Federal Bureau of Investigation Legal Attaché Program*
Report No. 04-18
Office of the Inspector General
The objectives of the audit were to determine: 1) the type of activities performed by Legal Attaché offices; 2) the effectiveness of Legal Attaché offices in establishing liaison with foreign law enforcement agencies and coordinating activities with other law enforcement and intelligence agencies stationed overseas; 3) the criteria and process used by the FBI to determine the placement of Legal Attaché offices, including oversight and management of established offices; and 4) determine the processes used for selecting and training FBI personnel for Legat positions.
Scope and Methodology
We performed our audit in accordance with Government Auditing Standards, and included tests and procedures necessary to accomplish the audit objectives. Generally, our audit emphasized Legat program activities that occurred during fiscal years 2001 through 2003. However, some of our tests required us to use data from prior fiscal years.
To accomplish our objectives, we conducted work at FBI Headquarters, and interviewed various officials from: OIO’s International Operations Section and Language Services Section; Administrative Services Division; Criminal Investigation Division; Counterterrorism Division; Finance Division; Inspection Division; Drug Section; Security Division, and the Office of Professional Responsibility. We also interviewed officials from other Department of Justice components including the Justice Management Division, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Office of International Affairs. In addition, we obtained documents from the Department of State's Office of the Inspector General.
We conducted reviews of four Legal Attaché offices, which we judgmentally selected. We included offices that had varied staffing levels and workloads. In addition, we included offices that covered one country as well as offices that covered multiple countries; English speaking and non-English speaking locations; and offices in different geographical areas. We reviewed the Legal Attaché Annual Accomplishment reports for 2001 and the latest FBI inspection reports for all of the Legal Attaché offices, and took this information into account when making our site selections.
The Legat offices we selected and reviewed were located in: Berlin, Germany; Ottawa, Canada; Pretoria, South Africa; and Tokyo, Japan. We also conducted limited work in Cape Town, South Africa; Toronto, Canada; and Cologne, Frankfurt, and Meckenheim, Germany. While at these locations we interviewed Legal Attaché personnel, United States Embassy and Consulate officials and staff, and selected foreign liaison contacts of the Legal Attaché from various police and intelligence agencies. See Appendix II for a listing of foreign agencies contacted, and Appendix III for a listing of U.S. agency representatives contacted abroad.
We also performed various tests at the Legat offices. During our fieldwork, we reviewed the files for a sample of judgmentally selected leads and cases to determine what actions were taken by Legat personnel in response to requests for assistance from other FBI offices, and reviewed the timeliness of these actions in order to assist us in addressing objectives 1 and 3. Further, we followed up on key findings contained in the FBI Inspection Division's reports for the four offices to determine if corrective actions had been taken, and reviewed other documents and records as needed.
We also determined if individuals who had traveled for official reasons on behalf of the FBI to selected locations in Canada and Germany had country clearances. At our request the FBI's Travel Advance and Payment Unit, Finance Division, identified these individuals using information from the FBI's Financial Management System. The printouts we received identified persons who had traveled to selected Canadian destinations between October 1, 2001 and April 17, 2003, and between October 1, 2001 and June 4, 2003 for the German locations.
Furthermore, we reviewed FBI manuals, policies and procedures, memorandum, correspondence, and electronic communications related to the Legat Program. We also reviewed various records and documents as needed, including: financial documents, Legal Attaché Annual Accomplishment Reports, workload data, OPR case files, vacancy packages, and records pertaining to the Legat staff's tours of duty and language proficiencies as well as reports provided to Congress.
The Office of Inspector General has not performed any prior reviews of the FBI's Legal Attaché Program. We also did not identify any General Accounting Office reviews of the program. The FBI's Inspection Division conducts periodic reviews of individual Legal Attaché offices and we reviewed these reports as part of our process for selecting offices for review.
* BECAUSE THIS REPORT CONTAINED INFORMATION CLASSIFIED AS "SECRET" BY THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, WE REDACTED (WHITED OUT) THAT INFORMATION FROM THE VERSION OF THE REPORT THAT IS BEING PUBLICLY RELEASED. WHERE SUCH INFORMATION WAS REDACTED IS NOTED IN THE REPORT.
REDACTED AND UNCLASSIFIED