Office Of Justice Programs Technical Assistance And Training Program
Audit Report No. 04-40
Office of the Inspector General
The Office of the Inspector General has completed an audit of the Office of Justice Programs’ (OJP’s) Technical Assistance and Training Program (TA&T). The TA&T is the product of many OJP bureaus and program offices and includes a wide range of funding sources, types of services, and products. For example, the OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) provides an array of technical assistance and training programs to provide criminal justice practitioners with information on effective programs and practices and to address new criminal justice issues. The mission of the OJP’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is to strengthen the juvenile justice system by providing training, technical assistance, and information on trends, new approaches, and innovative techniques to juvenile courts and court personnel; law enforcement; detention and corrections; youth service providers; and child advocacy organizations. Grantees include universities, non-profit organizations, states, and municipalities.
We reviewed the OJP’s administration of $312.5 million in TA&T grant awards. We audited 21 of the 158 TA&T grants awarded by the OJP between fiscal year (FY) 1995 and FY 2002. These 21 grants totaled $77.7 million, or 25 percent of the $312.5 million in total TA&T grant dollars awarded.1 Our objectives were to: (1) determine if the OJP implemented internal control measures to ensure accurate financial reporting by grantees; and (2) assess the OJP’s monitoring and evaluation of grant objectives.
Most TA&T funding is awarded through discretionary grants.2 However, the OJP may determine that funding from existing block and formula grants can be used for technical assistance.3 In addition, Congress may legislate that funds from block and formula grants be set aside for specific TA&T programs.
TA&T grants are designed in accordance with the specific mandates associated with each OJP bureau or program office, and can be customized to meet the specific needs of a state or local community. TA&T grants can also address a broad array of topics, such as providing training and technical assistance to drug courts, paid work and job skills training programs and develop standards and training for School Resource Officers (See Appendices V and VI for examples).
Although many OJP bureaus and program offices awarded TA&T grants, the OJJDP and the BJA awarded 92.5 percent of the total TA&T grant dollars. Therefore, we focused our audit on the grant monitoring efforts of these two bureaus.
Our audit of various headquarters functions at the OJP and audits of 21 individual TA&T grants disclosed the following deficiencies in the OJP’s administration of TA&T grants:
Based on these findings, we recommend that the OJP ensure that grant managers receive annual training to ensure that they are knowledgeable of OJP’s requirements governing the submission of timely and accurate reports, allowable costs, grant monitoring requirements, and grant closeout procedures. We also recommend that the OJP ensure the complete implementation of its automated system for managing grants. In addition, we recommend that the OJP bureaus work with grantees to develop performance or outcome measures to assess the effectiveness of TA&T grants.
The details of our work are discussed in the Findings and Recommendations section of the report. Our audit objectives, scope, and methodology are contained in Appendix I.