Semiannual Report to Congress

April 1, 2005-September 30, 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
April 1, 2005 - September 30, 2005

Allegations Received by the Investigations Division 4,275
Investigations Opened 218
Investigations Closed 173
Arrests 47
Indictments/Informations 42
Convictions/Pleas 30
Administrative Actions 75
Fines/Restitutions/Recoveries $1.6 million
Audit Reports Issued 109
Questioned Costs $12 million
Funds Put to Better Use $2 million
Recommendations for Management Improvements 466

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

  • The FBI's Handling of Intelligence Information Prior to September 11. In June 2005, the OIG publicly released an unclassified, redacted version of its report that examined the FBI's handling of intelligence information in its possession prior to September 11. The OIG review found significant deficiencies in the FBI's handling of this intelligence information and concluded that the FBI failed to fully evaluate, investigate, exploit, and disseminate information related to: 1) an electronic communication written by an FBI agent in Phoenix, Arizona, that raised concerns about efforts by Usama Bin Laden to send students to attend United States civil aviation schools to conduct terrorist activities, and 2) intelligence information available to the FBI regarding two of the September 11 hijackers - Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar. The OIG concluded that the causes for these failures were widespread and varied, ranging from poor individual performance to more substantial systemic deficiencies that undermined the FBI's efforts to detect and prevent terrorism. Among other things, the OIG review described the systemic impediments that hindered the sharing of information between the FBI and the Central Intelligence Agency.

  • The FBI's Efforts to Hire, Train, and Retain Intelligence Analysts. The OIG evaluated the FBI's progress in hiring, training, allocating, utilizing, and retaining its intelligence analyst cadre. The OIG found that the FBI has made significant progress in hiring and training quality analysts. However, the audit found that the FBI fell short of its fiscal year (FY) 2004 hiring goals. In addition, the audit found that the FBI has made slow progress toward developing a quality training curriculum for new analysts. We made 15 recommendations to the FBI to help improve its intelligence analyst program, including establishing hiring goals for intelligence analysts based on the forecasted need, projected attrition, and the FBI's ability to hire, train, and utilize intelligence analysts; developing a threat-based or risk-based methodology for determining the number of intelligence analysts required; and developing retention and succession strategies for intelligence analysts.

  • Follow-up on the FBI's Foreign Language Program. The OIG conducted a follow-up review on the FBI's Foreign Language Program. We evaluated the FBI's progress in responding to findings in our July 2004 report that the FBI's collection of materials requiring translation had outpaced its translation capabilities and the FBI had difficulty filling its critical need for additional contract linguists. This follow-up report concluded that the FBI had taken important steps to address the recommendations, but key deficiencies remain in the Foreign Language Program. Specifically, we found that the amount of unreviewed FBI counterterrorism material and unreviewed counterintelligence material had increased since our previous report. We also found instances where high-priority material had not been reviewed within 24 hours in accord with FBI policy, and the FBI faced continued challenges in meeting linguist hiring goals and target staffing levels.

  • The Department's Terrorism Task Forces. The OIG examined whether the Department's multiple terrorism task forces and councils were achieving their goals and whether gaps, duplication, and overlap existed in counterterrorism coverage. Our evaluation found that the task forces and councils generally have achieved their intended purpose by providing distinct, yet complementary, forums for investigating terrorist threats and sharing counterterrorism information. However, we identified several management and resource issues that the task forces should address, including the need for more stable leadership, better training for participants, and better coverage of rural areas.

  • The FBI's Reprioritization Efforts. During this reporting period, the OIG issued its third report on the FBI's reallocation of investigative resources since September 11. This audit showed that between FY 2000 and FY 2004 the FBI formally reallocated 1,143 field agent positions away from investigating traditional criminal matters and placed these resources primarily in terrorism-related programs. In addition to the formal reallocation of positions, we found that the FBI actually utilized almost 2,200 fewer field agents to investigate traditional criminal matters, such as bank robbery and drug crimes, in FY 2004 than it had in FY 2000. The FBI opened 45 percent fewer criminal cases and reduced the number of criminal-related matters referred to the U.S. Attorneys' Offices (USAO) by 27 percent between FYs 2000 and 2004. However, interviews of federal, state, and local law enforcement officials regarding the impact of the FBI's changes in their jurisdictions found that, overall, most law enforcement agencies said they had not been significantly affected by the FBI's shift in investigative resources, although their caseloads had increased.

  • The USMS's Apprehension of Violent Fugitives. The OIG evaluated the USMS's efforts to apprehend violent fugitives. Our evaluation found that the USMS had increased its apprehension of violent fugitives by 51 percent and raised the number of apprehended individuals per staff year. The OIG attributed this improved performance to: 1) more time allotted for deputy marshals and other personnel to focus on fugitive investigations and 2) the establishment of Regional Fugitive Task Forces (RTF) that enable law enforcement personnel to work together across jurisdictional lines. We recommended that the USMS move forward with a plan to add more RTFs, establish measures and goals to track performance in apprehending violent fugitives, and improve data collection and analysis to accurately determine caseload and necessary resources.

  • Deterring Staff Sexual Abuse of Federal Inmates. The OIG examined the problem of sexual abuse of federal inmates by correctional staff and highlighted the shortcomings of current federal law in deterring staff sexual abuse. We recommended that the Department seek passage of legislation to increase the penalty for unforced sexual abuse of an inmate from a misdemeanor to a felony, which would make the penalty consistent with most state laws. We also recommended legislation to extend federal criminal jurisdiction to correctional staff who engage in a sexual act with a federal prisoner housed in a detention facility under contract to the Department.

  • Compliance with the Attorney General's Investigative Guidelines. The OIG issued a report on the FBI's implementation of and compliance with four sets of Attorney General Guidelines. These guidelines govern the FBI's principal criminal investigative authorities with respect to investigating individuals and groups, using confidential informants, and managing undercover operations and warrantless monitoring. Overall, the OIG found many areas in which the FBI complied with the guidelines. However, we determined that there was significant non-compliance with the guidelines governing the operation of confidential informants. In addition, the OIG identified shortcomings in training on the guidelines and the FBI's planning for and implementation of the revised guidelines. The OIG provided the FBI with 47 recommendations designed to promote greater compliance with the guidelines.

Investigations of Misconduct

As shown in the statistics in the table at the beginning of this section, the OIG investigates many allegations of misconduct involving Department employees or contractors hired with Department money. Examples of the OIG's investigations discussed in this report include:

  • A former FBI employee was convicted on charges of impersonating an INS official, sentenced to 2 years' incarceration and 1 year supervised release, and ordered to pay $43,500 in restitution.

  • A former BOP maintenance foreman pled guilty to embezzling approximately $90,000.

  • A former administrative assistant at the Neighborhood Youth and Parent Prevention Partnership - which is partially funded by Office of Justice Programs (OJP) grants - was sentenced to 30 days' incarceration, 9 months' home confinement, and 3 years' supervised release, and was ordered to pay $30,576 in restitution for her conviction on charges of fraud and embezzlement.

  • Eight Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agents were cleared of allegations raised by a defendant in a methamphetamine investigation that they violated the defendant's civil rights by using excessive force during his arrest.

Ongoing Reviews

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

  • The FBI's Handling of the Brandon Mayfield Matter.
  • Development of the FBI's Sentinel Case Management System.
  • The DEA's Control of the Diversion of Controlled Pharmaceuticals.
  • The BOP's Management of Inmate Mail.
  • Follow-up Review Examining Implementation of Recommendations Made in the OIG's Review of the Robert Hanssen Case.
  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Violent Crime Impact Teams.

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