Federal Bureau of Investigation's Foreign Language Translation Program Follow-Up

Audit Report 05-33
July 2005
Office of the Inspector General

Appendix 1

Audit Objectives, Scope, and Methodology

Audit Objectives

The objectives of this audit were to follow up on and evaluate information provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in response to recommendations made in the July 2004 audit report entitled, “The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Foreign Language Program – Translation of Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence Foreign Language Material” and to assess the progress made by the FBI since that audit.

Scope and Methodology

We performed the follow-up audit in accordance with Government Auditing Standards and included such tests of the records and procedures as we deemed necessary to accomplish the follow-up audit objectives.42 Our follow-up audit focused on the Foreign Language Program’s operations since July 2004. We conducted work at the Language Services Section of the FBI. We did not conduct follow-up work in any field offices.

In our follow-up audit, we interviewed officials from the FBI, including the Section Chief and other officials in the Language Services Section; the FBI Deputy Director; the FBI Executive Assistant Director for Intelligence; and Assistant Directors for Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence, among others.

In addition to the interviews, we reviewed documents and records pertaining to the foreign language program since July 2004. These documents and records included workload statistics, workforce planning, and budget information. We also reviewed the FBI’s revised Quality Control Policy and Guidelines and a report summarizing the results of the first quarterly review period after the revised policy was implemented.

To achieve the audit objectives, we used computer-processed data contained in the FBI’s FISA digital collection systems. The systems contain data regarding FISA audio sessions collected and reviewed by the FBI. We also used the FBI Language Services Section Counterterrorism FISA Monthly Survey data. The FISA Monthly Survey is required to be completed by those field offices with active counterterrorism FISAs. The Language Services Section compiles the statistics submitted by field offices into a summary report. The report provides monthly collection statistics on counterterrorism cases, including audio hours collected, reviewed, and accrued backlog. The Field Workload Survey is a quarterly report, also completed by each field office and compiled into one report by the Language Services Section. This report provides data regarding audio and text hours collected and reviewed.

We assessed the reliability of the data during our previous audit by obtaining information from FBI officials and performing various tests. Based on the results of our previous tests and information regarding the FBI’s FISA digital collection system data and Counterterrorism FISA Monthly Survey data, we concluded that the data were sufficiently reliable to achieve our audit objectives.


  1. Appendix 7 provides a summary of a separate investigation conducted by the OIG on allegations regarding the Foreign Language Program. This investigation was not performed in accordance with Government Auditing Standards.

Previous Page Back to Table of Contents Next Page