The United States Marshals Service's Workforce Planning and Management
(Redacted for Public Release)
Audit Report 07-38
Office of the Inspector General
U.S. Department of Justice
United States Marshals Service
Office of the Director
Washington, DC 20530-1000
June 8, 2007
|MEMORANDUM FOR:||CARYN A. MARSKE
ACTING ASSISTANT INSPECTOR GENERAL
|FROM:||JOHN F. CLARK
|SUBJECT:||Draft Audit Report – The United States Marshals
Service’s Workforce Planning and Management
My staff has reviewed the subject draft report. As requested, attached are the sensitivity review and our comments addressing the report and each of its recommendations. If you have any questions or require further information, please contact Isabel Howell, USMS Audit Liaison, at (202) 307-9744.
|cc:||Carol S. Taraszka
Regional Audit Manager
Denver Regional Audit Office, OIG
Richard P. Theis
DOJ Audit Liaison
USMS Audit Liaison
United States Marshals Service Response to OIG Draft Report:
The United States Marshals Service's Workforce Planning and Management
Inasmuch as the body of the report supports the rationale for the recommendations, the USMS offers the following clarifications. Recommendations 1-15 are addressed individually beginning on Page 6.
Strategic Planning Issues:
The OIG cites 1995 as the year quantitative models began being used in the USMS. Quantitative models were introduced in the USMS for the distribution of resources beginning in 1986 when multiple regression models were used to allocate resources. From 2003 to present, the District Staffing Model (formerly District Budget Model) has been used.
The Unit Performance Plans (UPP) are tools for organizational units to use to implement the Strategic Plan. Although they are not managed by the headquarters, the Management and Budget Division does review them, does communicate with organizational units about them, and continues to work with management to ensure that the measures are meaningful. The UPPs were first implemented after midyear of 2006, therefore they do not yet contain a full year of data, yet they have still been extremely useful in furthering the aims of the Strategic Plan objectives. Further, the USMS has convened two Strategic Advancement Forums (SAF) to implement and monitor the progress of the Strategic Plan objectives. These forums ensure that the objectives of the Strategic Plan are adequately conveyed, advanced, and monitored.
Workforce Management Planning:
District Budget and Workforce Equalization Models
The report states that the USMS adjusts District Budget Model (DBM) figures to incorporate future events; however, that is not the case. Future events are taken into account in resource planning, but they do not affect the DBM.
The OIG states that "the USMS Director suspended use of the DBM and the WEM in an attempt to ensure a more balanced approach to allocating human and financial resources." The statement implies dissatisfaction with the models used, however, as a new director, Director Clark wanted to take a fresh look at the resource allocation methodology, and ensure that sufficient and objective district input and critical review be considered.
The report states that the USM-7 is "the only source of empirical USMS resource utilization data." It is more accurate to say that it is the only empirical source of employee time resources. There are numerous empirical sources of other types of resources such as:
Resources go beyond employee time. Funding utilization is closely monitored through STARS. FMS is also an empirical source of resource utilization data for both labor and non-labor resource expenditures. This information is also tracked by mission by project code and can be linked to employee time in the USM-7.
Mission specific databases such as WIN and PTS are also used to analyze resource utilization to address specific needs. For example, the number of warrants assigned per deputy, the number of deputies assigned to courtrooms on a given day, or the number of people assigned to RFTFs.
Program and Project Codes
The report states that the USM-7 "is designed so that each project code can be linked to a broader program code associated with a USMS mission area." The OIG believes that the program codes "can be of value to the USMS in determining its resource utilization." This is in keeping with the recommendation to reduce the number of codes used. The USMS recognizes the need for accuracy in time reporting and as such, identifies codes that are required to maintain our ability to track resource utilization. The USMS does not use "program" codes as defined by the OIG but instead captures USMS missions through project codes.
The report identifies that multiple project codes could be associated with similar codes. The reason that Special Assignments have specific codes, (i.e. Terrorist Trials, High Threat trials, Judicial Conferences and Protection details), is that although similar to "In Court with Prisoner and Judicial/Other Protection," they are funded in a different manner and therefore require different codes for tracking purposes. Project Codes associated with Special Assignments are missions that cannot be accomplished with district resources, for which JSD has agreed to provide additional human and financial resources to the district. These codes are utilized for JSD to fund, coordinate and report these specialized missions. The project code "In Court with Prisoner and Judicial/Other Protection" is associated with missions funded by each district's work plan with no additional support from HQ.
