April 1, 2003–September 30, 2003
Office of the Inspector General
HIGHLIGHTS OF OIG ACTIVITIES
The following table summarizes OIG activities discussed in this report. As these statistics and the following highlights illustrate, the OIG has conducted wide-ranging oversight of Department programs and operations.
April 1 - September 30, 2003
|Allegations Received by the Investigations Division ||3,895|
|Investigations Opened ||225|
|Investigations Closed ||272|
|Administrative Actions ||86|
|Fines/Restitutions/Recoveries ||$1.29 million|
|Audit Reports Issued ||238|
|Questioned Costs ||$25.61 million|
|Funds Put to Better Use ||$1.50 million|
|Recommendations for Management Improvements ||313|
Examples of OIG audits, evaluations, and special reports completed during this semiannual reporting period include:
- Treatment of September 11 Detainees. The OIG reviewed the treatment of 762 aliens detained on immigration charges in connection with the FBI's September 11 terrorism investigation, including their processing, bond decisions, the timing of their removal from the United States or their release from custody, their access to counsel, and the conditions of their confinement. While the Department faced unprecedented challenges in responding to the terrorist attacks, we found significant problems in how it handled these detainees. For example, in New York City little attempt was made to distinguish between aliens suspected of terrorism from those encountered coincidentally to the FBI's investigation. We found delays in providing charging documents that made it difficult for detainees to understand why they were being held, to obtain legal counsel, and to request a bond hearing. In one facility, where many detainees were held, we found unduly harsh conditions of confinement and physical and verbal abuse by some correctional officers against some detainees. We made 21 recommendations to improve the handling of detainees in future situations.
- The FBI's Performance in the Hanssen Case. This comprehensive review by the OIG examined the FBI's efforts to uncover the espionage of FBI agent Robert Hanssen, who compromised some of the nation's most important counterintelligence and military secrets until his arrest in February 2001. We concluded Hanssen escaped detection not because he was extraordinarily clever and crafty, but because of long-standing systemic problems in the FBI's counterintelligence program and a deeply flawed internal security program. The OIG made 21 recommendations to help the FBI improve its internal security and its ability to deter and detect espionage in its midst.
- The FBI's Implementation of IT Recommendations. Since 1990, OIG reports have cited numerous deficiencies in the FBI's information technology (IT) system, including outdated infrastructure, fragmented management, and inadequate training. In reviewing the FBI's efforts to implement past OIG recommendations, we found that although it had acted on many recommendations, further actions were needed in crucial areas such as management controls and security of the FBI's IT program.
- FBI Casework and Human Resource Allocation. This OIG audit found although the FBI had identified combating terrorism as its top priority in 1998, until the September 11 attacks it had devoted significantly more of its resources to traditional law enforcement activities than to its counterterrorism programs. We concluded the FBI needs to improve how it assesses and aligns its resources with its priorities.
- Integrating Fingerprint Systems. In the OIG's most recent review of efforts to integrate the computerized fingerprint identification systems of the FBI and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), we found the project, already behind schedule, is likely to experience further delays.
- The DEA's Performance-Based Management Efforts. This OIG review found the DEA had failed to meet key aspects of the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA). The DEA's strategic goal and objectives were not definitive enough to allow progress toward meeting them to be assessed; realistic performance goals were lacking; and an effective system for collecting, analyzing, and verifying performance data was needed.
INVESTIGATIONS OF MISCONDUCT
As shown in the statistics in the table at the beginning of this section, the OIG investigates hundreds of allegations of misconduct. Examples of OIG investigations discussed in this report include:
- An FBI language specialist was arrested for unauthorized access of a computer for financial gain, making false statements, and trafficking in and using fraudulently obtained cellular phones. He pled guilty and was sentenced to five years' incarceration and three years' supervised release.
- A senior correctional officer in the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) admitted to abusing a Muslim inmate by making derogatory racial, ethnic, and religious slurs and to providing an investigator with a "less than completely candid" memorandum concerning the incidents.
- A BOP correctional counselor was sentenced to 57 months' incarceration and 2 years' supervised release for accepting $5,000 from an undercover police officer for smuggling narcotics into the prison.
- A deputy U.S. marshal who sold family members and friends vehicles and real estate that had been forfeited to the U.S. government was convicted of conspiring to defraud the United States, making false statements, embezzlement, and mail fraud.
- The former police chief of Kendleton, Texas, was indicted for conspiracy, wire fraud, and interference with commerce for allegedly defrauding a Department grant program by diverting a portion of the $200,000 earmarked for hiring six new police officers to instead pay his own salary.
This report also describes many ongoing OIG reviews of important issues throughout the Department, including:
- The FBI Laboratory DNA Analysis Unit's protocols and procedures.
- The effectiveness of the FBI's Legal Attaché program.
- The BOP's process for selecting the Muslim personnel, contractors, and volunteers who provide religious services to inmates.
- The DEA's process for investigating and disciplining employee misconduct.
- The development and effectiveness of the U.S. Attorneys' Offices' (USAOs) critical incident response plans.
- The effectiveness of the Federal Firearms Licensee Inspection Program.
- The priorities, functions, and accomplishments of the Department's counterterrorism task forces.