Semiannual Report to Congress, October 1, 2000 – March 31, 2001
HIGHLIGHTS OF OIG ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Following are highlights of OIG
accomplishments that are discussed in detail in this Report.
The Investigations Division investigated
allegations of bribery, fraud, sexual abuse, theft, alien and drug smuggling,
introduction of contraband into federal prisons, civil rights violations, false
statements, and violations of other laws and procedures that govern Department
employees, contractors, and grantees. Examples of the types of significant cases
that are described in this Report include:
- A clerk assigned to the U.S.
Attorney’s Office (USAO) for the Central District of California embezzled
hundreds of thousands of dollars over a 3-year period using government credit
cards to make hundreds of personal purchases, including clothing, equipment, and
personal services. Based on an investigation by the OIG’s Los Angeles Field
Office, the clerk pled guilty to mail fraud charges and admitted to stealing
$350,000 to $500,000.
- An investigation by the OIG Tucson Field Office
and the Nogales Police Department led to a criminal complaint alleging that a
Border Patrol agent in Arizona took a female alien he had apprehended to a remote
location where he sexually assaulted her before allowing her to return to Mexico.
The Border Patrol agent was arrested on charges of kidnapping, sexual assault,
and sexual abuse.
- The OIG McAllen Field Office investigated allegations
that a Border Patrol agent struck and severely injured a Mexican alien while
attempting to arrest several aliens in Texas. The Border Patrol agent was
convicted following a jury trial on charges of deprivation of rights under color
- The OIG San Diego Field Office and the San Diego Border
Corruption Task Force determined that an Immigration and Naturalization Service
(INS) immigration inspector received approximately $90,000 in bribes from four
Mexican nationals to allow drugs and illegal immigrants to enter the United
States through the inspector’s assigned lane at the San Ysidro Port of Entry
(POE). Based on this investigation, the inspector and three of the Mexican
nationals were arrested.
- An investigation by the OIG Houston Field
Office disclosed that a Bureau of Prisons (BOP) correctional officer had
facilitated the entry of drugs into the Beaumont Correctional Complex for
distribution to inmates. An OIG agent, posing as a drug supplier for inmates, met
with the correctional officer in a hotel parking lot and provided the officer
with 500 grams of cocaine and $1,500. The correctional officer was then arrested.
The Audit Division reviewed
Department organizations, programs, computer technology and security systems, and
financial statements. Audit also conducted or oversaw external audits of
expenditures made under Department contracts, grants, and other agreements.
Examples of significant audits described in this Report include:
- OIG auditors assessed the INS’s property management system and found that the INS
could not account for approximately 61,000 items that cost $68.9 million and
failed to perform and document physical inventories. The audit also found that,
in 539 instances, INS staff did not report lost, missing, or stolen weapons and
that some of these weapons were later used in state or local crimes.
During this reporting period, we conducted 22 audits of Office of Community
Oriented Policing Services (COPS) hiring and redeployment grants that identified
more than $16 million in questioned costs and more than $5 million in funds to
better use. Our review of $5.8 million in COPS grants awarded to the Camden, New
Jersey, Police Department, for example, found that the Police Department (1)
could not show it had provided local matching funds; (2) overstated its
anticipated expenditures; (3) could not support costs charged to its grants, and
(4) did not enhance community policing by the number of sworn officers funded by
the grants. In this audit, we identified $2.1 million in questioned costs and
recommended $3.7 million be put to better use.
- The OIG issued the
fiscal year (FY) 2000 audit of the Department of Justice Consolidated Financial
Statement. The Department received an unqualified opinion on its FY 2000
consolidated balance sheet and statement of custodial activity and a qualified
opinion on its other financial statements. While the Department has made slow but
steady progress in moving toward a “clean” opinion on its annual financial
statement, the OIG expressed concern that the Department lacks automated systems
to support its accounting operations, financial statement preparation, and the
Other important audit reports discussed in this Report
- the adequacy of INS inspection facilities at airports;
- the costs of an intergovernmental service agreement under which the
Government of Guam housed U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) and INS detainees;
- the INS’s data system pertaining to secondary inspections at airports;
- computer security at Department data centers; and
- state and local laboratories that participate in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System.
OIG Inspections and Special Reviews
The Inspections Division produced management assessments and program evaluations that
reviewed the efficiency, vulnerability, and effectiveness of Department
operations. The Special Investigations and Review Unit (SIRU) investigated
sensitive matters involving Department programs or employees. Examples of
Inspections and SIRU reviews discussed in this Report include:
- An OIG review found that the Department’s Offices, Boards, and Divisions (OBDs) were not
following security procedures applicable to contract employees. This resulted in
hundreds of contract employees who did not have the necessary security clearances
being granted access to sensitive Department data and facilities. We found that
44 percent of the 628 contract employees we examined did not have the required
security clearance and that clearances for other contract employees were
insufficient given the sensitivity of their work.
- The OIG found that Department employees accrued unpaid debts of $1.2 million on their government travel charge cards from November 1998 to December 2000. We are currently
conducting a separate review of travel charge card debt in the INS.
- At the request of the Attorney General and the Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence, the OIG has begun an examination of the Department’s performance in
preventing, detecting, and investigating the alleged espionage activities of FBI
agent Robert Philip Hanssen.