The report implies that contractors perform a broad spectrum of duties. Contract employees are used in narrowly defined mission areas that are specified by contract and monitored by Contracting Officer's Technical Representatives (COTR). All contractors are paid from a funded project code, and these resources are therefore easily identifiable by mission.
The report states that because district offices receive general allocations of operational and administrative positions, "the USMS cannot definitively determine if its resources are being used appropriately...." The USMS gives decentralized authority and responsibility to districts to manage their overall resources according to local needs in line with the Strategic Plan and the USMS Policy Directives. The understanding is that the local authorities know better than Headquarters what the daily needs may be, and will make the most efficient use of these resources. The USMS does track all workload, accomplishments, and time utilization data associated with these resources, and determines the achievement of organizational objectives as seen through its annual Financial Statements, Quarterly Status Reports, monthly data by program area, annual data reports, annual Budget Formulation Requests (containing performance data by strategic goal), and its annual Budget Execution Plans.
USMS Resource Utilization:
Footnote 38 states that each employee assigns time to 1,607 project codes. However, as noted earlier, no more than 250 codes are active in any given fiscal year.
Footnote 39 states that "Protection of the Judicial Process" is not one of the program codes. As noted earlier, the USMS does not make use of program codes as the OIG has identified them. Each project has its own code because often a project will impact more than one USMS mission area.
The report identifies the threat number for FY 2004 as 678. The correct threat number is 553. The OIG states that data reflects 24 FTE were utilized on protective investigations. The USMS does not dispute this statistical finding; however, we believe the data is underreported due to project code definitions, organizational changes and changes in USM-7 versions. The USMS has evaluated the hours of the inspectors and intelligence research specialists who were assigned to OPI from July 1, 2005 (when JSD/OPI assumed the responsibility for protective investigations from ISD/ASU) and found that their hours were not logged appropriately toward protective investigations, but to the overall JSD mission. This broad cataloging or characterization of captured FTE for OPI continued throughout much of 2006. However, despite the broad definition, it is common knowledge that those OPI FTE utilized in FY 2005 and 2006 were almost exclusively in furtherance of the protective investigations mission.
As stated earlier, the USMS believes the FTE in this area is underreported. However, the increase in Inappropriate Communications/Threats cannot be debated. The growth of the Office of Protective Intelligence should be noted in this area to reflect that the issue is being addressed. OPI had five personnel in 2005, increased to 15 in the latter half of 2006, and 20 in 2007.
The USMS concurs with the assessment from the "official" from C/CA. However, it should also be clearly noted that every case was reviewed immediately and an assessment of the level of threat to USMS protectees was made in every case. The USMS does not concur with the inference that attention was not given to every threat made against a USMS protectee.
On October 1, 2006, OPI identified all 1,190 "pending" cases that existed (all of which had received an initial investigative review). OPI aggressively worked with the districts independently to either provide meaningful investigative updates or to articulate why cases should be closed, for every single case. Of 1,190 "pending" cases, OPI found that approximately 690 of those cases were closed by the investigating/originating districts. OPI elected not to expend precious FTE conducting a MOSAIC analysis on those cases for which the investigator and district management in the field had already determined there was no legitimate threat to be analyzed. The remaining 500 cases received the MOSAIC analysis and the analysis was disseminated to the investigating/originating district to further their investigations. This process was completed as of March 2007. Those cases which OPI elected not to conduct a MOSAIC analysis on (closed cases) were documented in the JDIS/WIN system in the narrative portion as an "Admin Closure." This was completed on May 18, 2007. Therefore, as of May 18, 2007, OPI has no "pending" or "backlogged" cases requiring analysis.
It should be highlighted that the great majority of the prior year cases in exhibit 3-6 were in the last month of the year. It is touched on, but not adequately explained. If a district does not get the information pertaining to a threat immediately, and if the district does not report via JDIS/WIN immediately, there is a lag time that can cross over months. When the lag time is in the month of September into October, it will cross fiscal years. For example from exhibit 3-6, 20 of the 28 cases reported from prior fiscal years were from 2004. OPI researched the cases and determined that all 20 of those cases came from the month of September; thus, 8 cases of 953, or less than 1 percent, truly came from a prior fiscal year. The same can be said of FY 2006 when only 12 cases of 1,111 reported actually came from a prior fiscal year.
