The Internal Effects of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Reprioritization
Audit Report 04-39
Office of the Inspector General
We performed our audit in accordance with Government Auditing Standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States and included such tests of the records and procedures that we considered necessary to accomplish the audit objective. The informational nature of our audit objective did not require that we perform testing of the FBI's compliance with laws and regulations.
We conducted work at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.; the FBI Academy and FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia; and at the Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG) facility in Aquia, Virginia. We interviewed over 40 officials from the FBI, including the Executive Assistant Directors for Administration, Intelligence, and Law Enforcement Services, the Assistant Director of the Criminal Investigation Division, and the Special Assistant to the Director for Strategic Planning. We also interviewed FBI officials from the Finance Division, the Resource Management and Allocation (RMA) Office, and the Automated Case Support (ACS) system, as well as numerous Section Chiefs and Unit Chiefs representing FBI programs, the FBI Laboratory, and the FBI Academy. Through these interviews and our review of documents and records pertaining to the audit objective, we obtained an understanding of the plans set forth in the FBI's post-9/11 reorganization, reprioritization, and reprogramming, as well as the reality of their implementation.
To achieve the audit objective, we used computer-processed data maintained in FBI information systems. To examine the FBI's human resource utilization, we reviewed data from the TURK system, a module of the FBI's payroll system, for the period of September 26, 1999, through September 20, 2003. The TURK system contains work hour and Average On Board data for most FBI agents and support involved with investigative matters. To examine the numbers and types of cases in its various criminal programs, we reviewed data from the Automated Case Support (ACS) system, which assigns unique case identifiers to all investigations and contains case-related material, for the same period.
Because we had assessed the reliability of the computer-processed data provided by the FBI during the recently-completed audit of FBI Casework and Human Resource Utilization, and we were utilizing the same systems to obtain data for analysis, we did not repeat this process.55 In the prior audit, for data from the TURK and ACS systems, we performed tests to establish reliability and obtained confirmation from FBI officials as to the data's reliability. For both systems, we reviewed management controls and we performed data validity tests at the FBI Field Office in Chicago, Illinois. Based on our test results and the information we obtained, we concluded the data was sufficiently reliable to achieve our audit objective.56
We performed analyses of FBI resource allocation and utilization data, as well as casework data, to identify trends in the FBI's operations from September 26, 1999, through September 20, 2003. In total, this data amounted to 1,864,141 records.
Funded Staffing Levels - In our analyses involving agent and support resource allocation, we used the FBI's Funded Staffing Levels (FSLs) that are established by the RMA Office. We obtained field office FSLs for each program and fiscal year, both for agents and support personnel for FYs 2000 through 2003. We also received FSLs for FBI Headquarters, organized at the Division level, for the same period. The FSLs we obtained represented the final allocations set for each fiscal year, which reflected any mid-year adjustments. The two sets of data amounted to 5,453 records.
Average on Board - TURK generally records percentages of time worked for both agents and support personnel in the FBI's 56 field offices (Headquarters personnel do not record their time in TURK). TURK data collection is divided into 13 TURK periods per fiscal year; each TURK period is 4 weeks. Each agent (or support employee) records the percentage of time worked each day according to FBI investigative classifications (the percentages are based on a 10-hour day for agents and an 8-hour day for support personnel).57 These percentages are recorded and the result is averaged to show time worked in a specific classification equivalent to a full time employee, which the FBI calls Average on Board (AOB).
For example, if two agents within a particular field office each worked half their time (50 percent) on Bankruptcy Fraud - FBI investigative Classification 49 - within a given TURK period, the AOB for that field office, in classification 49, within the TURK period, would be equal to 1 agent AOB (100 percent of 1 agent-equivalent). The FBI considers the TURK system's AOB data to be the best way to assess the actual time worked by FBI employees in specific FBI investigative programs, sub-programs, and classifications. For the purposes of this report, we use the term AOB and on board employee (agent or support) interchangeably.
We received two data runs of AOB data, for both agents and support personnel, for the period of September 26, 1999, through September 20, 2003 (covering FYs 2000 through 2003 in the TURK system). The first data run was provided in a text file, which we imported into a database file. The data run contained 670,791 records, each containing the following fields:
We compared the annual AOB figures at the program level to the figures verified by the FBI in the Federal Bureau of Investigation Casework and Human Resource Allocation report issued September 2003.86 Through this comparison, we discovered that the figures we developed did not match those affirmed by the FBI. We learned that the FBI retroactively adds employee leave and miscellaneous time into the TURK record of each employee at the program/sub-program level. The FBI does this through use of an automated Investigative Program Allocator, which prorates the data back into each record based on that employee's activity in the previous six pay periods. Because we requested data down to the classification level - a more detailed level than the program level - employee leave time was not included in our AOB analyses; therefore, our results did not match actual totals. Hence, this first data run only was used to conduct analyses at the classification level.
