The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General, Audit Division, has completed an audit of the use of DOJ equitable sharing revenues by the Camden County, Georgia, Sheriff’s Office (Sheriff’s Office) at the request of the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Georgia. Equitable sharing revenues represent a share of the proceeds from the forfeiture of assets seized in the course of certain criminal investigations.1 The audit covered the period July 1, 2004, through April 30, 2008, which included the Camden County’s fiscal years (FY) 2005 through 2007 and the first 10 months of FY 2008.2 During that period, the Sheriff’s Office was awarded DOJ equitable sharing revenues totaling $1,379,992 to support law enforcement operations and spent $1,865,866, which includes funds awarded prior to the audit period.
The Sheriff’s Office generally complied with equitable sharing guidelines regarding accounting for equitable sharing receipts, use of equitably shared property, interest earned on equitable sharing funds, and compliance with non-supplanting requirements. However, we found weaknesses related to the Sheriff’s Office Federal Equitable Sharing Agreement and the Federal Annual Certification Reports, and the use of equitable sharing revenues. Overall, we identified $663,659 in dollar-related findings, which is about 36 percent of total equitable sharing funds expended by the Sheriff’s Office during the period July 1, 2004, through April 30, 2008. Our findings include the following.
- Neither the Sheriff nor the Chairman of the Camden County Board of Commissioners signed the most recent edition of the Federal Equitable Sharing Agreement.
- The Sheriff was not personally signing the Federal Annual Certification Reports and the Chairman of the Camden County Board of Commissioners refused to sign the most recent Federal Annual Certification report for FY 2007.
- The Sheriff’s Office auditor was not coordinating his financial reporting with the County auditors resulting in disparities in reporting.
- The Sheriff’s Office procedures for documenting support for equitable sharing expenditures were inadequate.
- We identified $663,659 in questioned costs relating to equitable sharing funds, consisting of $200,937 in unsupported expenditures and $506,990 in unallowable costs.3
The results of our work are discussed in greater detail in the Findings and Recommendations section of the report. The audit objectives, scope, and methodology appear in Appendix I.
- The DOJ asset forfeiture program has three primary goals: (1) to punish and deter criminal activity by depriving criminals of property used or acquired through illegal activities; (2) to enhance cooperation among foreign, federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies through equitable sharing of assets recovered through this program; and, as a by-product, (3) to produce revenues to enhance forfeitures and strengthen law enforcement.
- The Camden County, Georgia, fiscal year begins on July 1 of each year.
- Costs of $44,268 were questioned both because of allowability and support, which is why the two component costs exceed the total amount of questioned costs.