The OIG states that "...the OPI speculated that data entry errors...contributed to these delays." OPI actually proved this reasoning to be true. In approximately 11 cases in FY 2005 and 13 cases in FY 2006, this input error occurred. OIG accurately states that this problem has been identified by OPI and subsequently rectified by USMS ITS and as a result cannot occur today.
The OIG states that data from 2000 to 2005 shows that the USMS had an increase in fugitive investigation workload by 45 percent and that the USMS responded with an increase of 48 percent of FTE's dedicated to working fugitive investigations. However, the OIG interviewed employees from seven different districts and because of anecdotal information received from some of those interviews, concluded that the USMS does not address its fugitive mission correctly by failing to assign sufficient FTE's to work fugitive cases, which contradicts the empirical data noted above. The anecdotal information is further contradicted by the data from the seven districts. In Exhibit 3-7, the OIG displayed data showing that four of the seven districts examined increased their operational utilization on fugitive warrants, and three decreased. During the exit conference, the USMS explained that three districts showing a decrease in the number of FTE's (based on USM-7 data) from 2000 to 2005 were D.C. Superior Court, the Northern District of Illinois and the Southern District of New York. The explanation for this is that congressionally funded Regional Fugitive Task Forces were established between 2000 and 2005 in each of these districts. Consequently, regional fugitive task forces take the bulk of the fugitive investigation workload from the districts, which in turn, will naturally be required to dedicate fewer FTE's to working fugitive investigations.
Contract Guard Utilization
The OIG reports that a small percentage of contract guards recorded their time in areas outside of USMS directives. To investigate this issue, the OIG discussed contract guard utilization with each Assistant Director. However, Assistant Directors are not intimately familiar with the duties of the contract guards or the mechanics of the payroll interface, and therefore are not the best resource in explaining why contract guards might charge time to projects outside of their normal activities.
The USMS believes it is unlikely that guards are being used inappropriately. For example, the report identifies contract guards performing protective details, DAG details, and Supreme Court protective missions. The USMS can assure the OIG that at no time do contract guards perform these duties. As indicated in the discussion of project codes, these are HQ missions that require assistance from the districts. HQ reimburses each district with guard hire for each Deputy Marshal assigned to these protective missions. The Project Code from Special Assignments must be utilized to track all expenses associated with that particular mission. The contract guard must utilize that project code so the district can be reimbursed. It should not be interpreted as the contract guard working the protective detail, but should be viewed as the guard performing authorized duties in the district for the Deputy that is assigned to the protective mission.
Contract guards charge time to the project under which they are being paid, regardless of the type of activity they are performing. It is necessary to the management of USMS resources and reimbursable agreements that they continue to do so. If the USMS receives resources designated for the fugitive mission, and a backfill guard who would be performing prisoner related work in lieu of the deputy is used to support that mission, it is critical that they charge their time to the fugitive mission. Anything else would result in a misreporting of resource utilization.
Footnote 58 references Detention Enforcement Officers (DEOs) as applicant sources for the Deputy U.S. Marshal (DUSM) positions but continues by stating"...most DUSM positions are not filled by DEO ranks, but rather from outside the USMS." This statement is accurate, not because DEOs are not viable candidates, but because there are fewer DEOs in the USMS than vacancies typically filled each year.
USMS Comments Regarding OIG Recommendations 1-15
Recommendation 1: Ensure that the USMS's strategic plan efforts are improved through oversight of the Unit Performance Plan initiative and stronger promotion of the strategic plan by district management.
Response: Concur. The USMS will advance the goals of the strategic plan and the Unit Performance Plans through its recently established Strategic Advancement Forums. To better coordinate resources and measure performance, the Director recently (May 11, 2007) established the Financial Management Steering Committee, whose mission is to develop a Tactical Plan by leveraging the Unit Performance Plans, Strategic Advancement Forums, and periodic formal reviews.
Recommendation 2: Improve its time reporting system and ensure the integrity of system data by: (1) allowing for the tracking of time by the minimum number of project codes necessary; and (2) implementing an automated control to ensure that all records entered into the time reporting system contain an active project code.
Response: Concur. The USMS will use the fewest codes it believes it needs in order to meet multiple reporting requirements. Although the current DOJ time-recording system allows the use of invalid codes, the USMS's payroll interface does not allow invalid codes to be processed into its reporting systems. The USMS will work with DOJ's Justice Management Division to better identify its time-recording requirements and will explore the availability of third party time-recording systems that might better fulfill this role.
