Federal Bureau of Investigation Casework and Human Resource Allocation
Report No. 03-37
Office of the Inspector General
DOJ OIG Draft Audit Report
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Casework and Human Resource Allocation
Bureau-wide Comparative Analyses of Human Resource Utilization
Recommendation Number 1, Page 72: We recommend that the Director of the FBI regularly review resource utilization reports for the Bureau as a whole, as well as for the individual investigative programs, and explore additional means of analyzing the Bureau’s resource utilization among the various programs.
Response: The FBI agrees with the recommendation. The FBI is in the process of providing the Director with an automated resource utilization report function and is developing a portfolio of new resource utilization reports that will be provided to the Director each pay period. Both the automated report function and the hard copy reports will present resource utilization information across organizational programs and within each program.
Level of Effort in the Violent Crimes and Major Offenders (VCMO) Program
Recommendation Number 2, Page 72: We recommend that the Director of the FBI research and implement methods for addressing the overutilization and high allocation of agent resources in the VCMO program.
OIG Rationale: The criminal investigations in the VCMO program fall into the third, and lowest, tier of the strategic plan, with a primary goal of assisting state and local law enforcement. Despite this, the FBI consistently over utilized its agent resources in the VCMO program during our review period. Also, the FBI opened more VCMO cases than in any other program. Since the Director stressed in May 2002 that the Bureau needed to shift from a reactive force to a proactive one, and this program has consistently been allocated a significant number of agent resources, its resource utilization should be further scrutinized.
Response: The FBI disagrees with the statement in the OIG rationale that the primary goal of the VCMO Program (VCMOP) is assisting state and local law enforcement. The primary goal of the VCMOP is to combat significant violent crime in the United States and make the streets safe for its citizens. Assistance to state and local law enforcement is a component of this effort. The FBI also disagrees with the assumption that the VCMOP is entirely reactive in nature. Although part of the VCMOP mission will always require a reactive response to major violent crimes, the FBI’s VCMOP has always promoted proactive measures to address violent crime, particularly with regard to intelligence gathering, implementation of joint task forces and criminal enterprise investigations as a means of reducing violent crime.
The FBI agrees with OIG’s recommendation and has made significant progress toward its implementation.
Specifically, in March 2002 the Violent Crime and Major Offenders Section (VCMOS) instituted a measured response policy in bank robbery investigations in the VCMOP plan to focus resources on the most violent and/or serial bank robbers.
To provide greater flexibility in prioritizing the FBI’s use of resources, in August 2002, the FBI established the Criminal Enterprise Investigative Program (CEIP) with a separate Funded Staffing Level. A total of 650 SA bodies were transferred from the VCMOP to ensure proactive criminal enterprise investigations of violent street gangs and major theft criminal enterprises are adequately addressed. In April 2003, CEIP Funded Staffing Level (FSL) was increased to its current level of 701.
In June 2003, the VCMOS implemented a new VCMOP program plan recognizing that, while combating significant violent crime in the United States to protect US citizens is a lower priority, it is still a recognized priority of the FBI. Additionally, the plan recognizes VCMOP has traditionally brought ancillary benefits to other FBI programs through the liaison relationships developed with other agencies, media and private industry, and development of broad based investigative capabilities of FBI personnel. The current VCMOP program plan seeks to complement state and local law enforcement and focus FBI efforts in those investigations where the FBI is in a unique position to make a contribution, primarily in those instances where investigations are multi-jurisdictional in nature and/or FBI has unique resources that benefit both the FBI and other involved agencies.
Additionally, the VCMOP and CEIP Program Plans further focused investigative efforts and instituted proactive initiatives to address specific crime problems in child prostitution, gang related crime in the most violent cities, and reduce bank robberies through improved security programs at financial institutions in the US. These plans also support the fight against terrorism by aggressively pursuing Crimes Aboard Aircraft, establishing Memorandums of Understanding with Department of Homeland Security to ensure coordinated responses, and targeting major theft groups whose proceeds are funneled back to countries harboring terrorist organizations.
