Review of the Office of Justice Programsí Forensic Science Improvement Grant Program

Evaluation and Inspections Report I-2006-002
December 2005
Office of the Inspector General


Conclusion and Recommendations


NIJ did not enforce the external investigation certification requirement imposed by the Justice for All Act of 2004 during the application process or exercise effective oversight of this aspect of the FY 2005 Coverdell Grant Program. The FY 2005 Coverdell Grant Program Announcement did not provide necessary guidance on how applicants could meet the external investigation certification requirement. The announcement also did notdirect applicants to name the government entity with a process in place to conduct independent external investigations into allegations of serious negligence or misconduct under the grant.

We believe that Coverdell Grant Program Announcements must provide necessary guidance to applicants and request the information required for NIJ to evaluate the external investigation certifications and conduct effective oversight of the grants. To meet the requirements of the Justice for All Act of 2004, we recommend that OJP, as part of its oversight of NIJ:

  1. Require that all Coverdell Grant Program Announcements contain guidance on what constitutes an independent external investigation and examples of government entities and processes that could satisfy the certification requirement.
  2. Require that each Coverdell Grant applicant, prior to receiving funds, provide the name of the government entity with a process in place to conduct independent external investigations into allegations of serious negligence or misconduct.
  3. Consider requiring each Coverdell Grant applicant, prior to receiving funds, to submit a letter from the government entity that will conduct independent external investigations acknowledging that the entity has the authority and process to investigate allegations of serious negligence or misconduct.



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