Recommendation 3: Ensure it has a reliable, standardized process of tracking, by activity, the time of contractors procured through national vendor contracts (other than CSOs). The process should enable the USMS to generate cumulative reports of such activity so that the USMS is able to determine the total number of resources it requires to accomplish its various mission activities.
Response: Concur. The USMS will develop a system to track the time of non-CSO contractors procured through national vendor accounts.
Recommendation 4: Implement adequate automated controls into the WIN to ensure that: (1) warrants that have valid warrant closing dates are in a closed status, and (2) fugitive warrants are assigned a proper execution code when closed.
Response: Concur. In response to section (1) of this recommendation, the OIG found 38 records out of nearly 844,000 where the WIN record had a valid warrant closure date, but the record was not in closed status. Currently, automated controls are in place within the WIN programming to help ensure that this does not occur. Unfortunately, automated controls do not prevent programming bugs and data transmission errors from producing small percentages of data anomalies in any automated system. Therefore, in addition to automated controls, the USMS performs manual data reviews and employees are repeatedly reminded of the importance of WIN data accuracy. For example, in January 2007, the Assistant Director for Investigations formalized regional support to the USMS field offices through the Criminal Information Branch which routinely reviews district and task force WIN data for accuracy. Also, as announced in an April 2007 memorandum from the Deputy Director, the USMS will convene a data validation and compliance review workgroup.
In response to section (2) of this recommendation, the OIG found 113 warrant records with an execution code for non-fugitive warrant investigations. As noted during the exit conference, there was a small window of time when execution codes for non-fugitive cases were available for selection by users closing out warrant cases. When this was discovered, the programming was corrected so that now only warrant execution codes are available for fugitive cases and threat execution codes are available for threat investigation cases. Overall, the OIG's recommendation is based on a review of 844,000 records spanning years 2000 – 2005. In the report, the OIG comments that data inconsistencies could "affect the overall accuracy of the system" while also acknowledging that the data inconsistencies noted "accounted for less than 1 percent of the total number of records." We agree that accuracy is paramount as demonstrated by our actual data accuracy and continued control efforts.
Recommendation 5: Perform regular reviews of PTS to ensure the accuracy of the information contained within this system.
Response: Concur. The USMS agrees with the OIG that regular reviews of information contained within our databases will help ensure data accuracy. In response to the OIG's review of the Prisoner Tracking System (PTS), the USMS implemented an error tracking program. Controls were also set up to stop erroneous data from entering the database. For the newest version of PTS, data from all the 94 separate databases will be combined and reviewed to ensure completeness and accuracy.
Recommendation 6: Review alternative options for assigning prisoner identification numbers within PTS to ensure that all prisoner movements are accurately tracked.
Response: Concur. The USMS is developing policy changes to strengthen tracking of prisoner movements and eliminate the use of "0" as a prisoner identifier. The WPD will work with MBD to ensure any analyses performed on this data include all records.
Recommendation 7: Require that resource utilization reports be generated and reviewed regularly by USMS management to ensure USMS resources are being utilized as intended. Particular attention should be paid to the area of protective investigations.
Response: Concur. The USMS will create regularly generated resource utilization reports for review by USMS management.
Recommendation 8: Ensure that there is an adequate number of staff familiar with the data systems to allow for continuity in the assessment of the USMS workload.
Response: Concur. The USMS will ensure that the number of staff familiar with its data systems is sufficient to adequately assess its workload.
Recommendation 9: Develop a formalized training program for USMS operational personnel selected to be Field Training Officers to ensure that they have adequate knowledge, skills and abilities to instruct new staff.
Response: Concur. Currently, USMS districts select FTO's with at least five years of criminal investigative experience based on experience, skill level and professionalism. These FTO's, selected by district managers, serve as mentors and assist new employees with completion of the deputy development program, either accelerated for converting 082 to 1811 DUSM's or the three year program for new hire DUSM's. Current policy requires the FTO responsibility be rotated among senior deputy marshals and should be based on their specific expertise. The Training Academy will develop an FTO training program deliverable via CBT so that we can continue to utilize the breadth and depth of experience that we possess in a variety of individuals who may be assigned as an FTO. The program will be in DVD/CD Rom format and provided to every district office for viewing by assigned FTO's.
