The Department of Justice's Terrorism Task Forces
Evaluation and Inspections Report I-2005-007
Office of the Inspector General
The task forces and councils have distinct functions that are generally not duplicative.
The establishment of the task forces and councils has facilitated sharing of information and expanding of partnerships with federal, state, and local law enforcement and other government agencies, and private industry.
The JTTFs are implementing the FBI's new counterterrorism investigative strategy that has provided them with increased capabilities to help the Department achieve its strategic goal of preventing terrorism and promoting the nation's security. The FBI also has improved its agents' access to automated investigative information.
Although the National Security Coordination Council (NSCC) is an important and beneficial forum for Department leaders, the NSCC's role is unclear for long-term counterterrorism planning, centralizing and coordinating counterterrorism policy and operations, and monitoring policy implementation by the components.
1. The Department should assess the counterterrorism functions outlined in the Attorney General's memorandum establishing the NSCC and determine if they are still appropriate for the NSCC. If they are, the Department should ensure that written guidance describes the responsibilities of the NSCC and that the NSCC carries out its assigned functions. If the functions are not appropriate for the NSCC, they should be assigned to another Department entity.
The FBI has not developed a national training plan for the task forces, defined minimum training standards, or conducted a training needs assessment to determine the training needs of task force members. Similarly, neither EOUSA nor CTS has developed a training plan or conducted a training needs assessment for the ATAC Coordinators or members. Notification of available training is ad hoc, and non-FBI task force members believe that FBI members get preference for training notification and attendance.
2. The FBI should develop a national training plan for each task force that includes:
3. EOUSA's Office of Legal Education, along with CTS, should develop a national training plan for ATACs that includes:
4. The ATAC Coordinators should conduct training needs assessments and develop a training plan for ATAC members.
The FBI has not developed a structured, systemwide orientation program for new JTTF and NJTTF members. Additionally, the FBI has not provided written guidance that defines the roles and responsibilities of its task force members.
5. The FBI should develop a formal, standardized orientation program for all new task force members and provide it within 30 days of the new member's start date. Orientation should include:
6. The FBI should finalize MOUs with all agencies participating on the Department's terrorism task forces.
The JTTFs and ATACs have not fully coordinated their efforts to reach out to and share information with law enforcement agencies, first responders, and other relevant organizations in remote areas.
7. The FBI, CTS, EOUSA, and USAOs should work jointly to develop a coordinated strategy to consistently reach out to remote areas.
The FBI has not fully developed outcome-oriented performance measures that effectively determine the progress of the JTTFs, the NJTTF, and the FTTTF, or their individual members. CTS and EOUSA have not developed outcome-oriented performance measures for the ATAC program.
8. The FBI should ensure its performance measures provide an effective means for determining the qualitative and quantitative accomplishments of the task forces and their members in fulfilling the Department's counterterrorism strategy. The measures for the task forces could include the following:
9. CTS and EOUSA should develop outcome-oriented performance measures for the ATAC program. The measures for the ATAC program could include the following:
The ATAC Coordinators are unclear about the roles of CTS, EOUSA, or the USAOs in the ATAC program. No one entity has full responsibility for ATAC program management and oversight is fragmented. The Department, CTS, and EOUSA have not provided ATAC Coordinators adequate guidance on their roles and responsibilities or on how to structure and manage an ATAC. Further, the USAOs' level of compliance with the Attorney General mandate to establish and operate an ATAC varies across judicial districts.
10. The Department should clearly delineate the roles of CTS, EOUSA, and the USAO in the ATAC program, clarifying who has primary responsibility and authority for:
11. CTS and EOUSA should jointly issue written guidance defining their roles and responsibilities in the ATAC program, as well as the roles and responsibilities of the Regional ATAC Coordinators, the National ATAC Coordinator, and the EOUSA point of contact for ATACs. This written guidance should be communicated to the ATAC Coordinators.
12. CTS or EOUSA should issue written guidance for ATAC Coordinators that includes a definition of roles, how to determine membership base, and how to structure and manage an ATAC.
13. EOUSA should strategically analyze the ATAC budget to assess the need for future funding.
14. ATAC Coordinators should regularly update and maintain accurate electronic rosters of the ATAC membership.
15. ATACs should meet at least quarterly, and ATAC Coordinators should periodically review and communicate the ATAC mission to members.
The FBI has not provided stable leadership, organizational structure, or adequate resources to the FTTTF to fully meet its mission. In addition, the FBI has assigned responsibilities to the FTTTF outside of its defined mission. As a result, the FTTTF is behind schedule in its acquisition of databases and development and implementation of its risk assessment tool. Additionally, the FTTTF has not sufficiently marketed its services, and consequently many JTTF and NJTTF members were unaware of the FTTTF and did not use the FTTTF's services to aid their investigations.
16. The FTTTF should develop a plan to acquire and regularly update the required databases from other agencies.
17. The FBI should identify and address the obstacles the FTTTF encounters in securing and regularly updating required databases from other agencies.
18. The FBI should identify and address the FTTTF's unmet resource requirements for staff (FBI and other government agencies), space, and equipment.
19. The FBI should ensure long-term, stable leadership, organizational structure, and housing for the FTTTF.
20. The FTTTF should develop and implement a plan to improve awareness and understanding of its services.
Although the FBI has reallocated considerable resources to the counterterrorism program, the JTTFs still experience certain staffing shortages and turnover in leadership. Some JTTFs experience space and information technology connectivity problems.
21. The FBI should determine and allocate sufficient staff to effectively support the terrorism task forces.
22. The FBI should seek more stability in JTTF leadership.
23. The FBI should develop a plan and issue written guidance for the JTTFs on how to activate new JTTFs and move existing JTTFs to offsite locations.
24. The FBI should ensure sufficient information technology connectivity needed to effectively support the terrorism task forces.
Although Congress, the DEA, and the Department leadership recognize the critical link between drug trafficking and terrorism, the DEA has minimal membership on the JTTFs and did not assign a permanent representative to the NJTTF until April 2004.
25. The DEA should increase its full-time membership on the JTTFs and work with the FBI to assess the optimum locations for new DEA members.
26. The DEA should issue written guidance that defines the roles and responsibilities of its JTTF and NJTTF members and points of contact.
Many of the ICE task force members told us that ICE has not provided them needed direction, has not cross-trained supervisors or agents in their new areas of responsibility, and has not provided a sufficient number of representatives to perform task force work. As a result, the FBI does not have adequate access to immigration and customs expertise and information systems to assist its investigative efforts. We also were told that ICE did not always understand the roles of its task force members, leading to assignment of non-JTTF tasks to its members on the JTTFs.
27. The Deputy Attorney General should work jointly with DHS officials to ensure:
Functions Performed by the States' Homeland Security Task Forces are Viewed as Duplicative to Those Performed by the ATACs.
28. The ATAC Coordinators should work jointly with the state offices of homeland security and the state homeland security task forces to coordinate activities and to minimize duplication and gaps in terrorism-related information sharing and training. &2190;