October 1, 2001–March 31, 2002
Office of the Inspector General
OTHER OIG ACTIVITIES
During this reporting period, the IG testified before congressional committees six times.
- Belated Production of Documents in the Oklahoma City Bombing Investigation: The IG testified before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on March 21, 2002, about the findings in the OIG's 192-page report on the belated production of documents by the FBI in the Oklahoma City bombing case.
- Oversight of Department Grant Programs: The IG testified before the House Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on Crime on March 15, 2002, about the OIG's oversight of Department grant programs, which account for almost $5 billion, or 20 percent, of the Department's annual budget. The IG's testimony highlighted results from numerous OIG audits, inspections, and investigations of grants issued by OJP and COPS.
- Oversight of the Visa Waiver Program: During a hearing called by the House Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims to examine the VWP, the IG testified about a December 2001 OIG follow-up review to a 1999 OIG inspection of the program. The VWP, a joint responsibility of the INS and the Department of State, waives visa requirements for visitors from 28 countries who travel to the United States for business or pleasure. The OIG's follow-up review found that the INS had implemented the OIG's 1999 recommendations in an inconsistent and incomplete manner.
- Restructuring the INS: The IG testified before the House Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims about enforcement and performance issues at the INS. In his testimony at the October 17, 2001, hearing, the IG identified four systemic deficiencies he believed the INS needs to address in order to effectively fulfill its critical responsibilities: (1) management weaknesses that affect program design and implementation, (2) information systems that are unreliable, (3) overlapping and unclear chains of command that hinder consistent enforcement of policies and procedures throughout the INS, and (4) a lack of individual and organizational accountability.
- Technology's Role in Preventing Terrorism: The IG testified before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism, and Government Information about the role of technology in preventing the entry of terrorists into the United States. In his remarks at the October 12, 2001, hearing, the IG discussed the results of OIG reviews of Department information technology systems, particularly in the INS. IG Fine testified that the OIG has found significant problems in a variety of INS programs and their associated information technology systems that leave gaps in the INS's attempts to secure the nation's borders.
- Using Technology To Secure America's Borders: In a hearing on October 11, 2001, the House Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims also focused on the use of technology to secure America's borders. In addition to discussing the OIG's recent work reviewing INS programs and their associated information technology systems, the IG testified that many OIG reviews have questioned the reliability of the INS's automated information systems and the accuracy of the data produced by those systems.
TOP MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES
During this reporting period, the OIG transmitted to Congress its annual list of "Top Management Challenges" in the Department. The OIG has created such a list since 1997. The challenges are not listed in order of seriousness; however, in a transmittal letter to Congress, the IG noted that the top challenge facing the Department is its response to terrorism, a challenge that the OIG first placed on the list last year. In addition to updating management challenges that were on the list in previous years, the December 2001 list added three new challenges ("Sharing of Intelligence and Law Enforcement Information," "Performance Based Management," and "Department of Justice Organizational Structure"). The OIG combined two challenges from its 2000 list ("INS Border Strategy" and "Removal of Illegal Aliens" have become "The INS's Enforcement of Immigration Laws") and removed two challenges ("Prison Overcrowding" and "Human Capital"). The 2001 Top Management Challenges are:
- Intelligence Gathering and Information Sharing
- Information Systems Planning and Implementation
- Computer Systems Security
- Financial Statements and Systems
- Detention Space and Infrastructure - USMS and INS
- The INS's Enforcement of Immigration Laws
- Grant Management
- Performance-Based Management
- Department of Justice Restructuring
Detailed information about this list and an overview of the OIG's efforts to assist the Department in developing strategies to address these management challenges can be found on the OIG's website at
BRIEFINGS AND TRAINING
OIG personnel regularly provide briefings and training inside and outside the Department. For example, during this reporting period:
- OIG investigators conducted 142 Integrity Awareness Briefings for Department employees throughout the country. These briefings are designed to educate employees about the misuse of a public official's position for personal gain and to deter employees from committing such offenses. The briefings reached 4,542 employees.
- The Deputy IG made a presentation at the Department's National Advocacy Center, Columbia, South Carolina, on ethics and misconduct investigations. The conference was conducted by the EOUSA and was attended by approximately 70 ethics advisors from the USAOs.
