We have reviewed the findings and recommendations of the OIG's inspection of the use of reemployed annuitants by the INS. According to the draft report, the objective of the inspection was to "... review the INS' hiring of annuitants who received dual compensation waivers ..." and to review the INS" reemployment of annuitants for whom dual compensation reductions have been waived, to assess whether that authority has been used appropriately, and to evaluate whether the INS has developed long-term strategies to fill its officer training and adjudication functions without relying on this authority." In so doing, the OIG also reviewed the role of the Justice Management Division (JMD) and made recommendations. The following comments to the OIG Inspection Report's findings regarding JMD are provided for your consideration:
3. Recommend that the Assistant Attorney General for Administration, JMD, or the successor counterpart in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) utilize a formal record to document the analysis performed of each request for waivers and extensions by the INS.
We agree. However, it must be pointed out that such a system currently exists within the Personnel Staff (PS), JMD, and that individual records have been kept for every person for whom the INS requested a waiver or an extension of a waiver. A standard basis for decision-making also exists and was applied to every case. There is a checklist (which was included as Appendix II), that is used for all dual compensation waiver requests, not just INS'. Also, tables were set up which provided the rationale for approval or denial in the past, memoranda were issued which identified the retiree by name and reasoning behind approval or denial. Therefore, we must take issue with the report's statement to the contrary on Pages 4, 14, and 16.
5. Recommend that the Assistant Attorney General for Administration, JMD, or the successor component in the DHS consider not approving INS' requests for waiving annuity offsets against salaries if an agreeable long-term plan is not developed and implemented in a specific timeframe.
We agree. The need for the INS to develop an acceptable long-term hiring strategy is undisputed and imperative; however, this need had to be balanced against real-time mission requirements to address the homeland security issues being faced by this Department. JMD management implemented a compromise to address current mission needs while addressing long-term goals at the same time.
In reviewing the inspection report, we note one needed correction:
1) page 15, paragraph 3 first line - The Director of JMD's Personnel Staff is not responsible for approving the INS waivers and extensions of annuity offsets. This Is the responsibility of the Assistant Attorney General for Administration.