Semiannual Report to Congress

October 1, 2004–March 31, 2005
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.

Statistical Highlights
October 1, 2004 – March 31, 2005

Allegations Received by the Investigations Division 3,661
Investigations Opened 163
Investigations Closed 224
Arrests 21
Indictments/Informations 17
Convictions/Pleas 34
Administrative Actions 56
Fines/Restitutions/Recoveries $348,731
Audit Reports Issued 122
Questioned Costs $53 million
Funds Put to Better Use $13 million
Recommendations for Management Improvements 412

Examples of OIG audits, evaluations, and special reports completed during this semiannual reporting period include:

  • The FBI’s Management of Trilogy. The OIG examined the FBI’s management of its Trilogy IT modernization project, which was designed to upgrade the FBI’s IT infrastructure and replace its antiquated paper-based case management system with a new electronic case management system called the Virtual Case File (VCF). The OIG audit found that the FBI successfully completed the Trilogy IT infrastructure upgrades, albeit with significant delays and cost increases. However, the FBI had failed to create and deploy the VCF after more than 3 years and $170 million budgeted for the project. The OIG found that the VCF either would require substantial additional work or need to be scrapped and replaced by a new system. Moreover, the FBI had not provided a realistic timetable or cost estimate for implementing a workable VCF or a successor system.

  • Follow-up Review of the Status of IDENT/IAFIS Integration. The OIG examined ongoing efforts to integrate the federal government’s law enforcement and immigration agencies’ automated fingerprint identification databases operated by the FBI and the DHS, known as IAFIS and IDENT, respectively. The OIG’s latest report, the fourth in four years, found that full integration of the automated fingerprint identification databases still has not been realized. Consequently, federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities do not have complete access to information in the IDENT database, and without such access the FBI and the DHS fingerprint systems are not fully interoperable. The OIG found that the congressional directive to fully integrate the federal government’s various fingerprint identification systems has not been accomplished because of high-level policy disagreements among the Department, DHS, and State Department.

  • Implementation of the ATF’s Safe Explosives Act. The OIG examined the ATF’s implementation of the Safe Explosives Act’s provisions regarding explosives licensing and background checks on individuals who seek authorization to handle or possess explosives. The OIG found that the ATF had failed to request FBI background checks on many individuals who sought authorization. In addition, the ATF often did not make final determinations on employees who sought authorization. As a result, individuals with criminal records continued to have access to explosives. The review also found that the management information system used by the ATF to support the licensing and clearance processes has serious deficiencies. The OIG made 10 recommendations to help the ATF more effectively regulate explosives within the United States.

  • The USMS’s Administration of WITSEC. The audit of the USMS’s Witness Security Program (WITSEC) identified several weaknesses in the program, including declining staff levels in relation to an increasing witness population, morale problems stemming from the grade level of WITSEC inspectors, inadequacies in financial management practices, and weak management oversight of the program. The report contained 21 recommendations to assist the USMS in improving the management of WITSEC.

  • No Suspect Casework DNA Backlog Reduction Grant Program. The OIG audited grants awarded by the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) for the No Suspect Casework DNA Backlog Reduction Program, which provides funding to states for the identification, collection, and analysis of DNA samples from evidence collected in cases where no suspect has been identified or in which the original suspect has been eliminated. The audit found weaknesses in OJP’s administration and oversight of the program. For example, our audit found that four laboratories did not maintain adequate documentation to substantiate that their oversight of contractor laboratories met certain quality assurance requirements, and that some costs charged to program awards were unallowable or unsupported. We made 19 recommendations to OJP to help improve the program and address issues identified in our audit.

  • Screening of Iraqi Subcontractors. The OIG reviewed the Department’s screening procedures for subcontractors sent to Iraq as civilian correctional advisors. The review found broad weaknesses in the way the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) conducted background checks on its subcontractors, which resulted in its hiring and deployment of subcontractors to Iraq who did not have required clearances. The review offered 11 recommendations to improve the ICITAP clearance process, such as developing a training program for all newly hired analysts and managers and creating a database of subcontractors who have received security clearances.

  • Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Complaints. As directed by Section 1001 of the USA Patriot Act, the OIG received and reviewed complaints alleging civil rights and civil liberties abuses by Department employees. During this reporting period, the OIG issued its sixth report regarding its duties under Section 1001. One of the cases we reported on involved allegations raised by Muslim inmates at a Bureau of Prisons (BOP) prison that the prison staff, including the warden, discriminated against the inmates and engaged in retaliatory actions. The OIG substantiated many of the allegations and found a disturbing pattern of discriminatory and retaliatory actions against Muslim inmates by the warden and BOP officers at this facility. The OIG provided this report to the BOP for appropriate disciplinary action.

  • The Department’s Financial Statement Audits. During this reporting period, the OIG issued the audit report for the Department’s Annual Financial Statement for fiscal year (FY) 2004. The Department received a disclaimer of opinion on its FY 2004 financial statement caused by a disclaimer on OJP’s FY 2004 financial statement. The ATF received a qualified opinion on its FY 2004 financial statement. The other eight Department components received unqualified opinions on their FY 2004 financial statements.

Investigations of Misconduct

As shown in the statistics in the table at the beginning of this section, the OIG investigates many allegations of misconduct. Examples of the OIG’s investigations discussed in this report include:

  • A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agent was cleared of allegations that he accepted an $80,000 loan from the family of a convicted drug trafficker, stole $12,000 in a fictitious traffic stop, and assisted a former confidential source in avoiding criminal charges. After a polygraph examination, the complainant admitted that he fabricated the allegations in exchange for possible consideration concerning his pending criminal charges.

  • A BOP correctional officer was sentenced to nine years’ incarceration and two years’ supervised release for his conviction on charges of sexual abuse and making false statements.

  • An OIG investigation developed evidence that a civilian made a false claim to the 9/11 Victim Fund stating that he was injured at the World Trade Center during the September 11 terrorist attacks and produced fraudulent employment records to support his claim.

  • An OIG investigation revealed that a BOP correctional officer was providing drugs to inmates in exchange for cash. The correctional officer was sentenced to six years’ incarceration and three years’ supervised release after pleading guilty to charges of bribery and introduction of contraband.

Ongoing Reviews

This report also describes many ongoing OIG reviews of important issues throughout the Department, including:

  • The FBI’s Hiring of Intelligence Analysts.
  • The USMS’s Fugitive Apprehension Program.
  • FBI employees’ alleged involvement in or observation of detainee abuse at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.
  • The Terrorist Screening Center.
  • Payments to Confidential Informants by the DEA.
  • Polygraph Examinations in the Department.
  • The FBI’s Chinese Counterintelligence Program.

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