On January 9, 2008, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) sent a copy of the draft report to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with a request for written comments. The DEA responded in a memorandum dated January 28, 2008, in which it concurred with the report’s two recommendations and described the actions it planned to take to implement the recommendations. As a result of the DEA’s response, the recommendations are resolved and remain open.
Recommendation 1. Determine the total of actual and planned program costs, including salary costs, attributable to diversion control activities, especially for Special Agents, Intelligence Analysts, and Chemists, and include these costs in the Diversion Control Program’s budget from this point forward.
Status. Resolved – open.
Summary of DEA Response. The DEA concurred with this recommendation and stated that it will continue to enhance its efforts to capture the full costs of fee-fundable activities by exploring and improving new and more effective methodologies, and by using a variety of new and existing management tools. In addition, the DEA stated that in any given year, if current costs are projected to exceed the Diversion Control Program’s budget authority, a reprogramming notification will be submitted to request a realignment covering anticipated costs.
OIG Analysis. The actions planned by the DEA are responsive to the recommendation. Please provide, by October 15, 2008, a copy of the Diversion Control Program FY 2009 budget request. To enable OIG to ascertain that the FY 2009 budget request accurately reflects the total of actual costs, please provide data so we can compare the actual full-time equivalents of Special Agents, Intelligence Analysts, and Chemists attributable to the Diversion Control Program with the congressionally authorized levels and summarizing any other costs identified as fee-fundable that should be included in the Diversion Control Program’s budget for FY 2009. If fee-fundable costs for FY 2008 exceed the budget authority for FY 2008, also provide documentation of the DEA’s reprogramming request. Additionally, please provide the new (or proposed) DEA registration fee schedule that would go into effect in FY 2009.
Recommendation 2. Provide more information to DEA personnel on the requirements governing the use of the Fee Account funds, particularly for salary and other associated costs of Special Agents and Intelligence Analysts.
Status. Resolved – open.
Summary of DEA Response. The DEA concurred with this recommendation and stated that it has already conveyed information to DEA personnel on Fee Account requirements through presentations, lectures, and instruction at Diversion Program Manager conferences, and on-site program reviews in DEA field offices. The DEA stated that it will continue to educate its workforce regarding the appropriate use of Fee Account funds through these same methods and by incorporating additional Fee Account guidance and information in the Diversion Control Fee Account User’s Guide, which is published on Webster (the DEA’s Intranet) and accessible to all DEA personnel.
OIG Analysis. The OIG notes that the actions described by the DEA to respond to the recommendation are by and large continuations of activities it has already established and that thus far have not accomplished the goal of dispelling misperceptions about the Fee Account. The DEA did state that it is planning to modify its Diversion Control Fee Account User’s Guide to include additional Fee Account guidance. However, we believe that the DEA should proactively provide this information to employees instead of relying on individual employees to learn by accessing information on its Intranet. Please provide a copy of the Diversion Control Fee Account User’s Guide that has been revised to include additional Fee Account guidance; copies of inspection reports of on-site reviews completed between January 1, 2008 and September 30, 2008 during which Fee Account information was conveyed; and a description of presentations by DEA managers about how the Fee Account can be used.