Department of Justice Conference Expenditures

Audit Report 07-42
September 2007
Office of the Inspector General


Appendix V
Consolidated DOJ Response to Audit
Report Recommendations

U. S. Department of Justice
Justice Management Division

Washington, D.C. 20530



MEMORANDUM

TO: Raymond J. Beaudet
Acting Assistant Inspector General
   for Audit

FROM: Lee J. Lofthus
Assistant Attorney General
   for Administration

SUBJECT: Response to recommendations contained in the Office of the Inspector Generalís (OIG) Draft Report: Department of Justice Conference Expenditures

This responds to the Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) draft audit report: Department of Justice Conference Expenditures.

Recommendation 1: Work with DOJ components to provide a uniform way to calculate and report conference costs.

Response: The Justice Management Division (JMD) concurs with the recommendation. By March 31, 2008, the JMD will issue guidance to all DOJ components to provide a uniform method for calculating and reporting conference costs.

Status: The JMD considers this recommendation to be resolved.

Recommendation 2: Implement procedures allowing for it to report individual conference expenditures when requested by JMD or other oversight entity.

Response: The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) concurs with the recommendation. On October 1, 2006, the DEA implemented procedures that enabled it to report individual conference expenditures when requested by JMD or other oversight entities on October 1, 2006. The DEA added a new category code in the Federal Financial System (FFS) to identify conference costs. Guidance for the new procedures was distributed via a CFO Bulletin and FFS Bulletin.

Status: The DEA considers this recommendation closed.

Recommendation 3: Implement specific guidance regarding what comparisons of costs between different sites conference planners should perform to ensure the best location for the best value.

Response: The JMD concurs with the recommendation. By March 31, 2008, the JMD will implement specific guidance regarding what comparisons of costs between different sites conference planners should perform to ensure the best location for the best value.

Status: The JMD considers this recommendation resolved.

Recommendation 4: Ensure that its conference planners develop and retain documents that evidence complete site cost comparisons.

Response: The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) concurs with the recommendation. By March 31, 2008, the OJP will ensure that its conference planners develop and retain documents that evidence complete site cost comparisons.

Status: The OJP considers this recommendation resolved.

Recommendation 5: Deobligate the $225,117 remaining balance of cooperative agreement number 2005-MX-KX-K001.

Response: The OJP concurs with the recommendation. By September 30, 2007, the OJP will work with program offices to deobligate the $225,117 remaining balance of cooperative agreement number 2005-MX-KX-K001.

Status: The OJP considers this recommendation resolved.

Recommendation 6: Evaluate methods to solicit, hire, and assess external event planners to ensure that conference planning costs comply with FTR and DOJ conference planning guidelines.

Response: The OJP concurs with the recommendation. By March 31, 2008, the OJP will evaluate methods to solicit, hire, and assess external event planners to ensure that conference planning costs comply with FTR and DOJ conference planning guidelines.

Status: The OJP considers this recommendation resolved.

Recommendation 7: Develop and implement general food and beverage policies that DOJ conference planners can use when planning events.

Response: The JMD concurs with the recommendation. By March 31, 2008, the JMD will develop and implement general food and beverage policies that DOJ conference planners can use when planning events.

Status: The JMD considers this recommendation resolved.

Recommendation 8. Instruct DOJ component Chief Financial Officers to develop and implement procedures that ensure employees deduct the appropriate amount from the M&IE rate for government-provided meals from their submitted travel vouchers.

Response: The JMD concurs with the recommendation. By September 30, 2007, the JMD will instruct DOJ component Chief Financial Officers to develop and implement procedures that ensure employees deduct the appropriate amount from the M&IE rate for government-provided meals from their submitted travel vouchers.

Status: The JMD considers this recommendation resolved.

Recommendation 9: Ensure components that sponsor conferences with costly food and beverages develop a mechanism to adequately document reasons and approval for food and beverage costs.

Response: The JMD concurs with the recommendation. By March 31, 2008, the JMD will develop policy requiring components that sponsor conferences with costly food and beverages develop a mechanism to adequately document reasons and approval for food and beverage costs.

Status: The JMD considers this recommendation resolved.

Recommendation 10: Develop procedures that ensure compliance with existing policies governing the reasonableness of conference food and beverage costs.

Response: The OJP concurs with the recommendation. By March 31, 2008, the OJP will develop procedures that ensure compliance with existing policies governing the reasonableness of conference food and beverage costs.

Recommendation 11: Develop procedures that ensure compliance with existing policies governing the reasonableness of conference food and beverage costs.

Response: The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) concurs with the recommendation. The COPS will develop procedures that ensure compliance with existing policies governing the reasonableness of conference food and beverage costs.

Status: The COPS considers this recommendation resolved.

Recommendation 12: Develop and implement policies to reprogram unused award funds in ways that mitigate unnecessary indirect costs.

Response: The COPS concurs with the recommendation. The COPS will develop and implement policies to reprogram unused award funds in ways that mitigate unnecessary indirect costs.

Status: The COPS considers this recommendation resolved.

Recommendation 13: Account for the $103,893 in COPS award funds passed to a consortium member organization to pay for food and beverage costs at the 2006 COPS National Conference.

Response: The COPS concurs with the recommendation. The COPS has accounted for the $103,893 in COPS award funds passed to a consortium member organization to pay for food and beverage costs at the 2006 COPS National Conference.

Status: The COPS considers this recommendation closed.

Recommendation 14: Develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the miscellaneous receipts statute.

Response: The OJP concurs with the recommendation. By March 31, 2008, the OJP will develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the miscellaneous receipts statute.

Status: The OJP considers this recommendation resolved.

If you have any questions concerning this subject, please contact Chris Alvarez, Deputy Director, JMD/Finance Staff, on (202)616-5234, or Lori Armold, Assistant Director, Financial Management Policies and Requirements Group, JMD/Finance Staff, on (202)616-5216.

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