April 1, 2004September 30, 2004
Office of the Inspector General
Highlights of OIG Activities
The following table summarizes OIG activities discussed in this report. As these statistics and the following highlights illustrate, the OIG has conducted wide-ranging oversight of Department programs and operations.
April 1, 2004 - September 30, 2004
|Allegations Received by the Investigations Division ||3,871|
|Investigations Opened ||179|
|Investigations Closed ||232|
|Administrative Actions ||63|
|Audit Reports Issued ||99|
|Questioned Costs ||$21 million|
|Funds Put to Better Use ||$1.1 million|
|Recommendations for Management Improvements ||424|
Examples of the OIG's audits, evaluations, and special reports completed during this semiannual reporting period include:
- The FBI's Foreign Language Translation Program. The OIG audited the FBI's translation of counterterrorism and counterintelligence foreign language material and found that the FBI did not translate all the material it collected. In addition, the audit noted that the FBI is not effectively prioritizing its translation workload. The OIG provided 18 recommendations to help improve the FBI's Foreign Language Translation Program.
- Handling of Intelligence Information Prior to 9/11. The OIG issued a classified report describing the results of a review that examined the FBI's handling of certain intelligence information prior to the September 11 terrorist attacks, including the FBI's handling of the Moussaoui case, a document known as the Phoenix Electronic Communication, and the Hazmi/Mihdhar case. The OIG provided copies of the classified final report to the FBI, congressional committees, and the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, which cited our work in its final report.
- Effects of the FBI's Reprioritization. The OIG reviewed the changes in the FBI's allocation of personnel resources and determined that the FBI has reallocated staff positions in accord with its changed priorities. This detailed statistical review described how the FBI changed its resource allocations since September 11.
- Inspecting Licensed Firearms Dealers. The OIG examined the ATF's program for inspecting Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL) and found that the program is not fully effective in ensuring that FFLs comply with federal firearms laws. We found that the ATF's inspections of FFLs are infrequent and of inconsistent quality. The OIG made nine recommendations to improve the inspection program, including developing a standard inspection process, revising staffing requirements, improving the comprehensiveness of crime gun tracing by law enforcement agencies, and creating a tracking system to monitor the progress and timeliness of FFL denials and revocations.
- Enforcement of Brady Act Violations. The OIG examined how the ATF responds to violations of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 (Brady Act), which result in prohibited persons obtaining firearms. The OIG found that firearms retrievals were not always timely, that few such cases were prosecuted, and that the ATF's Brady Operations Branch does not have sufficient resources to pursue Brady Act violations in a timely manner. We made ten recommendations to the ATF to help better manage its Brady Act caseload and improve the effectiveness of its process for referring cases to ATF field agents and prosecutors.
- Muslim Religious Services Providers. The OIG reviewed the BOP's procedures for recruiting, selecting, and supervising individuals to provide Islamic religious services to federal inmates. The review documented a number of deficiencies in the process, leading to concerns that inappropriate and extremist messages may be delivered to inmates. The OIG's report made 16 recommendations to help the BOP improve its process for selecting, screening, and supervising Muslim religious services providers.
- Department Shooting Incidents. The OIG evaluated how the ATF, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) reported, investigated, and reviewed shooting incidents involving their special agents or deputy marshals. The OIG reported on the different processes employed by the components, the timeliness of administrative reviews of shooting incidents, their adherence to a requirement to submit a written report to senior managers within one day of a shooting incident, whether the components rely on local law enforcement agencies to conduct criminal investigations of shooting incidents, and the composition of their shooting review boards. The OIG recommended that the Department establish a working group to consider developing uniform standards for reporting and reviewing shooting incidents.
- The FBI's DNA Laboratory. The OIG reviewed the FBI's DNA Laboratory after a former FBI biologist intentionally bypassed an important step in the DNA testing process and produced dozens of DNA profiles that were scientifically invalid and unusable in court. The OIG report examined vulnerabilities in the protocols and practices in the FBI's DNA Laboratory. In our report, we provided 35 recommendations to address the vulnerabilities we identified.
Investigations of Misconduct
As shown in the statistics in the table at the beginning of this section, the OIG investigates hundreds of allegations of misconduct. Examples of the OIG's investigations discussed in this report include:
- A BOP instructor pled guilty to bribery of a public official after the teacher received more than $65,000 in exchange for promising to provide a federal inmate with benefits such as early release from prison, use of a cell phone, and food from outside the prison.
- A DEA cashier was arrested and pled guilty to unlawfully taking $37,000 in government money from her office imprest fund.
- An FBI special agent was alleged to have misused his official position by engaging in a sexual relationship with female acquaintances of a cooperating witness and discussing FBI investigations and sensitive procedures with unauthorized persons. The FBI special agent resigned his position as a result of this investigation.
This report also describes many ongoing OIG reviews of important issues throughout the
- The FBI's Terrorist Screening Center.
- The ATF's implementation of the Safe Explosives Act.
- The Department's operation of counterterrorism task forces.
- Implementation of the Attorney General's Guidelines for Key Investigative Programs.
- The USMS's administration of the Witness Security Program.