OTHER REPORTABLE MATTERS
The purpose of this section is to bring to the attention of FBI management other matters noted that are not part of the audit report's Findings and Recommendations section because they were not systemic or we could not demonstrate adverse effect. This section is for informational purposes only and no response is necessary; however, we encourage the FBI to take corrective action.
Generally, management controls over task force expenditures, including overtime paid to state and local participants, were adequate. The main operating costs for the task forces were FBI personnel salaries and non-personnel expenditures including overtime paid to state and local participants.
To determine the adequacy of management controls pertaining to overtime at the 20 task forces audited, we reviewed a sample of invoices totaling $223,895. The audit disclosed that overtime invoices were properly approved, supported, and calculated with few exceptions. However, at one location, the FBI reimbursed a local police department $5,057 for an officer assigned to a non-Safe Streets task force. According to the task force supervisor, this was done for administrative convenience.
Review of a sample of expenses totaling $240,952 revealed that operating expenditures were properly approved, supported, and tracked at all locations with only minor exceptions. At one location, the task force made three unauthorized payments to informants, totaling $1,100, out of Safe Streets task force funding.
Memorandum of Understanding Differences
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) formalizes the relationship between the Bureau and agencies participating in the task force and details policies, guidance, planning, and resources. Task force officials should revise the MOU each time the composition of the task force changes. Our review of 20 task forces revealed that the MOUs were generally complete and current with the following exceptions:
At Las Vegas, Nevada; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the MOUs allowed the task forces to pursue non-violent property crimes over $25,000.
The MOUs did not reflect the most current participation at: Phoenix, Arizona; Denver, Colorado; St. Louis, Missouri; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The FBI Headquarters Safe Streets Unit Managers have begun corrective action by requesting all task forces to review and update their memorandums as needed.
Issuance of Credentials
According to the Safe Streets Unit Managers, state and local officers should not be issued credentials identifying them as task force members unless done so by Headquarters to ensure consistency and accountability. They explained that credentials have not been issued because they are not essential to task force operations and the cost would be prohibitive and informed field offices accordingly. However, five task forces [Mobile, Alabama; Denver, Colorado; Newark, New Jersey; Portland, Oregon; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.] provided credentials to their members.
Lack of Completed Background Investigations
All non-FBI task force members are subjected to either a limited security investigation or a 10 year background investigation when a top secret clearance is needed. We noted several deficiencies concerning investigations at four locations:
At Albuquerque, New Mexico; and San Juan, Puerto Rico, some background investigations were not completed and several were in process in excess of 1 year.
At El Paso, Texas; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, background investigations were not being conducted nor clearances obtained for some participants.
STATEMENT ON MANAGEMENT CONTROL STRUCTURE
In planning and performing our audit of the fugitive task forces within the FBI's Safe Streets initiative, we considered the FBI's management control structure for the purpose of determining our auditing procedures. This evaluation was not made for the purpose of providing assurance on the FBI management control structure. However, we noted certain matters involving the management control structure that we consider to be reportable conditions under generally accepted government auditing standards.
Reportable conditions involve matters coming to our attention relating to significant deficiencies in the design or operation of the management control structure that, in our judgment, could adversely affect the FBI's ability to effectively manage its task force initiative. We identified weaknesses in the following areas:
task force operations (Finding I), and
task force administration (Finding II).
Because we are not expressing an opinion on the FBI's management control structure as a whole, this statement is intended solely for the information and use of the FBI in managing its Safe Streets task forces. This restriction is not intended to limit the distribution of this report, which is a matter of public record.
STATEMENT ON COMPLIANCE WITH LAWS AND REGULATIONS
We have audited the FBI fugitive task forces within its Safe Streets initiative. The period covered by the audit was January 1992 through FY 1996, but concentrated on FYs 1995 and 1996. As part of the audit, we reviewed selected activities and transactions. We conducted the audit in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
In connection with the audit, and as required by the standards, we tested transactions and records to obtain reasonable assurance about the FBI's compliance with laws and regulations that, if not complied with, we believe could have a material effect on operations. Compliance with laws and regulations applicable to task force operations is the responsibility of FBI management.
An audit includes examining, on a test basis, evidence about laws and regulations. The laws for which we conducted tests are contained in the relevant portions of:
Title 18, United States Code, Section 1073;
Title 21, United States Code, Section 878; and
Title 28, United States Code, Sections 562 and 566.
The results of our tests revealed no instances of noncompliance with these laws. With respect to those transactions not tested, nothing came to our attention that caused us to believe that the FBI was not in compliance with the laws cited above.