Semiannual Report to Congress

October 1, 2009 – March 31, 2010
Office of the Inspector General


Office of Justice Programs
OJP logo OJP manages the majority of the Departmentís grant programs and is responsible for developing initiatives to address crime at the state and local level. OJP is composed of 5 bureaus – Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), and Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) – as well as the Community Capacity Development Office and the Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking Office.

Reports Issued

Southwest Border Prosecution Initiative Reimbursements

This OIG audit examined the reimbursements awarded by the Department under the Southwest Border Prosecution Initiative (SWBPI), a program administered by OJP. SWBPI is a program in which the Department provides reimbursement to the four Southwest border states and local jurisdictions for prosecution and pre-trial detention costs in federally initiated cases that are declined by the USAOs.

The OIG audit examined over $14 million in SWBPI reimbursements received by nine California counties during FY 2002 through FY 2007. The audit determined that reimbursements totaling over $12 million (85 percent) were unallowable or unsupported.

The audit found that six of the nine counties had hired a contractor, Public Resource Management Group, to manage their SWBPI reimbursement requests. The contractor provided inaccurate guidance to these six counties and, as a result, the counties submitted and received reimbursement from OJP for cases that were ineligible for reimbursement under SWBPI guidelines. We also identified an additional county that did not use the contractor but used the same inaccurate criteria to submit and receive reimbursement for unallowable cases. The remaining two counties that we audited did not use the contractor, and the majority of the cases they submitted for reimbursement were allowable.

The results of our SWBPI audits for the seven counties using inaccurate criteria were investigated by the OIG Investigations Division and referred to the USAOs for the Northern and Eastern Districts of California. The USAOs reached settlement agreements with the seven counties totaling $11.03 million in funds to be paid back to the United States for unallowable cases.

Specifically, the USAO for the Northern District of California reached agreements under which the counties agreed to pay back to the United States the following amounts:  San Francisco County – $5,228,192; San Mateo County – $1,513,921; Humboldt County – $416,986; Lake County – $989,605; San Benito County – $397,984; and Mendocino County – $1,793,045. The USAO for the Eastern District of California reached an agreement that provided for Siskiyou County to pay the United States $695,080.

We also referred the contractor’s involvement in the submission of unallowable SWBPI reimbursements to the USAO for the Northern District of California, which concluded that because the contractor had dissolved and SWBPI funds had been received by the counties rather than the contractor, it would not seek a civil recovery against the contractor.

In our report, we recommended that OJP implement procedures to analyze SWBPI reimbursements to identify anomalies and unallowable or unsupported payments. OJP agreed with our recommendation.

Audits of OJP Grants to State and Local Entities

During this reporting period, the OIG continued to conduct audits of grants awarded by OJP. Examples of findings from these audits included the following:

Investigations

During this reporting period, the OIG received 20 complaints involving OJP employees, contractors, or grantees. The most common allegation made was grantee fraud. The OIG opened 9 cases and referred several complaints to OJP for its review and appropriate action.

At the close of the reporting period, the OIG had 31 open criminal or administrative investigations of alleged misconduct related to OJP employees, contractors, or grantees. The majority of these criminal investigations involved allegations of grantee fraud. The following are examples of cases involving OJP that the OIG’s Investigations Division handled during this reporting period:

Ongoing Work

OJP’s Management of its Prisoner Re-entry Initiatives

The OIG is assessing the adequacy of OJP’s design and management of its prisoner re-entry initiative grant programs, including the Serious and Violent Offender Re-entry Initiative.

 


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