General Accounting Office (GAO) Reports
Community Policing: Information on the "COPS on the Beat" Grant Programs, Report No. GAO/GGD-96-4, October 1995:
This report did not cite weaknesses but provided information on: (1) the COPS grant application, selection, and monitoring processes; (2) the reasons jurisdictions applied for COPS grants; (3) the reasons jurisdictions chose not to apply for COPS grants; and (4) the primary public safety issues among approved COPS grant applicants.
Community Policing: Issues Related to the Design, Operation, and Management of the Grant Program, Report No. GAO/GGD-97-167, September 1997:
This report disclosed that COPS monitored grant activities on a limited basis during the first 2-1/2 years of the program. Specifically, COPS did not: (1) consistently collect or review information on activities and accomplishments for COPS-funded programs, and (2) systematically monitor COPS grantees through site visits or by telephone. The report went on to state that in January 1997, COPS began taking steps to increase the level of its monitoring by: (1) developing monitoring guidelines, (2) revising reporting forms, (3) piloting on-site monitoring visits, and (4) initiating telephone monitoring of grantees.
Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General Reports
Audit Report of Violent Crime Reduction Trust Fund Annual Financial Statement, Fiscal Year 1995, Report No. 97-15A, March 1997:
This report disclosed four weaknesses in the COPS program. First, the official general ledger did not properly reflect grant transactions of COPS with its grantees. This occurred because: (1) payments to grantees were reflected as expenses whether or not the payments were advances or reimbursements, and (2) reimbursements due to grantees for expenses incurred were not recorded as accounts payable. Second, many grantees had not submitted the Initial Department Report to COPS, and COPS had not adequately followed up on the delinquent reports. Third, many grantees had not submitted Financial Status Reports to OJP, and OJP had not adequately followed up on the delinquent reports. Fourth, grantee advances, accounts payable and expenses were inaccurately reported because the data used were not current. The recommendations in this report related to these four weaknesses have been closed.
Audit Report of Office of Justice Programs Annual Financial Statement, Fiscal Year 1996, Report No. 97-23A, July 1997:
This report disclosed two weaknesses related to COPS grants. First, many of the Financial Status Reports were missing from the official grant files. Second, OJP did not accurately report grantee advances, accounts payable and grant expenses. The recommendations in this report related to these two weaknesses have been closed.
Audit Report of Office of Justice Programs Annual Financial Statement, Fiscal Year 1997, Report No. 98-10A, March 1998:
This report disclosed that OJP did not accurately report grantee advances, accounts payable and grant expenses. The recommendation in this report related to this weakness has been closed.
Audit Report of Offices, Boards and Divisions Annual Financial Statement, Fiscal Year 1997, Report No. 98-25, September 1998:
This report disclosed numerous weaknesses in the COPS program. Specifically:
(1) OJP did not timely provide COPS the accrual for unbilled grantee expenses, (2) COPS did not monitor OJP during the year to determine whether controls over grant accounting were operating effectively, (3) COPS did not have documentation to show that grantees would retain the funded positions after the grants expire, (4) COPS could not adequately monitor whether grantees used grant funds to supplant local funds because many grantees did not submit the annual progress reports, (5) COPS did not provide documentation of completed grantee reviews to show the reviews were properly performed and met the objectives of the COPS' monitoring plan, (6) COPS did not provide information to show they had awarded half of the grant funds to large jurisdictions and half to small jurisdictions, as required by law, (7) COPS had not implemented controls to ensure grantees signed and returned the grant award documents within the 45-day acceptance period, and (8) COPS established obligations when the grants were awarded, instead of when the grants were subsequently accepted by the grantees. The recommendation in this report related to weakness number six has been closed. The recommendations related to the remaining seven weaknesses are resolved but not yet closed.