Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced today the release of a Procedural Reform Recommendation (PRR) for the Department of Justice. The DOJ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) releases PRRs when, through its investigative work, it identifies a systematic weakness in Justice Department operations, programs, policies, procedures, or practices, and has a recommendation to address the identified problem.
Today’s PRR arose out of an investigation into allegations that certain supervisory law enforcement officials received and accepted from a sports league the opportunity to purchase tickets to a major sporting event that were not generally available to the public at face value in 2017. The DOJ OIG concluded that because the officials paid face value for the tickets, they did not violate gift rules applicable to executive branch employees. However, the circumstances created an appearance that the officials were benefiting from or misusing their official positions. The OIG has therefore recommended that the Department issue guidance regarding the circumstances under which it is permissible for an employee to accept an offer to purchase tickets from a third party at face value, when the offer is made to the employee solely because of the employee’s official position, and is not also available to the general public.