Southwest Border Prosecution Initiative Reimbursement Program

Audit Report 08-22
March 2008
Office of the Inspector General


Appendix IV
OJP's Response to the Draft Report

U. S. Department of Justice

Office of Justice Programs

Office of the Assistant Attorney General


MAR 18 2008

Washington, D.C. 20531


MEMORANDUM TO: Glenn A. Fine
Inspector General
United States Department of Justice

THROUGH: Raymond J. Beaudet
Assistant Inspector General for Audit
Office of the Inspector General
United States Department of Justice

FROM: Jeffrey L. Sedgwick
Acting Assistant Attorney General

SUBJECT: Response to Office of the Inspector Generalís Draft Audit Report, Southwest Border Prosecution Initiative Reimbursement Program

This memorandum provides a response to the recommendations directed to the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) included in the Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG’s) draft audit report entitled, Southwest Border Prosecution Initiative Reimbursement Program.

The draft audit report contains 13 recommendations and no questioned costs directed to the OJP. Because the Southwest Border Prosecution Initiative (SWBPI) application cycle for the first and second quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2008 will be opening in April 2008, with subsequent quarters opening as scheduled and to ensure the applicants continue to receive funding in a timely manner, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) will continue development with system changes to be fully operational in FY 2009 application cycle. For ease of review, the draft audit report recommendations are restated in bold and are followed by OJP’s response.

  1. Require SWBPI recipients to submit a list of cases in support of the reimbursement requests. This list should include sufficient information to verify the eligibility of the cases submitted for reimbursement, including: (1) case number; (2) defendant name; (3) arrest date; (4) disposition date; (5) initiating federal law enforcement agency; and (6) referring federal agency. Additionally, for pre-trial detention reimbursements the case list should include the defendant booking date and release date.

  2. The Office of Justice Programs agrees with the recommendation. The BJA anticipates implementing the changes to the SWBPI system for the FY 2009 SWBPI application cycle.

  3. Review the reimbursement requests and the supporting case list to ensure that the number of cases submitted for reimbursement is accurate and that all cases submitted are eligible for reimbursement.

  4. The Office of Justice Programs agrees with the recommendation. The BJA will implement changes to the SWBPI system that will facilitate the review of reimbursement requests and case information for the SWBPI program. The BJA anticipates implementing the changes to the SWBPI system for the FY 2009 SWBPI application cycle.

  5. Conduct monitoring activities of SWBPI recipients to: (1) ensure compliance with the programmatic, administrative, and fiscal requirements of relevant statutes, regulations, policies, and guidelines; (2) provide guidance on OJP policies and procedures, program requirements, general federal regulations, and basic programmatic, administrative, and reporting requirements; and (3) identify and resolve problems that may impede the effective administration of the program.

  6. The Office of Justice Programs agrees with the recommendation. The BJA and the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) will develop and implement programmatic and financial monitoring guidelines for SWBPI recipients. The BJA and OCFO anticipate completing the monitoring guidelines by September 30, 2008.

  7. Require that SWBPI recipients provide and maintain data on the actual prosecution and detention costs for SWBPI cases.

  8. The Office of Justice Programs agrees with the recommendation. The BJA will implement changes to the SWBPI system that will facilitate the collection of prosecution and detention cost information for SWBPI cases. The BJA anticipates implementing the changes to the SWBPI system for the FY 2009 SWBPI application cycle. In FY 2008, BJA will also coordinate a discussion with selected grantees regarding the collection of prosecution and detention costs for SWBPI cases.

  9. Adjust SWBPI reimbursement amounts to more accurately reflect actual costs based on the cost data provided by SWBPI participants.

  10. The Office of Justice Programs agrees with the recommendation. The BJA will implement changes to the SWBPI system to ensure that SWBPI reimbursement amounts are adjusted to more accurately reflect costs based on the cost data provided by SWBPI participants. The BJA anticipates implementing the changes to the SWBPI system for the FY 2009 SWBPI application cycle.

  11. Eliminate the “both” category and require SWBPI jurisdictions to submit prosecution and pre-trial detention reimbursement requests separately.

