert’s fees and expenses. Expert witness compensation rates are evaluated and agreed upon by the responsible Department attorney. The audit will determine the Department’s compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and Department guidance, and assess internal controls over the expert witness expenditures.
The OIG previously initiated an audit of the USMS’s management of international fugitive removal activities. During the audit work, the OIG determined that, due to the Department’s oversight role, it was necessary to expand the scope of the review. The current objectives of the audit are to evaluate: (1) the Department’s oversight of international fugitive removal activities, including its role in the removal decision making process; and (2) the USMS’s management of removal-related activities associated with international fugitives, including strategic data management; coordination with federal, state, and local law enforcement entities; and the cost effectiveness and efficiency of removal-related activities.
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.
The OIG previously issued an interim report on the Department’s use and support of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Stemming from that report, the OIG is auditing the Department’s use of or participation in operations using non-Department owned or controlled UAS from 2010 through 2013.
The OIG is auditing the Department’s Use of Extended Temporary Duty Travel (TDY). The preliminary objectives of the audit are to evaluate whether the Department, specifically the FBI, Criminal Division, United States Attorney’s Offices and Executive Office for United States Attorneys, and National Security Division: (1) are making appropriate use of extended TDY, (2) have sound extended TDY policies and practices that promote cost effectiveness, and (3) have adequate tracking systems and documentation for extended TDY expenditures.
The OIG is reviewing the Department's use of the material witness warrant statute, 18 U.S.C. § 3144, which provides for the arrest and detention of a person if their testimony “is material in a criminal proceeding, and if it is shown that it may become impracticable to secure the presence of the person by subpoena.” With a particular focus on post-September 11 terrorism cases, the OIG is evaluating whether the statute has been used in an arbitrary, overbroad, or otherwise abusive manner. The OIG is also examining whether the information presented to the courts to justify the detention of particular witnesses fairly reflected the underlying information known to the Department and the FBI at the time; whether procedural safeguards have provided meaningful protections to detained witnesses; and whether the conditions under which selected witnesses were confined were consistent with relevant statutes, regulations, and rules.
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.
In September 2012, the OIG issued its report about Operations Fast and Furious and Wide Receiver, two firearms trafficking investigations conducted by ATF. We found in that review that those investigations were seriously flawed in several respects, most significantly in their failure to adequately consider the risk to public safety in the United States and Mexico that resulted from a strategy of not taking overt enforcement action against individuals making unlawful firearms purchases. During that review, the OIG received information about an ATF investigation involving a U.S. citizen named Jean Baptiste Kingery that allegedly used a strategy and tactics similar to those employed in these two operations. The OIG is examining ATF’s investigation of Kingery, an individual suspected of smuggling thousands of grenade components from the United States to Mexico where it is believed that he was building live grenades for use by drug cartels. The OIG’s review is also examining the role of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the investigation and prosecution of Kingery.