The United States Marshals Service's Workforce Planning and Management
(Redacted for Public Release)
Audit Report 07-38
Office of the Inspector General
Between FYs 2000 and 2006, the OIG conducted nine audits of USMS programs that included various aspects related to this audit. The following is a summary of each report.
USMS Financial Statement Audit
In February 2006, the OIG issued its report on the FY 2005 financial statement audit of the USMS.70 While the USMS received an unqualified opinion on its financial statements, the auditors identified four reportable conditions, three of which were material weaknesses. The first material weakness related to the overall internal control environment, including needed improvements in the control environment, risk assessment, control activities, information and communication, and monitoring of control activities and financial transactions. The report also noted a material weakness related to the management and recording of property. The third material weakness identified deficiencies in the information systemís general and application control environments and recommended improvements in the areas of segregation of duties, system software, and access controls. Furthermore, the report identified a reportable condition related to compliance issues that may have a significant affect on the USMSís internal controls with regard to the Prompt Payment Act (PPA), the Improper Payments Information Act, and the Federal Managersí Financial Integrity Act. Finally, in addition to the compliance issues discussed above, the auditors reported that the USMSís financial management systems did not substantially comply with the requirements of the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act (FFMIA).
In January 2007, the OIG issued its report on the FY 2006 financial statement audit of the USMS, which also resulted in an unqualified opinion.71 However, significant improvements were made in internal controls that resulted in the reduction of the number of reportable conditions from four to two. The FY 2006 reportable conditions, both of which were material weaknesses, identified the need for improvements regarding: (1) financial statement quality control and (2) information system general and application controls. The auditors also concluded that the USMS had repeat findings with the PPA and the FFMIA.
USMSís Apprehension of Violent Fugitives
In July 2005, the OIG issued a report on the USMSís effort to apprehend violent fugitives.72 The OIG reported that the USMS has realized an increase in the overall number of violent fugitive apprehensions as well as an increase in the number of apprehensions of violent fugitives per staff. However, despite an increased emphasis on the apprehension of violent fugitives and the establishment of Regional Fugitive Task Forces (RFTF), the proportion of apprehensions that involved violent fugitives did not change significantly over the period of review. The USMS attributed the increase in the number of violent federal fugitives to an increased number of federal task forces that generated more fugitives. Moreover, the OIG found that the USMS investigated more federal fugitives referred from other federal agencies and that state and local law enforcement agencies requested more assistance from the USMS in the apprehension of fugitives. In addition, the OIG found that the USMS had not fully shifted its focus to violent fugitive investigations and was accepting less than high-priority cases from state and local entities. Finally, despite the RFTFís apparent efficiency and effectiveness, U.S. Marshals in the districts were reluctant to assign both staff and violent fugitive cases to the RFTF. The U.S. Marshals who were interviewed cited the following reasons for not assigning staff and cases: (1) the RFTFs are not under the U.S. Marshalís control, (2) the assignment of the more complex cases to the RFTFís might possibly deny district deputies the opportunity to develop the needed investigative skills, and (3) the negative effect on morale resulting from the perception that the district Deputy U.S. Marshals were incapable of conducting the more complex investigations.
USMSís Use of Contract Guards
In May 2005, the OIG released a report on the USMSís use of independent contractors as guards.73 The OIG reported that, based on workload statistics, the USMS heavily relies on independent contractors on a daily basis for prisoner handling activities within district offices Ė sometimes accounting for more than 50 percent of the total hours charged for prisoner handling activities. The report stated that the USMS district offices were not adhering to formal procurement guidelines and were not maintaining complete files on the guards used. In addition, the review identified significant internal control weakness related to the hiring, qualifications, fitness for duty, and training of the guards. The OIG made seven recommendations, including ensuring that procurement procedures are followed, requiring contracting officers to maintain complete files, improving the training program, and exploring alternative methods for obtaining guard services.