  12. The Office of Justice Programs agrees with the recommendation. The BJA will eliminate the “both” category for SWBPI, and revise instructions to SWBPI jurisdictions to require that prosecution and pre-trial detention reimbursement requests be submitted separately. The BJA anticipates revising the guidance to the SWBPI jurisdictions for the FY 2009 SWBPI application cycle.

  13. Ensure that reimbursements for prosecution services are based on the time and effort spent on prosecuting the case rather than the number of days the case was open.

  14. The Office of Justice Programs agrees with the recommendation. The BJA will implement changes to the SWBPI system to request that applicants submit requests for time and effort spent on cases. The BJA anticipates implementing the changes to the SWBPI system for the FY 2009 SWBPI application cycle. In FY 2008, BJA will also coordinate a discussion with selected grantees regarding how time and effort data can best be captured for SWBPI cases.

  15. Ensure that pre-trial detention reimbursements are based on the actual number of days the defendant was detained.

  16. The Office of Justice Programs agrees with the recommendation. The BJA will implement changes to the SWBPI system to request detention data for SWBPI applicants (number of detention days). The BJA anticipates implementing the changes to the SWBPI system for the FY 2009 SWBPI application cycle.

  17. Ensure that pre-trial detention reimbursements are based on the jurisdictions actual daily detention rate.

  18. The Office of Justice Programs agrees with the recommendation. The BJA will implement changes to the SWBPI system to ensure that pre-trial detention reimbursements are based on the jurisdictions daily detention rate. The BJA anticipates implementing the changes to the SWBPI system for the FY 2009 SWBPI application cycle.

  19. Ensure that SWBPI recipients maintain sufficient documentation to support reimbursements, when combined with other federal prosecution and pre-trial detention funding, do not exceed 100 percent of the costs to prosecute SWBPI cases.

  20. The Office of Justice Programs agrees with the recommendation. The BJA will issue guidance to SWBPI recipients, requiring that documentation be maintained to support that SWBPI reimbursements, when combined with other Federal prosecution and pre-trial detention funding, do not exceed 100 percent of the prosecution and detention costs for SWBPI cases. The BJA anticipates issuing the guidance by June 2008.

  21. Ensure that SWBPI recipients make the necessary adjustments to SWBPI applications to account for other federal prosecution and pre-trial detention funding.

  22. The Office of Justice Programs agrees with the recommendation. The BJA will implement changes to the SWBPI system to better capture other federal funding applicants might be receiving, if any, on SWBPI cases. The BJA anticipates implementing the changes to the SWBPI system for the FY 2009 SWBPI application cycle.

  23. Review SWBPI reimbursement applications to identify any potential duplicate funding.

  24. The Office of Justice Programs agrees with the recommendation. The BJA will implement changes to the SWBPI system that will facilitate the review of SWBPI reimbursement applications to identify potential duplicate funding. The BJA anticipates implementing the changes to the SWBPI system for the FY 2009 SWBPI application cycle.

  25. Provide training to the participating jurisdictions on the SWBPI guidelines.

  26. The Office of Justice Programs agrees with the recommendation. The BJA will work on the development of an online training program for the participating jurisdictions on the SWBPI guidelines during FY 2008 and will finalize for the FY 2009 SWBPI application cycle.

Thank you for your continued cooperation. If you have any questions regarding this response, please contact LeToya Johnson, Deputy Director, Office of Audit, Assessment, and Management – Audit and Review Division, on (202) 514-0692.

cc: Beth McGarry
Deputy Assistant Attorney General
   for Operations and Management

Domingo S. Herraiz
Director
Bureau of Justice Assistance

Hope Janke
Counsel to the Director
Bureau of Justice Assistance

Marcia K. Paull
Chief Financial Officer

Larry Hailes
Assistant Deputy Chief Financial Officer
Grants Financial Management Division

Rafael Madan
General Counsel

George S. Pruden, II
Senior Counsel
Office of General Counsel

LeToya A. Johnson
Deputy Director, Audit and Review Division
Office of Audit, Assessment, and Management

Richard A. Theis
Assistant Director, Audit Liaison Group
Justice Management Division



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