A second data run, in the same format as the first, but only down to the program/sub-program level, was requested to conduct analyses of AOB at such specification. Again, we received this file in a text file and exported it into a database file for testing. The second data run possessed 339,180 records, each containing the following fields:
Agent Utilization - We elected to analyze AOB data by fiscal year. To do this, we totaled the AOB for all TURK periods within each fiscal year for each investigative program, sub-program, or classification. Next, we divided this total by the number of TURK periods (13) to obtain the average agents (or support personnel) working a particular program, sub-program, or classification in a given fiscal year.
Analysis at the Program/Sub-Program Level - The data universe used to conduct analyses at the program/sub program levels, and for the FBI as a whole, included subtotals for each program. In order to perform our analysis, we first removed all subtotals, and then calculated AOB for each fiscal year. For the FBI as a whole, we reviewed AOB data for FYs 2000 through 2003.
The audit objective was to identify internal operational changes in FBI investigative efforts occurring as a result of the FBI's reprioritization and internal reorganization. Therefore, to assess the change in agent utilization, we focused our analysis on comparing AOB totals between FYs 2000 and 2003.58 This approach afforded a view of AOB both before and well into the FBI's reprioritization efforts, revealing the areas of greatest change in actual agent (and support personnel) time worked. Thus, at the program level, and, when necessary, at the sub program level, we conducted analyses of the AOB change between FYs 2000 and 2003.
However, in order to accurately compare the change in agent utilization at the program level, we had to account for sub programs that transferred programs for FY 2003. The Cyber Crime Program (CCP) and the Criminal Enterprise Investigations (CEI) Program began tracking resource utilization in the TURK system in FY 2003. As detailed in the following table, sub programs in VCMO and WCC were moved to CCP and CEI beginning FY 2003. Therefore, to accurately assess the change in the FBI's investigative efforts at the program level, we added the FY 2003 AOB totals for these sub programs back into their previous program.
Analysis at the Investigative Classification Level - Besides conducting analyses of resource utilization at the program/sub program levels, we also performed analyses down to the classification level. First, we first computed the change in agent AOB for each classification between FYs 2000 and 2003. Next, we determined which investigative classifications experienced the greatest change in resource utilization, both positive change and negative change. In line with our objective to analyze the impact on investigative effort, we did not include classifications related to training or administrative matters. In addition, we eliminated any classification that changed or one that did not exist in both FYs 2000 and 2003.59
Classifications Experiencing a Reduction in Resource Utilization - We identified the 30 classifications that endured the largest decrease in AOB between FYs 2000 and 2003.60 Classifications that were eliminated from our analysis are included in the following table.61
Classifications Experiencing an Increase in Resource Utilization - We also identified the 30 classifications that endured the largest increase in AOB between FYs 2000 and 2003, eliminating classifications using the same methodology as we did in the top 30 decreasing classifications.62 The classifications that were eliminated and the reason for the elimination are detailed in the following table.63
FBI Casework - For our analyses of the FBI's casework, we received two data runs from the Automated Case Support (ACS) system containing all FBI cases worked during our review period. We discarded the first data run due to omissions and data organization errors prior to receiving the final one. The information was provided in a database file containing 848,717 records, separated into the following fields:
In reviewing the data, we noted that instead of containing only cases from September 26, 1999, through September 20, 2003, as we had requested, the data run contained cases that closed after the final day of FY 2003 and up to and including December 2, 2003. We determined that it was not necessary to request a new data run to correct for this inaccuracy; these FY 2004 cases are not included in any of our analyses.
In addition, we discovered 4,977 cases in the database that were designated as having been destroyed. Of these 4,977 cases, we found 339 that contained opening and closing dates. We determined that we could include these 339 cases in any analyses involving case opening and closing dates, while we needed to eliminate those that contained no open and close dates. We therefore retained the 339 destroyed cases containing open and close dates, and eliminated the remaining 4,638 cases that did not contain open and close dates. These 4,638 cases reflected one percent of the remaining database of 404,318 cases on which we performed our analyses.
We confined our casework analysis to the data we obtained from the ACS system, and did not review individual case files to determine the actual level of effort expended on any single case. Thus, if a case was open during a particular timeframe, we considered it to be worked during that period.
Redacted and Unclassified