This memorandum responds to report recommendations directed to the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) for action, included in the above-referenced Office of the Inspector General (OIG) draft audit report. The draft report contains eight recommendations; however, only Recommendations 1 and 3 through 8 are applicable to OJP. For ease of review, the seven recommendations pertaining to OJP are restated in bold, followed by our response to the recommendation.
- Develop and implement a method of coordination (with the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services) to identify proposed programs and grants that have similar purposes and eliminate any duplication of effort to ensure that awards are not made to the same grantee for similar purposes.
We agree with the recommendation. The OJP and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) will coordinate and exchange information on program purposes at the beginning of each fiscal year. If potential duplication is identified, OJP and COPS will coordinate, as appropriate, to ensure that duplication does not occur.
- Continue efforts to implement OJP's current reorganization plan.
We agree with the recommendation. In 2001, we began reorganization and streamlining through a two-phase reorganization plan. We have merged the programs and staffs of the Corrections Program Office and the Drug Courts Program Office into the Bureau of Justice Assistance. This merger consolidated overlapping functions, reduced management redundancy, and improved coordination and communication. We have also created the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) in recognition of the importance of mission-critical systems and the need for an agency-wide grants management system and management information system. In addition, we merged the Office of Congressional and Public Affairs and other information dissemination functions into one office.
In the near future, OJP will move forward to consolidate several administrative and support functions into the Office of Management and Administration. We will also merge the programs, functions, and staff of the Executive Office for Weed and Seed and the American Indian/Alaska Native Affairs Desk into the Community Capacity Development Office. Collectively, these action actions will move OJP toward greater centralization of management and improved communication and coordination across organizations and programs.
- Identify all the overlapping programs that will still exist after the reorganization is implemented and develop plans to either reorganize the overlapping programs or strengthen the communication between the overlapping programs to eliminate the duplication.
We agree with the recommendation. The Office of Justice Programs has embarked upon a multi-year effort to improve the way we accomplish our mission and serve our customers. To guide our improvement efforts we developed a comprehensive Management Plan that identifies and schedules our major change initiatives. One of our majqr performance improvement goals is to efficiently manage resources to ensure accountability across OJP and consistency with national policy goals. One of the strategies we have developed to enable us to achieve that goal is to develop internal mechanisms to collaborate in targeting resources to maximize impact. We will investigate the need for better internal collaboration, and establish more formal, organized methods to collaborate in areas of need. Recent OJP accomplishments to improve internal collaboration:
- Collaboration is becoming the standard among bureaus and programs as we work to exchange program strategies and simplify our processes and reduce burden.
- By reorganizing we are now able to provide better information on best practices and service for national training and technical assistance grants.
- The senior leadership team meets regularly to coordinate policy and share information concerning cross OJP issues.
- Senior managers meet regularly to discuss improvements to OJP operations and administrative services.
- Monitor the progress of efforts to fully automate the "Redbook" process and ensure that the process is fully automated by the end of calendar year 2003 as planned.
We agree with the recommendation. We are on track for fully implementing the Grants Management System (GMS) Build-Out program by the end of December 2003. The GMS Build-Out program will fully automate the OJP "Redbook" process from solicitation to close-out.
- Monitor the progress of actions to implement the consultant's recommendation to integrate the current GMS system with modules that would expand the system to manage grants from beginning to end, and ensure that the expanded system is fully implemented by the end of calendar year 2003 as planned.
We agree with the recommendation. We are on track for implementing by the end of December 2003, an enhanced GMS system with modules that would expand the system to manage grants from beginning to end.
- Monitor the progress of actions to identify and eliminate automated systems which perform duplicative functions or contain duplicative data, and ensure the duplicative systems are eliminated by the end of FY2003 as planned.
We agree with the recommendation. We are on track for eliminating duplicative systems by the end of December 2003. In coordination with the GMS Build-Out, the OCIO initiated the Legacy Brown-Out program to eliminate overlapping or duplicative existing automated systems after each phase of the GMS Build-Out program is implemented.
- Monitor the bureaus to ensure they use the GMS system to enable grantees to submit grant applications online for all bureau grant programs.
We agree with the recommendation. All OJP bureaus and program offices were mandated to use GMS for all grant solicitations and awards opened or announced after January 31, 2003, except for awards made under the State Criminal Alien Assistance program (SCAAP) and the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant (LLEBG) program. The SCAAP and LLEBG programs are already considered a part of OJP's electronic grant management system.
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.