As a result of these efforts, the FBI enhanced other priority programs through an overall reduction of VCMOP and CEIP FSL to its current level of 1710 in FY 2003. Additionally, current resource utilization is beneath established FSLs with VCMOP AOB of 936.67 (underburn of 72.33) and CEIP AOB at 499.03 (underburn of 201.97) through the third quarter of FY2003. Although these underburns have negatively impacted the CEIP, the underburn was considered necessary as the FBI temporarily diverted violent crime resources to address elevated terrorism threat levels as a result of the war in Iraq.
To further ensure resources are expended within established parameters, the VCMOS instituted quarterly reviews of resource utilization, statistical and case accomplishments. VCMOS will also review field office strategies, and goals and objectives, through the Annual Field Office Report (AFOR) reviews and assessments of field office performance as part of the Inspection process.
Rate of Case Openings and Closings Between 1998 and 2001
Recommendation Number 3, Page 73: We recommend that the FBI perform research to determine why the rate of case openings and closings is decreasing and the population of open cases is increasing.
Response from the Counterterrorism Division (CTD) and Counterintelligence Division (CD): After September 11, the FBI Director refocused the FBI's traditional crime‑fighting orientation of investigating criminal acts after‑the‑fact for prosecution to place the highest priority on preventing terrorism. The Director also shifted resources to meet this new priority. As such, the volume of opened International Terrorism (IT) and Foreign Counterintelligence (FCI) cases being opened has increased. Additionally, IT cases are often in open and in pending status for years. Exhibit 1 depicts the pending and closed CTD cases. Exhibit 2 depicts the pending and closed FCI cases.
*FY 2003 reflects actuals as of 3/31/03
*FY 2003 reflects actuals as of June 30, 2003
Other explanations for the increased time requirements for IT and FCI cases include the following:
Response from the Criminal Investigative Division (CID):
The Criminal Intelligence Section (CIS) has administrative responsibility for only one investigative classification which was reviewed for this response. The "92" classification, Racketeering Enterprise Investigations (REI), which are intelligence gathering investigations, are governed by the Attorney General Guidelines with strict guidelines which specify under what circumstances the REI can be opened and when the REI must be closed. In view of the fact that REIs cover all criminal programs, any shift of resources to address non criminal investigative matters can affect the rate of case openings and closings. A review of REI openings/closings for fiscal years 2001, 2002, and 2003, determined that a total of 154 REIs were opened and 170 REIs were closed. At the beginning of FY 2001 there were 199 REIs pending. As of 6/30/03, there were 186 REIs pending. A breakdown by fiscal year for the REIs is listed below:
The FBI Drug Program (DP) reviewed the data contained in the DOJ/OIG report relative to the above recommendation, as it pertained to DP investigations. In 1998, in support of the FBI's 1998-2003 Strategic Plan, the DP developed its five-year program plan. The plan detailed the FBI's strategy for disrupting and dismantling the most significant Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO) through application of the Enterprise Theory of Investigation, and was the basis for the National Priority Target List, created by the DP to focus the FBI's limited counter-drug resources on the domestic components of DTOs posing the greatest threat to the United States.
Enterprise Investigations are strategically planned, long-term investigations that focus on all aspects of a defined criminal organization, utilizing an array of sophisticated investigative techniques that ultimately disrupt or dismantle the targeted organization. These Drug Enterprise Investigations require the FBI to devote years of investigative and prosecutorial effort in contrast to short-term investigations managed under other FBI criminal programs. The decrease in the rate of DP case openings and closings is, in part, the result of FBI field offices applying the Enterprise Theory of Investigation to DP investigations. Consequently, fewer drug investigations are initiated, but they remain open longer. A survey of 12 field offices, conducted in December 2001, revealed that 75% of Criminal Enterprise Investigations in the field were conducted within the DP.
