The Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) announced today the release of a report examining the National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ) Management and Oversight of DNA Backlog Reduction Grantees’ Reporting and Use of Program Income. State and local government grantees in this program received more than $302 million from NIJ during fiscal years 2010 through 2013 to increase the capability for public DNA laboratories to process more DNA cases. Grantees are allowed to generate income from their grant-funded services, but they are required to put a portion of that income back into their grant budget to further reduce backlogged DNA cases.
In today’s report, the DOJ OIG finds that the NIJ is not adequately managing the income generated by DNA Backlog Reduction grantees, and as a result the NIJ cannot ensure that the grantees are using this income to reduce the backlog of DNA cases. The OIG’s specific findings include:
- The NIJ’s process for identifying grantees that generate program income needs improvement, which would allow the NIJ to provide more effective oversight. In particular, the NIJ should strengthen its ability to assess whether a grantee’s potential for generating program income has changed during the grant period.
- The NIJ lacks procedures for following up with grantees that have the potential to generate program income. As a result, the NIJ is unable to determine whether grantees are in fact generating, accounting for, reporting, and appropriately using program income.
- Guidance from NIJ and the DOJ Office of Justice Programs about how to calculate and report program income was unclear, resulting in grantee confusion in identifying program income and errors in allocating it to the federal award.
Today’s report makes four recommendations to the NIJ to improve its policies and practices, and to strengthen its oversight of the reporting and use of program income by DNA Backlog Reduction Program grant recipients. The NIJ agreed with all of the recommendations.
Today’s report is available on the OIG’s website at the following link: https://oig.justice.gov/reports/2016/a1615.pdf.