The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Efforts to Combat Crimes Against Children

Audit Report 09-08
January 2009
Office of the Inspector General

Appendix I
Objectives, Scope, and Methodology


The objective of our audit was to determine if the FBI has effectively established a nationwide investigative response to address the sexual exploitation, abduction, and abuse of children.

Scope and Methodology

We conducted the audit in accordance with the generally accepted government auditing standards, and included the tests and procedures necessary to accomplish our objective. To accomplish our objective, we interviewed numerous officials at the FBI headquarters and five field locations as well as representatives from external agencies. Altogether we conducted more than 200 interviews during our fieldwork to obtain program information as well as perspectives on the FBI’s crimes against children programs. The following section is divided to explain further our fieldwork at the FBI headquarters, FBI field offices, external organizations, and surveys.

FBI Headquarters

Our fieldwork at the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., included interviewing officials representing the following components:

We reviewed documents received from the above components, including the following:

FBI Field Offices

Beyond FBI headquarters, we performed fieldwork at five judgmentally selected field offices and at least one Resident Agency within each field office jurisdiction. The following table details the office locations included in our review.


No. Field Office Resident Agencies
1 Boston, Massachusetts Providence, Rhode Island
2 Los Angeles, California Santa Ana, California
3 Miami, Florida West Palm Beach, Florida
4 St. Louis, Missouri128 Rolla, Missouri
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
5 San Francisco, California Oakland, California
San Jose, California
Source: OIG

At each of these five locations, we interviewed management officials where possible, as well as Supervisory Special Agents and Special Agents involved in investigating crimes against children with or without a cyber nexus. Moreover, we interviewed forensic examiners, victim specialists, and local coordinators for the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crimes.

One component of our fieldwork schedule was the review of case files of judgmentally selected investigations on crimes against children that were closed from the start of fiscal year 2006 to the time of our fieldwork at each of the five locations: April 2007 for San Francisco, California; June 2007 for Los Angeles, California; July 2007 for Miami, Florida, and Boston, Massachusetts; and August 2007 for St. Louis, Missouri. The following table displays the sample universe and actual files reviewed for crimes against children with and without a cyber nexus, respectively.


Field Offices Boston,
Los Angeles,
St. Louis,
San Francisco,
Universe Reviewed Universe Reviewed Universe Reviewed Universe Reviewed Universe Reviewed
CACU Investigations:                    
International Parental
8 2 1 1 6 2 4 2 1 1
Child Abductions/
No Ransom
2 1 3 1 2 1 1 1 2 1
Sexual Exploitation
Of Children
3 2 4 2 1 1 3 2 3 0
Child Prostitution 2 2 0 0 2 1 0 0 7 0
Crime on Government
0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 7 2 3 1 1 1 7 1
Interstate Transport
Of Child Pornography
0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 5 3
CACU TOTALS 15 7 17 7 14 6 9 6 25 6
IINI Investigations:                    
Groups and Enterprises 18 3 43 2 20 5 4 1 18 2
Producers 15 2 41 2 1 1 28 4 15 0
Enticement 12 2 33 2 2 1 4 1 11 2
Possessors 6 2 48 2 1 1 17 2 5 1
IINI TOTALS 51 9 165 8 24 8 53 8 49 5
Source: OIG analysis of FBI data

Beyond FBI Headquarters and Field Offices

Federal Agencies

At the outset of the audit, we visited NCMEC headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia to interview liaisons from the following federal agencies: the FBI, the United States Marshals Service (USMS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS).

Additionally, our field work in the Washington, D.C., area included interviews with representatives from the:

At the five judgmentally selected locations for fieldwork (San Francisco and Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; Boston, Massachusetts; and St. Louis, Missouri), we also interviewed officials from the local office of the USMS, ICE and USPIS. Beyond those federal agencies, we also visited the United States Attorney’s Office at the following Districts to interview the local coordinator for the Project Safe Childhood.

Local Law Enforcement Agencies

While conducting our fieldwork at the five judgmentally selected FBI field offices, we also visited other local law enforcement agencies, as follows.

ICAC Task Forces

Besides local law enforcement agencies, we also interviewed representatives from the following Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Forces funded by OJP.

