Management of the Office of Justice Programs’ Grant Programs for Trafficking Victims

Audit Report 08-26
July 2008
Office of the Inspector General

Statement on Internal Controls

In planning and performing our audit, we considered OJP's internal controls for the purpose of determining our auditing procedures. The evaluation was not made for the purpose of providing assurance on the internal control structure as a whole. However, as shown below, we noted certain matters that we consider reportable conditions under generally accepted government auditing standards.27

Finding I

The OVC’s service provider agreements have built significant capacities to serve victims, but have not resulted in significant numbers of trafficking victims being identified and provided services. Moreover, the BJA’s task force grants, designed to identify additional trafficking victims for referral to service providers have not resulted in long-term increases in the number of trafficking victims being assisted. In addition, the number of victims reported as assisted by the service providers and identified by the task forces was overstated. Further, the process used to award the service provider agreements resulted in a wide disparity in the amount of funds awarded compared to the number of victims that the grantees anticipated would be identified and served. Also, the BJA did not ensure that corrective actions were taken when task forces were not meeting the requirement to increase “trafficking victim saves” by 15 percent annually.

Finding II

The OIG’s individual audits of the OVC service provider agreements and a BJA task force grant found that the service providers and task force did not comply with the essential grant requirements in 9 of the 10 areas tested. The grantees and OJP agreed to take corrective actions to address most of the weaknesses found in the individual audits. However, based on our review of the individual audit results, we determined that the weaknesses found during the audits were systemic in the areas of goals and accomplishments, reporting, fund drawdowns, local match, expenditures, indirect costs, and monitoring of subrecipients. Therefore, the OVC and the BJA need to take additional actions to ensure that all the OVC and BJA grantees minimize the occurrence of these weaknesses.

Finding III

OJP’s grant programs have built significant capacities to serve victims, but have not been effective at identifying and serving significant numbers of alien trafficking victims. Initially, the OVC service providers assisted far fewer victims than anticipated. OJP recognized that few victims were being served and implemented an initiative to award grants to establish task forces to identify and refer victims to the service providers. While the task forces have increased the number of potential victims identified, the task forces’ work in identifying victims has not resulted in a sustained increase in the number of victims aided by the service providers. The OVC and BJA have not established an effective system for monitoring the OVC service providers and BJA task forces to ensure that: (1) performance data reported by the service providers and task forces is accurate, (2) the service providers and task forces are meeting the performance goals, and (3) a significant portion of the funds provided to service providers are used to directly assist victims of human trafficking.

Because we are not expressing an opinion on OJP's overall internal control structure, this statement is intended solely for the information and use of OJP in managing its human trafficking grant programs.

  1. Reportable conditions involve matters coming to our attention relating to significant deficiencies in the design or operation of the internal control structure that, in our judgment, could adversely affect the ability of OJP to administer its human trafficking grant programs.

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