Semiannual Report to Congress
October 1, 2005-March 31, 2006
Office of the Inspector General
The IG Act directs the OIG to review proposed legislation and regulations relating to the programs and operations of the Department. Although the Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs reviews all proposed or enacted legislation that could affect the Department’s activities, the OIG independently reviews proposed legislation that affects it and legislation that relates to waste, fraud, or abuse in the Department’s programs or operations.
During this reporting period, Congress supported legislation in The Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 that included recommendations from an April 2005 OIG report entitled, “Deterring Staff Sexual Abuse of Federal Inmates.” The legislation increases the statutory penalties that apply to sexual abuse of federal inmates by correctional staff, expands federal jurisdiction to cover sexual abuse of federal inmates confined in non-federal facilities, and expands federal jurisdiction to cover introduction of contraband in state, local, or contract facilities housing federal inmates. The OIG concluded in its report that the federal law then in place was insufficient for deterring sexual abuse at federal correctional facilities because only misdemeanor penalties applied to sexual abuse or sexual contact of an inmate without the use of force or overt threats. The report also noted a deficiency in the federal law because it did not apply to either staff sexual abuse of inmates or the introduction of contraband into correctional facilities by staff or inmates when those crimes occurred in facilities under contract to the federal government rather than in BOP facilities.
In addition, the OIG reviewed legislation on proposed changes to the whistleblower regulations in 28 C.F.R. Part 27, which govern the process designed to protect FBI employees from retaliation for making protected disclosures. The OIG also reviewed a provision in the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 that would establish an Inspector General for the intelligence community and grant that Inspector General the “final decision” regarding whether the OIG could undertake particular investigations, audits, or inspections involving certain FBI programs or personnel.
Other legislation reviewed by the OIG during this reporting period included the Fiscal Year 2006 Department of Justice Appropriations Conference Report and the USA Patriot Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005.