Progress Report on Development of the Integrated Wireless Network in the Department of Justice
Audit Report 07-25
Office of the Inspector General
We provided the draft audit report to JMD, ATF, DEA, FBI, and USMS and asked JMD to provide a consolidated DOJ response to the draft report. We also provided the draft report to Treasury and DHS and asked for their responses. Our analysis of each Department’s response, if applicable, is provided below. Following our analysis of the responses, we summarize the status of each recommendation and discuss the actions necessary to close the recommendation.
JMD, which responded on behalf of the DOJ, generally concurred with our findings and agreed with our recommendations. The response expressed support for the development of the Justice Wireless Network in the event that a unified approach with DHS is determined not to be viable. JMD’s response identifies a Justice Wireless Network steering committee or board, with support from the DOJ Wireless Management Office, as a vehicle to promote component representation and ensure that operational requirements are met. In our judgment, a steering committee or board with support from the DOJ Wireless Management Office could provide DOJ components with a means to contribute to the design and execution of the program and would increase their confidence in the program.
JMD’s response also included comments from the Office of the Chief Information Officer regarding our conclusion on page 37 that DOJ law enforcement agents have received very little in the way of new, secure, compliant radio equipment through IWN. The response noted that,”While the IWN program has clearly not progressed as rapidly as desired by the Department, the statement is not an accurate reflection of what the Department has achieved.”
The response identified several program accomplishments, including the procurement and provision of 32,506 new digital radios, implementation of interoperability channels in 10 cities, realization of benefits from the IWN acquisition strategy, and improved understanding of security issues related to new wireless communications technologies. However, as noted on page 7 of this report, most DOJ law enforcement officers cannot use all of the features of this new equipment because the system sites are old — 95 percent of the system sites do not meet advanced encryption standards and 85 percent of the system sites do not support over-the-air re-keying. After 6 years of development, as indicated on pages 31 and 32, 67 percent of DOJ’s legacy communications systems are over 10 years old and 73 percent of the Department’s radio system sites are no longer supported by the manufacturer. In addition, the DOJ has the lowest rate of compliance with the narrowband mandate (page 34 of this report) and, according to the DOJ spectrum manager, will continue to seek waivers until the acquisition process is complete and IWN is implemented across the country (page 35 of this report).
We provided a copy of the draft report and asked Treasury for comment. The Treasury response in Appendix 7 noted that our draft report was reviewed and that Treasury did not have any comments.
We provided a copy of the draft audit report and asked DHS for comment. The DHS response is reproduced in Appendix 8. The response noted that there are significant DOJ affordability issues with replacing obsolete DOJ communications equipment in general, and in funding the IWN program in particular. The response also indicated that DHS would work with DOJ and Treasury to assess the viability of IWN as a joint project and to determine the best way ahead for all three departments.
Status of Recommendations
Resolved. JMD stated that the Wireless Management Office is committed to a joint Integrated Wireless Network program and that DOJ is currently working with DHS and Treasury to update and modify the Integrated Wireless Network Memorandum of Understanding. JMD reported that senior program managers from DOJ, DHS, and Treasury have been meeting over the past few months to reconcile differences between the Departments and that the DOJ Chief Information Officer intends to meet with the Chief Information Officers from DHS and Treasury in the near future to bring a resolution to these issues. This recommendation can be closed when DOJ, DHS, and Treasury sign a Memorandum of Understanding that clearly outlines the shared goals of the sponsoring Departments and establishes equitable responsibilities and contributions for each sponsoring Department or when DOJ notifies the Office of Management and Budget and Congress that the Integrated Wireless Network is not viable as a joint project with DHS and that the three Departments are pursuing their own strategies to meet their wireless communications needs .
Resolved. JMD’s response stated that if it becomes clear that the Departments are unable to reach agreement on a unified program approach, DOJ will be ready to notify the Office of Management and Budget and Congress that the Integrated Wireless Network is not viable as a joint program with DHS. This recommendation can be closed when DOJ, DHS, and the Treasury sign a Memorandum of Understanding that clearly outlines the shared goals of the sponsoring Departments and establishes equitable responsibilities and contributions for each sponsoring Department or when DOJ notifies the Office of Management and Budget and Congress that the Integrated Wireless Network is not viable as a joint project with DHS and that the three Departments are pursuing their own separate strategies to meet their wireless communications needs.
Resolved. JMD responded that, as part of its program planning and risk management, DOJ is formulating plans that will allow DOJ to move forward with the Integrated Wireless Network program as a single Department program or as a joint program with Treasury. Further, JMD’s response stated that the Wireless Management Office is working with the components to establish practical plans for upgrading component legacy systems in concert with whatever long-term plan the Department decides upon for the Integrated Wireless Network. This recommendation can be closed when DOJ, DHS, and Treasury sign a Memorandum of Understanding that clearly outlines the shared goals of the sponsoring Departments and establishes equitable responsibilities and contributions for each sponsoring Department or when DOJ independently implements a plan to upgrade its legacy communications systems or as part of a joint program with Treasury.
Resolved. JMD stated that DOJ has been discussing with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration the need for continued protected status for DOJ’s wideband communications operations. JMD’s response stated that DOJ will brief the Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information on the status of the Integrated Wireless Network program and DOJ’s plans for addressing the narrowband mandate. This recommendation can be closed when DOJ and the NTIA reach an agreement to allow DOJ wideband communications operations to continue without interference from operations of other government agencies.
|« Previous||Table of Contents||Next »|