The following table summarizes OIG activities discussed in this report. As these statistics and the following highlights illustrate, the OIG continues to conduct wide-ranging oversight of Department programs and operations.
April 1, 2007 – September 30, 2007
|Allegations Received by the Investigations Division||5,150|
|Audit Reports Issued||137|
|Questioned Costs||$22 million|
|Funds Put to Better Use||$350,000|
|Recommendations for Management Improvements||330|
Examples of OIG audits, evaluations, and special reports completed during this semiannual reporting period include:
Follow-up Review of the Terrorist Screening Center.The OIG completed a follow-up review of the Terrorist Screening Center, a multi-agency effort administered by the FBI to consolidate terrorist watchlists and provide around-the-clock responses for screening individuals. Our follow-up review determined that the Terrorist Screening Center has made improvements since our previous audit was completed in 2005. However, the Center has not ensured that the information in its consolidated database is complete and accurate, its management of the watchlist database continues to have significant weaknesses, and the database continues to lack important safeguards for ensuring data integrity.
Judicial Security. The OIG completed a follow-up review of the USMS’s progress in evaluating and responding to threats made against federal judges and other court personnel that the USMS protects. Our follow-up report found that the USMS’s efforts to assess reported threats and identify potential threats against the judiciary languished after our initial review was issued in 2004. Our follow-up review found that, more than 2 years after issuance of our 2004 report, the USMS still had a backlog of 1,190 threat assessments. However, during our follow-up review the USMS assigned additional resources to address the backlog and as a result the backlog has been eliminated. We also found that the USMS has made only limited progress with its Office of Protective Intelligence program, which was established, in part, to provide a centralized unit to proactively identify potential threats, because additional resources primarily were assigned to reduce the backlog of pending threats and assess new threats rather than proactively identify potential threats. We determined that the USMS has successfully implemented a home alarm program for federal judges and has begun enhancing its Technical Operations Group to provide sophisticated technological support for judicial security investigations and intelligence work. The USMS concurred with most of our recommendations.
Coordination of Violent Crime Task Force Investigations. An OIG review of the coordination efforts among four of the Department’s violent crime task forces determined that the Department did not adequately coordinate the operations of its violent crime task forces to prevent duplication of effort. However, we found that task forces in four of the eight cities we visited were better coordinated because the U.S. attorneys and local task force managers there implemented local policies on coordination, and the task forces used information-sharing systems to coordinate their operations. The Department agreed with our recommendations and has since required each component to certify that it has adopted a policy requiring the use of information-sharing and deconfliction measures to coordinate investigations in areas where more than one violent crime task force operates. The Department also directed U.S. attorneys to report to the Department on violent crime task force coordination efforts, the nature of any coordination problems identified, and guidance or policies adopted or revised to address problems.
Hanssen Report Recommendations. The OIG issued a follow-up report examining the FBI’s progress in responding to recommendations made in our August 2003 review of the FBI’s handling of Robert Hanssen, the most damaging FBI spy in U.S. history. Our 2003 review concluded that Hanssen escaped detection because of longstanding systemic problems in the FBI’s counterintelligence program and a deeply flawed internal security program. Our follow-up report found that, while the FBI has made significant progress in implementing most of our recommendations, it has not fully implemented several critical recommendations and its progress in several other areas has been mixed. The OIG’s current report found that the FBI agreed to dedicate a new unit exclusively to determining whether the FBI has been penetrated and to fill a senior operational position in its Counterespionage Section with a representative from the Intelligence Community. However, the FBI still has not fully implemented several critical internal security recommendations. For example, we determined that the FBI has not established a central repository to receive, collect, store, and analyze derogatory information concerning FBI employees, and its progress in improving its background reinvestigation program has been mixed. The FBI agreed to implement both previous and new OIG recommendations.