Concurrent with the change in the strategic focus of DP investigations, the DP experienced decreases in Agent-funded staffing levels (FSL) since the beginning of FY 1998 (prior to FY 2000, the FSLs for the Organized Crime (OC) program and DP were combined). Using estimated figures for FY 1998 and FY 1999, the DP experienced a 12% decrease in its FSL between FY 1998 and the beginning of FY 2002. However, between FY 1998 and the end of FY 2002, the DP experienced a 51% decrease in its FSL. Further reductions in the DP during FY 2003 amounted to a decrease in the FSL of 68%.
Within CID, the DP's rate at which case openings and closing declined is commensurate with the change in strategic focus of the program and the reduction in Agent resources assigned to DP investigations.
The FBI is cognizant that the rate of case openings and closings is decreasing and that the population of open cases is increasing. During the period following 9/11, the massive reorganization of the FBI presented unique challenges in determining an appropriate distribution of existing resources needed to effectively address the exigent Counterterrorism (CT) threat, while maintaining a sufficient presence within the Counterintelligence, Criminal and other programs. This reorganization necessitated the temporary diversion of FBI resources at an unprecedented level. As a result of this diversion of resources, significant number of existing criminal investigations went unaddressed or were under-addressed. As a result, these existing cases remained open which obviously is reflected in the rate of case closings and in the population of open cases.
Additionally, the temporary (and ultimately permanent) diversion of significant numbers of agents from Criminal programs to CT has had a corresponding reduction in the number of new investigations initiated within many Criminal programs. This is a significant factor in the declining rate of case openings/closings of criminal investigations.
Lastly, a factor which impacts primarily on the population of open cases is the reality that the FBI is actively engaged in a significant number of "Intelligence" investigations within the CT program which by their nature tend to be long term and thus may remain open for extended periods of time.
The limited analysis to date indicates a strong correlation between the percentage reduction in agents available to conduct criminal investigations, with the corresponding reduction in initiations of criminal investigations. It is expected that additional analysis will support this as the primary factor and will in no way support a conclusion of reduced productivity.
Timing of Funded Staffing Levels
Recommendation Number 4, Page 73: We recommend that the Director of the FBI review the current resource management and allocation process and make necessary changes to ensure that FSL allocations are made in a more timely manner.
Response: The FBI agrees with this recommendation and has already reviewed the process and determined an appropriate course of action. In the past, FBI executive management direction was to hold the FSL allocation in abeyance until a budget was passed. Then, once the Finance Division had reconciled any budgetary issues and provided the final funded position/workyear levels, the Resource Management and Allocation Office, Administrative Services Division, would allocate the FSL. This method has resulted in FSLs not being set until late in the year since the budget is typically not approved by
Congress until after the start of a new fiscal year and many times as late as six months into the year.
The FBI has instituted a strategy whereby the allocation process will begin several months prior to the beginning of a fiscal year based on existing personnel resources and pending enhancement requests. This will be adjusted and modified as the Congress progresses toward a final determination of the FBI's budget. In this fashion, an allocation of available resources may occur shortly after the budget is enacted.
Utilization in the Applicant Matters and Training Programs
Recommendation Number 5, Page 73-74: We recommend that the Director of the FBI review the current planning factors and processes for the Applicant Matters and Training programs to more closely approximate the agent resources they actually need.
Response: Applicant Program resources are used in direct support of hiring FBI employees and in conducting backgrounds for certain other agencies. The FBI utilizes the services of Contract Investigators to conduct pre-FBI employment backgrounds. This has minimized the requirement for the use of Special Agent resources in the Applicant Program. There are certain aspects of the hiring process that require Special Agent resources such as in the testing and processing of FBI applicants. During a transition of Administration in the White House there is a seasonal increase in the requirement for applicant resources. Most high level government appointments require that FBI backgrounds be conducted by FBI Special Agents.
A review of allocated Applicant Program resources compared with actual utilization of resources shows a convergence from Fiscal Year 1996 through 2000. This occurred as a result of the use of Contract Investigators instead of FBI Special Agents. Although these resources are depicted as being utilized on applicants, they are in direct support of the FBI's most significant investigative priorities. These additional resources over the established FSL for the Applicant Program, are in actuality providing the human capital for the major investigative programs of the FBI. The temporary redirection of resources from the investigative programs into the Applicant Program is consistent and in direct support of those investigative programs.