USMSís Administration of the Witness Security Program
In March 2005, the OIG released a report on the USMSís administration of the Witness Security Program (WITSEC).74 The OIG expressed concerns that staffing levels are not adequate to manage increasing workload levels and warned that the quality of service provided to program participants could be adversely affected. In addition, the report identified that USMS WITSEC personnel were working a considerable amount of time on non-WITSEC protective details resulting in a significant drain on WITSEC resources. Further, the OIG noted that WITSEC inspector positions have a journeyman grade level of a GS-12, while other comparable specialist positions within the USMS are at a GS-13. As a result, morale among WITSEC inspectors was low.
USMSís Prisoner Tracking System
In August 2004, the OIG issued a report on the USMSís Prisoner Tracking System (PTS) that identified significant weaknesses relative to the management and control of the PTS and major deficiencies with data accuracy and completeness included in the PTS.75 As of May 2006, the USMS had adequately addressed 17 of the 20 recommendations resulting in their closure.
USMSís Judicial Security Process
In March 2004, the OIG released a report on its review of the USMSís judicial security process.76 The report found that, despite a greater emphasis being placed on judicial security since September 11, 2001, the USMS failed to assess the majority of reported threats against the judiciary in a timely manner. Further, the report cited that the USMS lacked an effective intelligence program designed to collect, analyze, and disseminate intelligence related to high-threat trials and threats to the judiciary. The OIG made 6 recommendations, including assigning full-time representatives to all of the FBIís Joint Terrorism Task Forces as well as ensuring effective liaison with other intelligence agencies, and creating a centralized capability to identify, collect, analyze, and share intelligence with the district offices.
USMSís Prisoner Medical Care Program
In February 2004, the OIG issued a report on the USMSís prisoner medical care program.77 The USMS utilized contract guards to provide security during transportation to and from external medical treatments. The report found that the USMS did not adhere to the Federal Procurement Regulations or ensure that the contract guards had the requisite qualifications, background investigations, or adequate training. Finally, the OIG noted that the operation was ill-managed, creating an environment in which the USMS could not manage the risks inherent with transporting prisoners to and from off-site health care facilities.
USMSís Warrant Information Network
In November 2002, the OIG issued a report on the USMSís Warrant Information Network (WIN).78 The audit revealed vulnerabilities in 16 of the 17 areas used to assess management, operational, and technical controls in information systems.
USMSís Court Security Officer Program
In August 2000, the OIG issued a report on the USMSís Court Security Officer (CSO) program.79 The report indicated that the overwhelming majority of U.S. Marshals and chief judges who were surveyed were satisfied with the performance of the CSO program. However, there were concerns related to the centralized manner in which the program was run. In addition, the OIG noted that some U.S. Marshals expressed their belief that CSOs did not receive adequate training for the duties required of them.
Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General. United States Marshals Service Annual Financial Statement Fiscal Year 2005, Audit Report 06-09, February 2006.
Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General. United States Marshals Service Annual Financial Statement Fiscal Year 2006, Audit Report 07-14, January 2007.
Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General. Review of the United States Marshals Service Apprehension of Violent Fugitives, Report I-2005-008, July 2005.
Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General. United States Marshals Serviceís Use of Independent Contractor as Guards, Audit Report 05-24, May 2005.
Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General. United States Marshals Service Administration of the Witness Security Program, Audit Report 05-10, March 2005.
Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General. United States Marshals Serviceís Prisoner Tracking System, Audit Report 04-29, August 2004.
Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General. Review of the United States Marshals Service Judicial Security Process, Report I-2004-004, March 2004.
Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General. United States Marshals Serviceís Prisoner Medical Care, Audit Report 04-14, February 2004.
Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General. The United States Marshals Serviceís Warrant Information Network Audit Report 03-03, November 2002.
Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General. U.S. Marshals Service Court Security Officer Program, Audit Report 00-21, August 2000.
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