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Review Of The Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA)
Control Of The Diversion Of Controlled Pharmaceuticals

Report Number I-2002-010
September 2002



  U.S. Department of Justice
Drug Enforcement Administration

Washington, DC 20537

       SEP 26 2002

TO: Paul A. Price
Assistant Inspector General
  for Evaluations and Inspections
FROM: George J. Cazenavette, III (original signed)
Chief Inspector
SUBJECT: OIG Review of the DEA Office of Diversion Control

The Drug Enforcement Administration has reviewed the Office of the Inspector General's (OIG) final draft audit report titled, Review of the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) Control of tile Diversion of Controlled Pharmaceuticals and submits this memorandum as the DEA's formal written comments. Overall, the DEA concurs with the findings and recommendations made by the OIG. The report contained four recommendations for action. The OIG recommended that the DEA should:

  1. Increase investigative resources devoted to the controlled pharmaceutical diversion problem.

    DEA Response. Concur. The last year the Office of Diversion Control (OD) program received any significant increase in diversion investigative resources was for FY 1999, when the program received 50 Diversion Investigator (DI) positions. The DEA has requested an increase of 75 DI positions and $24,616 million for FY 2003. The FY 2003 budget is pending in Congress. An additional 22 DIs have also been requested for FY 2004. These resource enhancements will be evaluated as part of the budget approval process.

  2. Make a definitive decision regarding the roles, responsibilities, and law enforcement authorities of diversion investigators so that diversion investigations are timely and effective.

    DEA Response. Concur. A decision paper on these issues has been prepared by the OD and is currently under review by DEA management. The decision paper will be provided for review to the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Advisory Committee for its next meeting, scheduled for October 16, 2002. After this meeting, the SAC Committee will revise as appropriate and submit the decision paper to the Administrator for his determination on how to address the roles, responsibilities, and law enforcement authorities of diversion investigators.

  3. Train all DEA special agents in diversion investigation operations.

    DEA Response. Concur. DEA currently provides a two-hour block of diversion training to Special Agents during Basic Agent Training (BAT). DEA's Office of Training is currently assessing whether to institute additional diversion training either through a special course or via internet training. This assessment is in the early development stage.

  4. Ensure that the Online Investigations Project and the diversion intelligence group are established as projected and resourced to provide effective intelligence support to the OD. Also, the DEA should continue to explore additional intelligence capabilities to support the diversion investigators.

    DEA Response. Concur. The OD is continuing its development of its Online Investigations Project capabilities and has begun testing of the established program.

    The Intelligence Division at DEA Headquarters is in the process of completing a realignment of its resources. In the realignment it has been proposed that the Intelligence Division will have two intelligence units which will respond to dangerous drag issues. There will be a strategic and investigative unit which can be accessed by the Office of Diversion Control to assist them in strategic projects as well as investigative analysis.

The DEA will continue to keep the OIG apprised of its actions to implement the report's recommendations. If you have any questions regarding this response, please contact Marjorie Snider, Audit Liaison at 202-307-4119.