- OIG personnel met with international visitors to discuss issues involving corruption and fraud. The special agent in charge of Investigations' San Diego Field Office met with officials from many Central and South American countries as part of a program developed with the U.S. Department of State called "Anti-Corruption in the Government and the Private Sector." On another occasion, OIG staff met with a group of Russian visitors to discuss the OIG's enforcement of criminal and civil laws, regulations, and ethical standards within the Department.
- The special agent in charge of the OIG's Fraud Detection Office is an instructor of the Inspector General Academy's Contract and Grant Fraud training course for investigators in the IG community. In addition, he serves as a regular instructor at the BOP construction-contracting course and was a guest instructor at the U.S. Department of the Interior OIG fraud investigations course.
- GAO's Center for Evaluation Methods and Issues, Applied Research and Methods is preparing a paper on cross-discipline strategies and potential benefits and drawbacks of diverse workgroups collaborating on assignments. GAO staff met with E&I to discuss our FY 2001 review of Mexican juvenile repatriation in which OIG investigators and inspectors joined to perform the fieldwork.
- The FBI's Inspections Division, Evaluation and Review Unit, asked E&I to share information about how it provides training to its evaluation workforce. E&I provided its training goals and objectives, names of training consultants, and training courses.
- E&I staff met with a representative from the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) OIG to discuss E&I's structure and the type of reviews it conducts to assist the GPO OIG in the possible establishment of a similar office at the GPO.
TASK FORCES, WORKING GROUPS, AND COMMITTEES
In addition to the work it conducts within the Department, the OIG participates in cooperative endeavors with other entities. Some noteworthy activities during this reporting period are described below.
- The San Diego Field Office participates, along with the FBI, DEA, Customs Service Office of Internal Affairs, and IRS, in the San Diego Border Corruption Task Force (BCTF), which investigates allegations of corruption against federal law enforcement officials. Of the 20 ongoing BCTF investigations, 8 were brought to the BCTF by the OIG's San Diego Field Office.
- The Miami Field Office organized an Inspector General Council in the Southern District of Florida. The Miami Field Office also established a Corruption Task Force at Miami International Airport with several other OIGs, the FBI, and Customs Internal Affairs.
- Audit participated in the following working groups:
- the Department's Chief Information Officer Council, a forum for sharing information and resolving information resource management issues that affect multiple components;
- the Department's Information Technology Security Officers Working Group, a forum for Department security personnel to learn about the latest in security vulnerabilities, technologies, and solutions; exchange information and ideas with peers throughout the Department; and improve cooperation and information sharing across components;
- the Department's Financial Statement Working Group, which provides continuing guidance to Department components on the compilation of consolidated and component financial statements;
- Federal Audit Executive Council's Financial Statement Audit Network, which includes representatives from OMB, other Executive branch agencies, GAO, and the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board, who meet monthly to discuss common audit and accounting issues; and
- an interagency group that is updating the GAO/PCIE Financial Audit Manual, which will be used by the IG community, GAO, and independent public accountants in performing federal financial statement audits.
The PCIE consists of the 28 Presidentially appointed IGs in the federal government. IG Fine is a member of the PCIE's Investigations Committee and Inspections and Evaluations Committee. In addition, OIG staff participate in a variety of PCIE activities and serve on numerous PCIE committees and subgroups. During this reporting period, Audit staff served as the OIG's representative to the newly revamped PCIE GPRA Coordinating Committee that is addressing the Administration's management agenda, OIG performance measures, and information sharing among PCIE members. In addition, managers from E&I attended PCIE Inspection and Evaluation Roundtable meetings to discuss joint initiatives, including the PCIE's government purchase card evaluation project that is encouraging OIGs to examine their agencies' use of government credit cards to ensure proper internal controls.
LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS
The IG Act directs the OIG to review proposed legislation and regulations relating to the programs and operations of the Department. Although the Department's Office of Legislative Affairs reviews all proposed or enacted legislation that could affect the Department's activities, the OIG independently reviews proposed legislation that affects it or legislation that relates to waste, fraud, or abuse in the Department's programs or operations. During this reporting period, the OIG reviewed a variety of legislation, including (1) a Senate bill that would institute reforms in the FBI, including codifying the Attorney General's July 2001 expansion of the OIG's investigative jurisdiction in the FBI and DEA, (2) House and Senate bills to reauthorize the Department, and (3) a House bill that would require certain executive branch agencies to develop a program to identify errors made in paying contractors and recover any amounts erroneously paid to contractors.