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Semiannual Report to Congress

October 1, 2001ĖMarch 31, 2002
Office of the Inspector General


MESSAGE FROM THE INSPECTOR GENERAL

This semiannual report summarizes the work of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) from October 1, 2001, through March 31, 2002. The audits, inspections, investigations, reviews, and other activities highlighted in this report illustrate our continuing commitment to helping improve the integrity and efficiency of Department of Justice (Department) operations.

Since the September 11 terrorist attacks, the OIG has joined other Department components in focusing many of our resources on oversight involving the Departmentís counterterrorism priorities. For example, the OIG initiated and completed four follow-up reviews, based on previously issued OIG reports, that examined Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) programs critical to preventing terrorists or criminals from entering or remaining in the United States. The OIG also initiated a series of reviews in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), including examinations of the FBIís use of counter-terrorism funds, its management of information technology systems, and its allocation of resources to handle the many crimes under its jurisdiction.

The USA Patriot Act directed the Inspector General to "receive and review" allegations of civil rights and civil liberties abuses by Department employees. In furtherance of this mandate, the OIG is investigating several specific allegations of abuse and has initiated an inspection of the civil rights and civil liberties protections afforded non-citizens detained in certain facilities in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

This report also describes several sensitive investigations undertaken at the request of the Attorney General and Congress, such as our ongoing investigation of the FBIís actions in connection with the Robert Hanssen espionage case and a review of the INSís actions in sending confirmation notices of student visa approvals to a Florida flight school for two of the terrorists involved in the September 11 attacks.

On March 19, 2002, the OIG issued a comprehensive report on the belated production of docu-ments in the Oklahoma City bombing case. This report found that widespread failures by the FBI led to the belated disclosure of more than 1,000 documents related to the trials of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. The OIG made ten recommendations for discipline of several FBI employees, as well as a series of systemic recommendations relating to the FBIís computer systems and document management.

This reporting period also marks the first 6-month period in which the OIG has had authority to investigate allegations of misconduct involving FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) employees. We appreciate the Attorney Generalís confidence in the OIG by assigning us these new responsibilities, and we are grateful to Congress for providing additional funding to help us meet these expanded duties.

Glenn Fine's signature
Glenn A. Fine
Inspector General
April 30, 2002