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Inspection of the Violent Crime Task Forces
in the Southern District of New York

Report Number I-2000-03


At the request of the Director, Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA), the Office of the Inspector General has completed a review of the Violent Crime Task Forces (VCTF) of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York (USAO). The objectives of the inspection were to determine whether the VCTFs met their program objectives as identified in the task force proposals and approved reprogramming requests, whether the task forces expended funds for approved purposes, and whether program managers provided adequate oversight. The USAO received $1,195,000 to support four task forces: the USAO Asian Gang VCTF, the USAO Latin Kings VCTF, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Housing Authority VCTF, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) VCTFs.

Our review found that the USAO received approval to reprogram its VCTF funds for activities that were not consistent with the funding criteria established for the VCTF program. The USAO changed its focus in response to the ever-changing criminal activity of its district and decided to use the Asian Gang and Latin Kings VCTF funding for other crime fighting priorities. The accomplishments reported by DEA and the FBI were not the result of VCTF-funded activities. The following is a brief description of the activities for each VCTF:

As part of our review, we found deficiencies in administrative and financial controls over the VCTF funds and activities. For example, the USAO:

We found that the USAO did not designate a representative to monitor the activities of the DEA Housing Authority VCTF and FBI VCTFs or take other steps to ensure VCTF operational and financial activities were appropriate. EOUSA should have required the USAOs to monitor the activities of each VCTF within their districts and consider using memoranda of understanding to identify responsibilities for each VCTF participant.

The EOUSA issued guidance covering administrative and financial requirements. However, EOUSA did not establish procedures to ensure that the USAOs were adhering to the requirements of the VCTF guidance. Also, EOUSA did not identify, in this guidance, each USAO's responsibilities for the management and oversight of task force activities. Although EOUSA did monitor overall expenditures and periodically request VCTF funding status reports, we found that EOUSA did not establish procedures to ensure that the accomplishment data reported by the USAO were the result of task force activities or task force funding.