The Office of the Inspector General, Audit Division, has completed an audit of two Convicted Offender DNA Backlog Reduction Program grants awarded by the United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (OJP), to the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ), located in Sacramento, California. The purpose of the Convicted Offender DNA Backlog Reduction Program grants was to significantly reduce the backlog of convicted offender DNA samples awaiting DNA profiling.1 At the start of the first grant, Laboratory officials estimated that there was a backlog of DNA samples in progress, or not yet started of about 221,000. As of September 1, 2006, OJP had awarded the CA DOJ a total of $1,513,224 for the two grants.
The objective of this audit was to determine whether reimbursements claimed for costs under the grants were allowable, supported, and in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, guidelines, and terms and conditions of the grants.
We found that the CA DOJ generally complied with the terms and conditions of the grants, with one exception. The CA DOJ did not timely submit to OJP its semiannual Progress Reports for either of the grants that we audited. As a result, we recommended that CA DOJ improve its grant reporting practices.
We discuss these matters in the Findings and Recommendations Section of this report. We discussed the results of our audit with CA DOJ officials and have included their comments in the report, as applicable. In addition, we requested written responses to our draft report from CA DOJ and OJP, which are included in this report as Appendices II and III, respectively. Our audit objective, scope, and methodology appear in Appendix I of this report.
DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is genetic material found in almost all living cells that contains encoded information necessary for building and maintaining life. Approximately 99.9 percent of human DNA is the same for all people. The differences found in the remaining 0.1 percent allow scientists to develop a unique set of DNA identification characteristics (a DNA profile) for an individual by analyzing a specimen containing DNA.