The United States Marshals Serviceís Cooperative Agreement Program

Audit Report 05-28
June 2005
Office of the Inspector General

Appendix I
Audit Objectives, Scope, and Methodology

The objective of the audit was to determine whether the USMS has developed adequate plans, in the absence of CAP funding, to secure jail space in court cities where CAP agreements will expire during the next three fiscal years, and where jail space is scarce but no CAP agreements exist. We performed our audit work in accordance with Government Auditing Standards and, accordingly, included such tests of the records and procedures, as we deemed necessary.

As part of the audit, we reviewed applicable federal laws, regulations, policies, manuals, memoranda, USMS files, and prior audit reports issued by the GAO and the Office of the Inspector General. We also interviewed officials from the USMSís headquarters and selected District offices, JMD, the OFDT, and OMB. We conducted fieldwork at the USMS headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, the OFDT in Washington, D.C., and JMD in Washington, D.C.

To determine the history of funding for the CAP, we interviewed officials at JMD the USMS, OFDT, OJP, and OMB, and obtained and analyzed documentation of:

  • annual budget requests for FY 2001 through FY 2006,

  • enacted appropriations for FY 2001 through FY 2005,

  • JMDís analysis and recommendations related to the annual CAP budget,

  • funds re-programmed from the CAP by the USMS to cover deficits in the federal prisoner services account during FY 2001 through FY 2004,

  • funds deobligated from CAP for FY 2001 through FY 2004, and

  • funds obligated for new CAP agreements during FY 2001 through FY 2004.

To determine how the USMSís detention space needs changed during FY 2001 through FY 2004, we contacted a USMS official and obtained the average daily detainee population for each fiscal year.

To determine the extent to which CAP agreements will expire, how many guaranteed detention spaces will be affected by the expiring agreements, and whether detention problems may result from the expiring agreements, we performed the following.

  • We obtained the USMSís listing of active CAP agreements as of October 18, 2004, showing the number of detention beds guaranteed by the agreements and when the agreements expire.

  • We determined the expiration dates on the USMSís list of active agreements were not always accurate, so we reviewed the USMSís CAP agreement files as of January 13, 2005, for all 180 active CAP agreements and calculated when the agreements would actually expire. We also reviewed the files for all 180 active agreements to verify that the number of guaranteed bed spaces recorded on the list for each agreement was correct.

  • We performed an aging analysis of the listing of active CAP agreements to identify the number of agreements and guaranteed bed spaces that would expire in the near-term (FY 2005 through FY 2007) and long-term (beyond FY 2007).

  • We compared the list of 31 CAP agreements guaranteeing 1,318 bed spaces that will expire in FY 2005 through FY 2007 to the detention status surveys submitted by USMS District offices for FY 2004 to identify the Districts who either indicated on the surveys that detention space was not a problem or did not submit a survey. We then telephonically contacted officials in these District offices to discuss whether the expiration of the CAP agreements in FY 2005 through FY 2007 would, in the absence of additional CAP funding, cause problems in the Districtís ability to secure detention space in the applicable court cities.

To determine whether the USMS had other court cities where CAP agreements are not in place and where detention space may be a problem, we obtained and reviewed the 253 annual detention status surveys that USMS Districts completed for FY 2004 in which they identified their current detention status as either no problem, serious, or emergency. We then compared the surveys to the 180 active CAP agreements to identify the number of court cities whose detention status was reported as serious or emergency in the surveys but no CAP agreements were in place.

To determine whether the USMS and OFDT had developed definitive plans to secure detention space in the absence of CAP funding, we interviewed officials at the USMS and OFDT.

To determine whether the USMS could account for all the CAP funding appropriated since FY 2001, we performed an analysis of the funding history documentation previously discussed to identify the amount of CAP funds:

  • appropriated for FY 2001 through FY 2004;

  • rescinded, re-programmed, and deobligated for FY 2001 through FY 2004; and

  • expended for FY 2001 through FY 2004.

We interviewed USMS and OFDT officials to obtain explanations for ending balances that could not be reconciled to the documentation provided by the USMS and OFDT.

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