A slight increase in actual utilization of applicant resources occurred in FY 2001 due to the backgrounds required during the transition of the Administration. This increase occurs at a change of Administration and exists for a short period of time. If additional resources were acquired for this resource need during a change of Administration, a redirection would occur during the several years of no Administration change. Many of these resources are required in areas of the country where the Administration had been based. The movement of resources into those geographic areas would be more costly than the temporary diversion of current resources assigned to those offices.
The FBI will review the current process in allocating resources in the Applicant Program and determine if a method can be developed to more accurately project and record resource allocation and utilization.
Data Errors and Omissions in the ACS System
Recommendation Number 6, Page 74: We recommend that the Director of the FBI ensure that the data in ACS is complete and accurate prior to converting to a new case management system.
Response: The FBI agrees with the recommendation. The Virtual Case File (VCF) application, scheduled to be released in December of 2003, will replace the Automated Case Support (ACS) system. All case-related information will be migrated from ACS into the VCF and made available to all authorized users. Because VCF is significantly different from ACS in facilitating workflow and how data is viewed, there will be situations where it does not make sense to move certain data over. Even so, all information in ACS will be strictly accounted for. Any data not moved over to the VCF will be logged, then archived in anticipation that this information may still be needed at some future date.
In preparation for the data migration, all data currently residing in ACS has been analyzed, looking for any anomalies or error conditions that could cause problems in the VCF environment. A Data Quality report has been produced that identifies areas of potential concern. Each one of these areas is currently being examined, prioritized, and analyzed for adjudication prior to migration to VCF.
Error conditions that have been discovered include business rule violations (e.g., open leads in closed cases), missing data in required fields, and invalid data (e.g., erroneous field office codes.) All of these conditions have been categorized and are in the process of being resolved by the ACS project team, with support from the Records Management Division. Any areas that need to be adjudicated will be presented to the newly formed Data Governance Board (DGB), made up of Data Stewards that represent all the operational divisions. These Data Stewards are charged with the responsibility to make any final decisions necessary to bring data error conditions or invalid data issues to resolution.
It has been determined that certain errors found in ACS must be fixed within ACS itself before the data can be moved over to the new environment (e.g., conflicting information, such as case open and Preliminary Inquiry dates, where it is unclear which information is valid.) Other errors can be handled by fixing them as they are moved over to VCF. These will be handled in parallel over the next five months in preparation for the final migration. Due to resource and time constraints, some lower priority error conditions may not be resolved prior to migration. However, they will continue to be tracked and resolved at a later date if deemed necessary.
Usefulness of Monthly Administrative Reports (MAR) from the Automated Case Support (ACS) System
Recommendation Number 7, Page 75: We recommend that the Director of the FBI revamp the current Monthly Administrative Report format and determine if more useful information can be extracted from the ACS system and be provided to program managers to help them in performing their duties.
Response: The FBI agrees with the recommendation. The Virtual Case File (VCF) team’s initial mandate was to replace the current ACS application. Early in the project, it was decided that this was insufficient to support the needs of the FBI. Instead, a Business Process Reengineering (BPR) approach was undertaken to determine what business processes needed to be changed to make the FBI more effective. Operational and Program Management Subject Matter Experts (SME) have been consulted to determine what data is required to support their needs, including statistical and program management information.
Current reports, including the MAR, have been reviewed with these SMEs to determine their continued utility. In addition, suggested changes have been incorporated into the VCF design. For example, case closing information has been expanded to include more useful categories of closings, including those that track with the United States Attorney’s Office.
Currently, the project team is validating that all appropriate information required to support the MAR is identified and captured in VCF. In addition, prior to implementation in December of 2003, the VCF will undergo acceptance testing to ensure that the application meets the defined requirements. This will take place starting in August of 2003 and will include testing all pertinent reports.
REDACTED AND UNCLASSIFIED