The United States Marshals Service (USMS) assumes custody of individuals arrested by all federal agencies and is responsible for the housing and transportation of prisoners from the time they are brought into federal custody until they are either acquitted or incarcerated. Each day, the USMS houses more than 47,000 detainees throughout the nation. In order to house these pre-sentenced detainees, the USMS establishes 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.
On January 1, 2001, the USMS established an IGA, number 65-01-0028, with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), located in Portland, Oregon. According to the IGA, prisoners are housed in the MCSO facilities at a rate of $115.90 per jail day.1 According to Multnomah County records, the MCSO was paid $6,218,383 under the IGA for the 12 months ending June 30, 2004, and $5,003,403 for the 12 months ending June 30, 2002.
The purpose of the audit was to determine if the allowable costs for the detention and care of inmates under the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-87, “Cost Principles for State, Local and Indian Tribal Government” supported the jail day rate.2 Based on our audit of actual costs and daily population, we determined that the MCSO records supported a jail day rate of $111.96 which resulted in questioned costs of $655,525.