DOJ OIG Releases Report on the Top Management and Performance Challenges Facing the Department of Justice
The Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) announced today the release of its annual report identifying the top management and performance challenges facing the Justice Department. This year’s report from the DOJ OIG has particular relevance, as it provides a snapshot of the most significant issues facing the Justice Department as it prepares for the upcoming Presidential transition.
The report identifies nine areas that the OIG believes represent the most pressing concerns for the DOJ:
- Safeguarding National Security and Ensuring Privacy and Civil Liberties Protections
- Enhancing Cybersecurity in an Era of Increasing Threats
- Managing an Overcrowded Federal Prison System in an Era of Limited Budgets and Continuing Security Concerns
- Strengthening the Relationships Between Law Enforcement and Local Communities Through Partnership and Oversight
- Helping to Address Violent Crime Through Effective Management of Department Anti-Violence Programs
- Ensuring Effective Management and Oversight of Law Enforcement Programs and Promoting Public Trust
- Monitoring Department Contracts and Grants
- Managing Human Capital and Promoting Diversity With a Workforce Increasingly Eligible to Retire
- Using Performance-Based Management to Improve DOJ Programs
In a video message released with the report, Inspector General Horowitz noted that at least two of the challenges – safeguarding national security and cybersecurity – “are important to both the Department and every American.” He added, “We believe the recent terrorist attacks on our homeland and several notorious hacks of American IT systems demonstrate that these challenges are formidable, and will demand the Department’s close attention for the foreseeable future.”
Two of the challenges identified in the OIG’s report are new: Helping to Address Violent Crime Through Effective Management of Department Anti-Violence Programs and Managing Human Capital and Promoting Diversity With a Workforce Increasingly Eligible to Retire.
In his video message, Horowitz said of the violent crime challenge, “With neighborhoods in some major cities overwhelmed by gang and gun violence, the Department can play an important role in addressing this problem by effectively marshaling federal resources, and by sharing knowledge from communities that have reduced violent crime.”
With respect to managing human capital, the report points out that the issue has become more pressing because, as of September 2014, about 31 percent of the DOJ’s permanent career employees were eligible to retire by 2019. “The Department is therefore faced with the difficult task of recruiting and retaining large numbers of experienced attorneys, agents, and other professionals with the specialized skills necessary to combat terrorism, cyberattacks, financial crime, and public corruption,” Horowitz said.
Today’s report also describes one challenge that “permeates all of the other Department challenges”: the need for the DOJ to do a better job selecting, collecting, and analyzing key metrics so that it can use performance-based management to improve its programs. As described in today’s report, the collection and analysis of performance measures is essential to the effective and efficient management of DOJ resources, and to ensuring that its programs consistently achieve the greatest possible impact.
The report released today, which was transmitted to the DOJ last month and released pursuant to statute as part of the DOJ’s Agency Financial Report, is intended to help the DOJ develop innovative solutions and exercise careful oversight to ensure the effectiveness of its operations.
The challenges are identified based on the OIG’s oversight work, research, and judgment. The OIG has prepared similar reports since 1998.
Report: The report released today is available on the OIG’s website under “Recent Reports” and at the following link: https://oig.justice.gov/challenges/2016.pdf.
Video: The Inspector General’s video message about today’s report, along with a downloadable transcript, is available at https://oig.justice.gov/multimedia/.
Related reports: Top Challenges reports from previous years can be found here.