Agencies Assisted by the FBI’s CARD Teams

To assess the effectiveness of the FBI’s CARD Team deployments, we interviewed representatives from a judgmental sample of eight law enforcement agencies that received CARD Team services. These eight agencies as well as the method of our contact are as follows:

Non-Governmental Organizations

We also visited the following non-governmental organizations to gain an understanding of various crimes against children and the perspective these organizations had on the FBI’s efforts in combating crimes against children.


During the audit, we developed and deployed two surveys, as follows.

  1. To evaluate the efforts by FBI’s overseas representatives on international parental kidnapping of children, we developed and deployed a survey to eight judgmentally selected foreign locations: Israel, Mexico, Poland, United Kingdom (countries that have ratified the Hague Convention); and Barbados, Ethiopia, Japan and Saudi Arabia (countries that have not ratified the Hague Convention).

  2. To evaluate the efforts by FBI’s overseas representatives on child sex tourism, we developed and deployed a survey to two judgmentally selected locations: Thailand and Costa Rica.


We attended two conferences as a part of our fieldwork to assess outreach efforts by the FBI on crimes against children: (1) the 19th Annual Crimes Against Children Conference, and (2) the California Child Abduction Task Force: Intervention and Resource Training.

(1) The 19th Annual Crimes Against Children Conference was presented by the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center and the Dallas Police Department from August 13 to 16, 2007, in Dallas, Texas. We attended the first two days of this four-day conference and observed twelve presentations, as detailed in the following table.

Presentations Attended by the OIG at the
19th Annual Crimes Against Children Conference

No. Presentation Title Presenters
1 Child Abduction Response Plan The FBI
2 Destination Cambodia: an International Sex Tourism Case Study The CEOS
3 Cases of Child Abduction, Part 2 The FBI
4 Case Study: Destiny Norton131 The FBI and the Salt Lake City Police Department
5 Windows Vista and the Forensic Examiner The CEOS
6 Medical Analysis of Child Pornography OJJDP and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hills
7 Basic Child Forensic Interviewing, Part 1 The FBI
8 Digital Imaging with Adobe Photoshop—What’s Real? NCMEC
9 NCMEC Child Abduction Project NCMEC
10 The Adam Walsh Act OJP
11 Legal Issues in Child Porn Cases Fox Valley Technical College, Fox Valley, Wisconsin
12 Female Sex Offenders A consultant to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections
Source: OIG

(2) The California Child Abduction Task Force: Intervention and Resource Training, was held on September 18 to 19, 2007, in Burlingame, California. We attended this training on September 19, 2007. A Special Agent from the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office is a member of the California Child Abduction Task Force, created officially in 1998 by the State of California Governor’s Office of Criminal Justice Planning to “reduce the risk and incidence of child abduction and increase the effectiveness of a multi-disciplinary response by enhancing skills, knowledge and awareness of child abduction.”132 At the September 2007 training in Burlingame, California, the FBI Special Agent participated by presenting on the following two topics: (a) Federal Agencies’ Resources and Response to Child Abductions and (b) Child Abduction Case Scenario.

Data Verification

During the course of our audit, we collected information from the FBI’s Time Utilization and Recordkeeping (TURK) system. We did not audit TURK or test whether the Special Agents were accurately reporting their time and, thus, we cannot guarantee that the time utilization reported by the FBI is accurate. We do not report any findings related to the FBI’s TURK system.

In addition, we collected data from a DES tracking database on the national averages of all IINI-related forensic analysis of digital evidence performed by its CART teams and RCFL laboratories. We did not perform testing to verify the accuracy of data from this tracking database as part of our audit. We do not report any findings related to the data we collected or the database.


  1. We did not visit the resident agencies in Rolla and Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Instead, representatives from these offices discussed with us their involvement in crimes against children investigations at the field office headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri.

  2. At the USAO for the Eastern District of Missouri, we also interviewed two additional Assistant U.S. Attorneys besides the PSC coordinator who had prosecutorial experiences in child prostitution and international parental kidnapping of children matters.

  3. We included the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in our scope in order to review its Child Abduction Response Teams program, which served as a model in 2005 for the OJP’s program by that same name.

  4. Destiny Norton was the deceased victim of a child abduction that occurred in July 2006 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The FBI’s CARD Teams assisted in the investigation and this deployment was selected in our review of the CARD Teams.

  5. This Special Agent is also a Crimes Against Children Coordinator at the FBI Los Angeles Field Office and a member of the CARD Teams.


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