Semiannual Report to Congress

April 1, 2008-September 30, 2008
Office of the Inspector General

Office of Justice Programs
OJP logo The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) manages the majority of the Department’s grant programs and is responsible for developing initiatives to address crime at the state and local level. OJP is composed of five bureaus – Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), and Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) – as well as the Community Capacity Development Office and the Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking Office.

Reports Issued

Management of OJP’s Grant Programs for Trafficking Victims

The OIG’s Audit Division examined the management of OJP grant programs for victims of human trafficking. Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers lure victims, mostly women and children, with false promises of better lives and then force them to work under inhumane conditions.

OJP awards grants to task forces that identify and rescue trafficking victims and enters into cooperative agreements with service providers to provide food, clothing, shelter, and other forms of assistance to trafficking victims. During FYs 2003 through 2007, OVC awarded $31.7 million to providers of services for trafficking victims, and BJA awarded $19.2 million in grants for 42 task forces across the country.

We found that human trafficking grant programs were effective in building the capacity to serve victims of human trafficking, but the programs were not effective in identifying and serving significant numbers of trafficking victims, ensuring that award amounts were consistent with the anticipated number of victims to be served, and ensuring that service providers and task forces reported accurate performance data on victims identified and served. In addition, OJP had not established an effective system for monitoring service providers and task forces, although improvements to the monitoring system were underway at the time of our audit.

Our audit found that even with the work of the task forces, the service providers were reaching a small number of victims. The Department reported in July 2005 that an estimated 14,500 to 17,500 human trafficking victims are brought into the United States annually. However, from 2005 through 2007 the task forces reported identifying 2,103 potential victims, and the service providers reported serving 1,444 victims.

We also found that OJP’s agreement award process resulted in a wide variation in funds awarded compared to the number of victims anticipated to be served. For example, one service provider received nearly $1.9 million to supply services to an estimated 100 victims over the 3-year agreement period ($18,965 per estimated victim). Another provider received $490,829 to service an estimated 100 victims over the 3-year agreement period ($4,908 per estimated victim). For the 19 agreements we tested, the amount awarded per anticipated victim ranged from a high of $33,333 to a low of $2,500.

In addition, the OIG’s testing of individual task forces and service providers identified systemic deficiencies similar to those found in past OIG reviews of OJP grant programs. These deficiencies included failure to accomplish project goals, submission of inaccurate program and financial reports, questionable expenditures of about $1.5 million, and poor monitoring of sub-recipients.

We made 15 recommendations to help OJP improve management of its grant program for human trafficking victims. OJP agreed with our recommendations.

Audits of OJP Grants to State and Local Entities

During this reporting period, the OIG continued to conduct audits of grants awarded by OJP. Examples of findings from these audits included the following:


During this reporting period, the OIG received 17 complaints involving OJP. The most common allegations made against OJP employees, contractors, or grantees were fraud. The OIG opened 11 cases.

At the close of the reporting period, the OIG had 24 open criminal or administrative investigations of alleged misconduct related to OJP employees, contractors, or grantees. The criminal investigations include d grantee fraud, contract fraud, and theft. The administrative investigations involved serious allegations of misconduct. The following are examples of cases involving OJP that the OIG’s Investigations Division handled during this reporting period:

Ongoing Work

Convicted Offender DNA Backlog Reduction

The OIG is assessing the adequacy of NIJ’s grant administration and oversight of the Convicted Offender DNA Backlog Reduction Grant Program. We are evaluating the extent to which grantees have administered the grants in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, guidelines, and terms and conditions of the grant awards; the adequacy of NIJ’s oversight of vendors as well as vendor compliance with contractual obligations; and whether the program is accomplishing its stated mission to reduce the convicted offender backlog.

OJJDP’s Grant and Contract Award Procedures

The OIG is reviewing the policies and procedures used by OJJDP to solicit, assess, and award discretionary grants in FY 2007. This audit stems from allegations that the OJJDP Administrator and his executive staff bypassed several highly rated proposals for the National Juvenile Justice Program in favor of lower-rated ones.

NIJ’s Grant and Contract Award Practices

The OIG is determining whether competitive NIJ grants and contracts awarded in the last 3 fiscal years were awarded based on fair and open competition. We also are examining the administrative costs related to NIJ grants and contracts.


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