Recommendation 10: Ensure that CIDUSMs attend the Advanced Deputy Training course within the timeframes prescribed by the USMS.
Response: Concur. The USMS will change the prescribed time frames for attendance at Advanced Deputy training to more accurately reflect the amount of time it will take to conduct this training for more than 3100 eligible operational employees. Additional Instructional FTE and funding would be required to conduct more than 10 Advanced Deputy Training Programs that will be conducted in fiscal year 2007.
Recommendation 11: Ensure that newly appointed USMS supervisors attend USMS Supervisory training within a reasonable period of time following their promotion.
Response: Concur. The USMS conducts two supervisory programs for supervisors, administrative officers and headquarters inspectors. Both the Introduction to Management and Leadership (IML) and Managing for Success (MFS) programs are one week in length and delivered to eligible employees. We are delivering a minimum of two each of these programs in Fiscal Year 2007. Additionally, the Training Academy is evaluating these programs this year through a committee composed of field managers to assess alternatives, supplements or enhancements to these programs. We are exploring additional external management training programs that we could schedule new supervisors into immediately after promotion to supervisor until the next USMS program (IML/MFS) is conducted.
Recommendation 12: Establish a procedure to periodically review the training of DEOs to identify and rectify any backlog of untrained DEOs that exists.
Response: Concur. The USMS will review quarterly at a minimum the roster of newly hired DEOs in consonance with HRD to ensure that they are formally trained during their first year of employment. The USMS currently has 17 DEOs requiring training who will attend the DEO training in August of 2007. Based on the current rate of hire for DEOs, the USMS is providing timely training. The Training Academy will also continue to evaluate a DEO's previous LEO training and grant waivers where appropriate. DEO hiring is decentralized and dependent upon JPATS or District hiring. It is inefficient to train handfuls of DEOs as they are hired and we lack the instructor resources to do so.
Recommendation 13: Establish a continuing education program for DEOs.
Response: Concur. The Training Academy, will formalize through correspondence with all USMS offices the opportunity for DEOs to attend advance training programs at the FLETC and participate in external training programs. Currently, DEOs are afforded the opportunity to attend the Firearms Instructor Training Program (FITP), Prisoner Tracking System (PTS), Conditions of Confinement (CCT) and any number of external training programs approved by district management. Further, the Training Academy will explore the development of an advanced DEO training program that will provide refresher training in firearms, search and restraints, defensive tactics, PTS and JDIS.
Recommendation 14: Ensure that training funds are effectively managed and that significant surpluses are avoided.
Response: Concur. The Training Academy, in conjunction with the Management and Budget Division (MBD), will allocate funding under newly established project codes that more accurately reflect funding that is allocated for non-training expenses such as Academy operating expenses, Instructor and student training equipment, response equipment, and program administration costs for firearms, less than lethal weapons and body armor program administration. The Academy and MBD changed the methodology used for forecasting basic training class costs beginning in Fiscal Year 2007. This change will decrease to a large degree the surpluses resulting from basic training classes related to on-center lodging costs at the FLETC. It should be noted that this change created a shortage of allocated funding for our first basic class conducted in fiscal year 2007 due to increased housing costs. Additionally, student housing costs for basic classes is directly tied to the location the students are actually housed. Those determinations are made at the sole discretion of the FLETC and not within USMS control.
For clarification, the following provides a breakdown of the expenditures identified in the report for fiscal years 2003 thru 2006:
FY2003, $623,640 End-of-Year Purchases, Overall Surplus $224,500
Majority of surplus funding was transferred to the Academy for Glock acquisition and ammunition and the remainder was returned as requested.
FY2004, $168,302 End-of-Year Purchases, Overall Surplus $183,820
Surplus funding was recalled by HQ
FY2005, $85,852 End-of-Year Purchases, Overall Surplus $25,625
FY2006, $312,524 End-of-Year Purchases, Overall Surplus $41,307
Recommendation 15: Follow up with DOJ's plans for establishing a department- wide system to record employee training. At the same time, consider developing an interim centralized system to track training for each USMS employee.
Response: Concur. The USMS is actively working with JMD in pursuit of a Learning Management System (LMS) to facilitate and track employee training. The Training Academy is also pursuing acquisition of a Training Management System. Such a system would automate Academy functions including: student/instructor record management, curriculum management, testing and evaluation, search and reporting of various data and also interface with district offices to track mandated in-district training, and firearms qualifications.
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