Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced today the release of a Management Advisory Memorandum to the Acting Deputy Attorney General and the Acting Director of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) identifying an insider threat risk within the DOJ and the DEA.
The DOJ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) identified this risk in connection with an investigation of a former DEA contract employee, who had access to DEA law enforcement sensitive information while also having suspected ties to individuals or entities involved in criminal activity. The OIG found that DEA contract employees are required to sign a document certifying that they will abide by certain standards of conduct, including not associating with individuals known to be connected with criminal activities. However, the DEA did not ensure that its contract employees signed this document. We further found that the standards of conduct for DEA contract employees were not as demanding as the standards of conduct for DEA personnel. In addition, the OIG learned that applicants for both regular and contract employee positions DOJ-wide are not routinely asked about associations with individuals known or suspected to be involved in illegal drug trafficking or other criminal activity during background investigations or suitability reviews.
The DOJ OIG made two recommendations to the DEA and one recommendation to the DOJ to address the concerns we identified. The DOJ and DEA agreed with the recommendations.