April 1, 2003–September 30, 2003
Office of the Inspector General
MESSAGE FROM THE INSPECTOR GENERAL
This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Inspector General Act (IG Act). This legislation established in many Cabinet agencies Inspectors General who are responsible for detecting and deterring waste, fraud, and abuse, and promoting economy and efficiency. In 1988, the IG Act was amended to establish an Inspector General (IG) in the Department of Justice (Department), and the Department's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) began operation in April 1989.
Since its creation, the Department's OIG has consistently demonstrated its value in providing independent oversight of Department programs and personnel. During the past 14 years, the OIG has conducted hundreds of audits, evaluations, investigations, and special reviews that have helped improve the operation of the Department. During this time, our work has earned widespread recognition from within the Department, from Congress, and from the public. This success is attributable to the hard work and dedication of OIG employees throughout the years.
Our office's record of accomplishment has continued in recent years. We have aggressively and systematically undertaken additional responsibilities given to us by the Attorney General and by Congress, including expansion in 2001 of our authority to investigate allegations of misconduct in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and added responsibilities under the USA PATRIOT Act (Patriot Act).
As reflected in this semiannual report, we continue to investigate serious allegations of misconduct in the FBI and DEA as well as complaints of civil rights and civil liberties abuses. Our audits and evaluations include comprehensive reviews of Department financial statements, computer security, information technology acquisitions, grants and contracts, and a variety of other Department programs.
Two special reviews completed this reporting period deserve special mention. In June 2003, we released a review of the treatment of aliens held on immigration charges in connection with the September 11 terrorist attacks. In August 2003, we completed a review of the FBI's performance in detecting, deterring, and investigating the espionage of FBI agent Robert Hanssen. Both reports were comprehensive assessments of sensitive issues, and both provided numerous recommendations for improvement. In response to both, the Department and the FBI agreed to take action to address our recommendations.
I am gratified by the support we are receiving for our work, both from the Attorney General and from Congress. The Attorney General regularly expresses his understanding of the role we play in helping improve the Department, and Congress has expressed confidence in us by providing additional responsibilities and resources. We appreciate this support and look forward to continuing to meet our critical responsibilities in the years ahead.
Glenn A. Fine
October 31, 2003