Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced today the release of his office’s annual report identifying the top management and performance challenges facing the DOJ. This year’s report identifies eight 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 Declining Resources
- Strengthening the Relationships Between Law Enforcement and Local Communities and Promoting Public Trust
- Coordinating Within the Department and Across Government to Fulfill the Department’s Mission to Combat Crime
- Administering and Overseeing Contracts and Grants
- Using Performance-Based Management to Improve Department Programs
- Filling Mission Critical Positions Despite Competition for Highly-Skilled Professionals and Delays in the Onboarding Process
In the video message released with the report, Inspector General Horowitz noted that at least two of the challenges—safeguarding national security and enhancing cybersecurity—“each present important challenges that will require the Department’s vigilance for the foreseeable future.”
With respect to the Department’s challenge to fulfill its mission to combat crime, Inspector General Horowitz stated, “It is critical for the Department to coordinate effectively with its federal, state, and local law enforcement partners through task forces, grants, and other technical assistance in order to address gang violence, the opioid epidemic, and other drug-related crimes that threaten communities.”
Today’s report also describes a continuing challenge that impacts many of the other Department challenges: the need for the Department to do a better job collecting, verifying, and analyzing performance data so that it can use performance-based management to improve its programs. As described in the report, the collection and analysis of performance measures is “crucial both to understanding the impact of the Department’s programs and to proactively identifying areas of risk.”
The report, 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 Department in its efforts to improve program performance 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/2017.pdf.
Video: The Inspector General’s video message about today’s report, along with a downloadable transcript, is available at the following link: https://oig.justice.gov/multimedia/video-11-16-17.htm#top.
Related reports: Top Challenges reports from previous years can be found here.