Sentinel III: Status of the FBI’s Development of its Case Management System. The OIG’s third audit examining the FBI’s ongoing development of its Sentinel case management project determined that the FBI has implemented several management controls and processes designed to help it adequately manage the development of Sentinel and bring it to a successful conclusion. We also found that the FBI has made progress addressing most of the concerns we identified in our two previous audits. However, we concluded that the FBI must make additional progress in certain areas, such as the implementation of its earned value management system and risk management. Our report contained nine new recommendations to help ensure the success of the Sentinel project. The FBI agreed with the recommendations.
The Department’s Reporting Procedures for Loss of Sensitive Electronic Information. The OIG examined the processes components must follow when reporting computer security incidents, identifying loss of sensitive electronic information, and notifying individuals whose personally identifiable information may have been lost. When reviewing the policies and procedures for reporting loss of sensitive information at nine Department components, we found that the components did not always report computer security or personally identifiable information incidents within timeframes required by Department and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) standards. We also determined that neither the Department nor any of the components we reviewed have procedures for notifying individuals who could be affected by a loss of personally identifiable information. We made eight recommendations to help the Department and its components improve procedures for responding to the loss of sensitive electronic information. The Department concurred with our recommendations.
Investigations of Misconduct
As shown in the statistics in the table at the beginning of this section, the OIG investigates many allegations of misconduct involving Department employees or contractors hired with Department money. Examples of the OIG’s investigations discussed in this semiannual report include:
An OIG investigation led to the arrest of 11 Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) correctional officers charged with violating the civil rights of 2 inmates at the BOP Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York. According to indictments issued in the Eastern District of New York, five correctional officers participated in a planned beating of an inmate and then attempted to disguise the attack by claiming in written reports that the inmate became combative as they attempted to prevent him from committing suicide. In a separate incident, five correctional officers, including one who participated in the previously described attack, physically assaulted an inmate in an elevator while escorting him to a special housing unit within the facility. These five correctional officers and two additional officers also were charged with writing false reports concerning this incident. Several of the defendants pled guilty to these offenses, and trials on the remaining defendants are upcoming.
An investigation by the OIG’s Los Angeles Field Office determined that a BOP correctional officer accepted $10,000 in bribes in exchange for smuggling contraband into the Federal Correctional Complex in Lompoc, California, and a second correctional officer met with an undercover agent and accepted 5 ounces of black tar heroin, an iPod, and a $7,500 bribe in exchange for smuggling contraband into the institution. Both correctional officers were charged with bribery and introduction of contraband. The first correctional officer was sentenced to 18 months’ incarceration followed by 24 months’ supervised release. The second correctional officer was sentenced to 30 months’ incarceration followed by 24 months’ supervised release.
An OIG investigation determined that a deputy U.S. marshal accepted multiple bribes totaling approximately $6,000 from a confidential informant in exchange for providing sensitive law enforcement information to the informant on numerous occasions. The deputy U.S. marshal resigned from his position as a result of our investigation. Sentencing is pending.
An OIG investigation determined that a Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee liaison in the U.S. Attorneys’ Office (USAO) in the Southern District of Alabama obtained sensitive information on a federal grand jury investigation and provided that information to unauthorized persons. The liaison pled guilty to theft of public property.
This report also describes ongoing OIG reviews of important issues throughout the Department, including:
Follow-up review of the FBI’s use of national security letters and Section 215 orders
Review of the FBI’s involvement in and observations of detainee interrogations in Guantanamo Bay, Iraq, and Afghanistan
The Department’s removal of U.S. attorneys and alleged politicization in the hiring of Department career employees
Review of the Department’s involvement with the NSA’s Terrorist Surveillance Program
Review of the Department’s watchlist nomination process
The FBI’s efforts to resolve terrorist threats and suspicious incidents
The FBI’s efforts to combat crimes against children
The BOP’s efforts to manage inmate health care
Reviews of ATF’s and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) controls over weapons, laptops, and other sensitive property
The Department’s Victim Notification System