The OIG provided a draft of this audit report to EOUSA. EOUSA’s response is incorporated as Appendix XXII of this final report. EOUSA stated that it agreed with all 10 of our recommendations. Based on EOUSA’s response, the OIG considers the report resolved. The OIG’s analysis and summary of actions necessary to close the report is presented below.
Status of Recommendations
- Resolved. EOUSA concurred with our recommendation to establish a standardized process for recording time to cases involving multiple offenses to more accurately reflect attorney utilization. Specifically, EOUSA stated that implementing this recommendation could advance its ability to identify actual resource utilization data. However, EOUSA also stated that attorneys are not always able to record time to various prosecutorial areas because the ultimate charges on cases are not always defined when the attorneys begin working on the matters. As a result, EOUSA stated that it is continuing to assess the best way to implement this recommendation.
- Resolved. EOUSA concurred with our recommendation to implement a policy requiring USAO personnel to record time in the USA-5 system on at least a weekly basis, as well as to record all time to a USA-5A category when such a category is available. EOUSA stated that requiring more timely entry of data into the USA-5 system will improve the accuracy and utility of utilization data. To assist in establishing such a requirement, EOUSA stated that it intends to obtain feedback from the USAOs to determine how often AUSAs should input their time into the USA-5 system. EOUSA further stated that it will make recording of time to a USA-5A category mandatory.
- Resolved. EOUSA concurred with our recommendation to develop a more user-friendly electronic form for USAO personnel to report their time in the USA-5 system.
- Resolved. EOUSA concurred with our recommendation to implement a standardized approach among USAOs for categorizing cases within LIONS and the USAOs’ new case management system – Litigation Case Management System. EOUSA stated that each USAO currently uses the same LIONS program category code definitions and that each USAO can currently categorize a case with up to three different LIONS codes. However, EOUSA further stated that it will be difficult to fully implement a standardized process because the categorization of cases requires some degree of interpretation. Nonetheless, EOUSA stated that it would attempt to develop a standardized categorization scheme for those commonly charged cases where coding issues might arise.
- Resolved. EOUSA concurred with our recommendation to ensure that “reopened” cases are not reflected in the statistical reports in the fiscal years in which the cases were reopened. To close this recommendation, please provide evidence that a process has been developed and implemented that prevents reopened cases from being included as new case filings in the fiscal years in which the cases were reopened.
- Resolved. EOUSA concurred with our recommendation to more closely monitor the LIONS casework transmitted by USAOs to ensure that it is accurate and complete. To close this recommendation, please provide documentation detailing EOUSA’s process of monitoring LIONS casework data transmitted by USAOs, which should include an assessment of information contained in mandatory fields, as well as an evaluation on the completeness of data provided by each USAO.
- Resolved. EOUSA concurred with our recommendation to re-emphasize to the USAOs the importance of utilization and casework data, how the data is used, and the necessity of accurately capturing this data. To close this recommendation, please provide evidence that USAOs have been notified about the uses of USAO utilization and casework data and instructed on the importance of accurately reporting this information.
- Resolved. EOUSA concurred with our recommendation to examine the current staffing levels of USAOs and develop methods to reallocate resources among USAOs. In its response, EOUSA stated that it is currently examining and will continue to examine the current staffing levels of USAOs. EOUSA also commented that it will attempt to develop, to the best of its ability, a method for reallocating resources among USAOs.
- Resolved. EOUSA concurred with our recommendation to perform regular, comprehensive assessments of the number of attorneys utilized on specific types of matters within each USAO, including a comparison to where the resources were allocated. EOUSA stated that it has begun creating a process for reviewing attorney resource utilization in key program areas. EOUSA further stated that this process includes the use of USA-5 data and other factors in making its assessment and expects to have the results of these assessments by the end of FY 2009. In addition, EOUSA stated that each USAO will be informed of the criteria for which new positions will be assessed and that the criteria will vary depending on the particular program area.
- Resolved. EOUSA concurred with our recommendation to ensure that a comprehensive review of each USAO’s casework is performed annually, including a comparison of the data maintained in individual district LIONS databases to the information reflected in the National LIONS. EOUSA stated that it will endeavor to develop processes for increasing the effectiveness and comprehensiveness of case data reviews, which are currently performed biannually by each USAO. EOUSA stated, however, that it does not and cannot review individual data records in local district LIONS databases for comparison to those records maintained in the National LIONS because the universe of records is too voluminous. EOUSA further commented that it is continuing to review the 50 pending matters that were discussed in Chapter 4 of our report. In particular, EOUSA stated that it is reviewing the matters to determine the cause of the data discrepancies identified during our review, will further report to the OIG once it completes this review, and will then take necessary corrective action to resolve the problems.