Department of Justice Drug Demand Reduction Activities
Report No. 03-12
Office of the Inspector General
This memorandum responds to report recommendations directed to the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) for action, included in the Office of the Inspector General's (OIG's) draft audit report entitled "Department of Justice Drug Demand Reduction Activities." The draft report contains 10 recommendations; however, only Recommendations 2, 3, 8, and 9 are applicable to OJP. For ease of review, Recommendations 2, 3, 8, and 9 are restated in bold, followed by our response to the recommendation.
Recommendation 2: Ensure that the Drug Courts Program is reported as drug demand reduction in future ONDCP submissions.
We agree with this recommendation. Consistent with the Office of the National Drug Control Policy's (ONDCP's) definitions of the prevention, intervention, and treatment aspects of demand reduction, OJP agrees to report the Drug Courts Program as a demand reduction program beginning in Fiscal Year (FY) 2003.
In the OJP Response to National Drug Control Strategy submitted in April 2002, OJP proposed scoring the Drug Courts program as a demand reduction program, moving it from the state and local assistance drug control function to treatment because it provides drug abusing, non-violent offenders with comprehensive, judicially supervised drug treatment, drug testing, incentives, and sanctions, as an alternative to incarceration. Drug courts are a community-based response to the increasing numbers of nonviolent, alcohol and other drug abusing offenders who contribute to pervasive problems of prison and jail overcrowding and who maintain a high rate off recidivism. This collaborative effort is an intervention/treatment effort designed to reduce addiction and crime.
Recommendation 3: Ensure that the estimates used to report the Weed and Seed Program obligations to the ONDCP are reasonable and supported by adequate documentation.
We agree with this recommendation. The May 2002 ONDCP Circular, Budget Formulation, lists the Weed and Seed Program as one of the budget decision units included in the drug budget. Based on this ONDCP guidance, 100 percent of the funding for the Weed and Seed program is to be included in the National Drug Control Budget. Prior to the May 2002 Circular, only 50 percent of the Weed and Seed program funds were scored as drug-related.
The Weed and Seed program is a community-based initiative that provides an innovative, comprehensive multi-agency approach to law enforcement, crime prevention, and community revitalization. Based on ONDCP guidance and the ONDCP functional definitions, OJP will score approximately 89 percent of the $58.925 million in Weed and Seed funding as state and local law enforcement assistance, which includes all enforcement, adjudication, prosecution, and supervision activities designed to target, apprehend, and incapacitate violent street criminals who terrorize neighborhoods and account for a disproportionate percentage of criminal activity. The remaining 11 percent ($6.675 million) is scored as drug prevention as detailed in the chart below.
Weed and Seed Drug Prevention Programs and Activities
Recommendation 8: Ensure that verifiable and measurable outcome-based performance indicators are established for each of its 12 programs identified in this audit report.
We agree with this recommendation. As mandated by the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), the Office of Budget and Management Services (OBMS) implemented procedures during FY 2002 for annually verifying performance metric indicator data by the end of March each year. The new procedures require that OBMS coordinate with the appropriate Bureau/Program Office to obtain and review performance data source documentation submitted by the grantee organization. Based on OBMS' review, if necessary, OBMS will prepare a Corrective Action Report, which states the finding/recommendation, the action to be taken to correct the problem(s) detected, and a timetable for correcting the problem. To ensure prompt action has been taken by the Bureau/Program Office, OBMS will follow up with the Bureau/Program within 30 days. If corrective action is not taken by the Bureau/Program Office, OBMS will continue to follow up until corrective action is fully implemented. The Office of Budget and Management Services will continually review and enhance its process for verifying performance measures of its program activities.
We are fully committed to improving performance management of our programs and activities, and ensuring that meaningful outcomes to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of our programs are established. We are prepared to dedicate resources towards accomplishing this effort. In FY 2003, OJP will develop an agency level strategic and performance plan, which will yield, for the first time, outcome performance measures specific to OJP's strategic goals and objectives.
As stated in the ONDCP guidance issued in May 2002, only the following seven OJP programs are included in the National Drug Control Budget, and four of these, in whole or in part, are proposed to be scored as demand reduction activities.
OJP Programs Reported to ONDCP as of May 2002 ONDCP Guidance
Recommendation 9: Work with the OLP (Office on Legal Policy) to develop a formalized mechanism for coordinating and sharing information related to drug demand reduction activities among the components.
We agree with this recommendation. The Office of Justice Programs welcomes the opportunity to coordinate and share information related to drug demand reduction activities among the components, and will fully participate in efforts to develop and implement this mechanism.
We appreciate the opportunity to provide comments to the draft report. If you have any questions about this response, please feel free to contact me on (202) 307-5933, or LeToya Johnson, OJP Audit Liaison, on (202) 514-0692.