Semiannual Report to Congress
April 1, 2006-September 30, 2006
Office of the Inspector General
The USMS houses more than 47,000 detainees throughout the nation and is responsible for their transportation from the time they are brought into federal custody until they either are acquitted or incarcerated. To house the detainees, the USMS executes contracts known as Intergovernmental Service Agreements (IGA) with state and local governments to rent jail space. According to the USMS, 75 percent of the detainees in USMS custody are detained in state, local, and private facilities.
During this reporting period, we completed an audit of the IGA with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) in Portland, Oregon. According to Multnomah County records, the MCSO was paid approximately $5 million for 12 months ending June 30, 2002, and $6.2 million for 12 months ending June 30, 2004. Based on our audit of actual costs and daily population, we determined that the MCSO records only supported a jail-day rate of $111.96 rather than the $115.90 rate that the MCSO used. Our findings resulted in questioned costs and a recommendation to remedy $655,525 from the overstated jail-day rate.
During this reporting period, the OIG received 214 complaints involving the USMS. The most common allegations made against USMS employees included job performance failure, use of excessive force or other civil rights violations, and waste or mismanagement. The OIG opened 22 investigations and referred 187 other allegations to the USMS’s Office of Internal Affairs.
At the close of the reporting period, the OIG had 25 open cases of alleged misconduct against USMS employees. The following is an example of a case involving the USMS that the OIG’s Investigations Division investigated during this reporting period:
Procedural Reform Recommendation
The following PRR was sent to the USMS during this reporting period:
An investigation by the OIG’s Miami Field Office revealed deficiencies in a contract between the USMS and Fidelity Asset Management Solutions (Fidelity). Fidelity handles the majority of the functions related to managing the nationwide inventory of USMS forfeited real property. During an OIG investigation into the theft of private goods from within a vacant forfeited residence, we found that the USMS contract with Fidelity does not outline recordkeeping requirements for personal property not subject to forfeiture that is contained within forfeited real property. This deficiency prevented the USMS from fully accounting for the property stolen in this case.
We recommended that the USMS modify its contract with Fidelity to specify that the contractor is required to conduct a separate inventory of contents not subject to forfeiture when dealing with vacant forfeited real property. The separate inventory would ensure that: 1) the contractor’s performance is consistent with USMS policies, 2) items not subject to forfeiture are accounted for in the event of theft, and 3) USMS is in compliance with federal regulations with regard to the management and disposal of abandoned or unclaimed property. A response from the USMS to the PRR is pending.
USMS Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System
The Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System (JPATS) transfers prisoners and aliens in federal custody within the United States and overseas; performs scheduling, security, and medical functions in support of prisoner transportation; and provides air transportation for the USMS’s Witness Security Program and for federal government responses to crises such as the September 11, 2001, terrorism attacks and the hurricanes of 2005. Managed by the USMS, JPATS serves the BOP, USMS, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, military, and state and local law enforcement organizations. The OIG is evaluating the USMS’s operation of JPATS.
The OIG is reviewing the USMS’s efforts to protect the federal judiciary. This is a follow-up review to our inspection in 2004 of the USMS’s ability to assess threats and determine appropriate measures to protect members of the federal judiciary during high-threat trials and while they are away from the courthouse.
Audit of USMS’s Workforce Composition
The OIG is conducting an audit of the USMS’s workforce composition and its effect on organizational performance. As part of the audit, we will review issues related to the USMS’s human resources department, including management, planning, training, and utilization.
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