The following table summarizes OIG activities discussed in this report. As these statistics and the following highlights illustrate, the OIG continues to conduct wide-ranging oversight of Department programs and operations.
October 1, 2008 – March 31, 2009
| Allegations Received by the
|Audit Reports Issued||155|
|Questioned Costs||$15.7 million|
|Funds Put to Better Use||$107,653|
| Recommendations for
Examples of OIG audits, evaluations, and special reports completed during this semiannual reporting period include:
- Politicized Hiring and Other Improper Personnel Actions in the Civil Rights Division. The OIG and OPR jointly investigated allegations that Bradley Schlozman, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General (AAG) and Acting AAG for the Civil Rights Division, hired lawyers for career positions and made personnel decisions based on attorneys’ political or ideological affiliations. We determined that Schlozman violated federal law and Department policy, both of which prohibit discrimination in federal employment based on political affiliations, and committed misconduct. We also concluded that Schlozman made false statements about whether he considered political and ideological affiliations when he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 5, 2007, and in his written responses to supplemental questions from the Committee. In addition, senior managers in the Civil Rights Division failed to exercise sufficient oversight to ensure that Schlozman did not engage in inappropriate hiring and personnel practices.
- Overtime Payments to FBI and Other Department Employees Deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Our review of overtime pay for FBI employees deployed to Iraq determined that these FBI employees received millions of dollars in excess overtime payments that were not allowable under federal pay statutes, federal regulations, and FBI policies. We found that the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division encouraged or condoned the practice of employees routinely reporting all waking activities in Iraq as “work” on the employees’ time and attendance forms. In addition, the FBI shifted the regular work week for employees in Iraq from Monday through Friday to Sunday through Thursday in order to obtain additional Sunday pay for FBI employees. We discovered similar time and attendance practices of FBI employees deployed in Afghanistan, as well as for the small number of employees in other Department components deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The FBI agreed that its employees had received excess overtime payments, and it plans on implementing the OIG’s recommendations.
- The FBI’s Efforts to Combat Crimes Against Children. In reviewing the FBI’s efforts to combat crimes against children, we determined that the FBI has developed national programs, expended significant resources, and coordinated efforts with state and local law enforcement agencies. However, the OIG identified several areas that could impede the FBI’s efforts to protect children from violent crimes and sexual exploitation. For example, the FBI’s investigation of online crimes against children has been hampered to some extent by the length of time needed for FBI laboratories to conduct forensic analysis of digital evidence. We found that the overall amount of digital evidence analyzed by the FBI increased nearly 2,200 percent between fiscal years (FY) 2001 and 2007. In addition, the FBI needs to provide more specialized training to its special agents stationed at overseas posts who work with foreign governments on international parental kidnapping cases. In total, the OIG made 13 recommendations for the FBI to enhance its crimes against children programs, and the FBI agreed with our recommendations.
- Implementation of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act requires the Department to help identify, arrest, and prosecute sex offenders who violate registration laws, and to help improve the quality of information available to law enforcement and the public about registered, non-compliant, and fugitive sex offenders. We found that the Department’s efforts have led to more investigations and arrests of fugitive sex offenders. However, the registries that make up the national sex offender registration system are missing records; existing records often fail to identify known fugitives; and records often do not contain sufficient information to enable law enforcement or the public to accurately identify registered, non-compliant, or fugitive sex offenders. We recommended that the Department and its components provide additional assistance to jurisdictions to ensure that information in the national registries is accurate and complete. The Department components concurred with the recommendations and are taking steps to implement them.
- The Convicted Offender DNA Backlog Reduction Program. The OIG examined the Convicted Offender DNA Backlog Reduction Program (Backlog Reduction Program), which provides funding to help states reduce the backlog of convicted offender DNA samples. We found that the Backlog Reduction Program has contributed to the decrease in the nationwide backlog of convicted offender DNA samples awaiting analysis, although the Department could improve the effectiveness of the program. We determined that the Department did not provide adequate guidance to state laboratories on collecting and reporting performance and did not adequately use the information reported by state laboratories to manage its Backlog Reduction Program. We also found significant delays in starting several Backlog Reduction Program awards, which caused more than 180,000 convicted offender DNA samples to not be uploaded in a timely manner. In addition, the Department continued to award funding to state laboratories that had not utilized previous award funding.
- The Department’s Litigation Case Management System. In examining the development of a Department-wide Litigation Case Management System (LCMS), the OIG concluded that the project is more than 2 years behind schedule, approximately $20 million over budget, and at significant risk of not meeting the Department’s requirements for litigation case management. The causes for the delays and budget overruns included: 1) the requirements planning process was not effective, and requirements were modified and added after significant work had been done; 2) system integration and user acceptance testing revealed severe defects; and 3) the Department’s oversight efforts identified severe difficulties the contractor was having meeting the schedule and cost requirements, but the Department’s actions did not minimize the schedule and cost overruns. The Department agreed with our recommendation to reevaluate the viability of completing implementation of the LCMS.
- The FBI’s Terrorist Threat and Suspicious Incident Tracking System. The OIG evaluated the FBI’s Guardian Threat Tracking System (Guardian). We determined that Guardian represents a significant improvement to how the FBI previously tracked and handled threat information, but the FBI needs to address shortcomings in the accuracy, timeliness, and completeness of the information entered into Guardian. The FBI’s development of E-Guardian, which will provide state and local law enforcement with the capability to share local terrorism incident information with the FBI and receive nationwide unclassified terrorism incident information from the FBI, has been delayed because the FBI changed the contractor developing the system. We made seven recommendations to improve the FBI’s tracking of terrorist threats and suspicious incidents, and the FBI agreed with our recommendations.
- USAO Resource Management. In our examination of how the USAOs personnel resources are allocated among the criminal and civil areas that federal prosecutors have emphasized over the past 5 years, we reported a significant gap between allocated attorney positions and the number of attorneys that USAOs were actually utilizing. We concluded that the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA) does not routinely examine the utilization of attorneys within USAOs, nor does it regularly perform an assessment of each USAO’s casework within prosecutorial areas. We provided 10 recommendations to assist EOUSA in its resource planning and allocation decisions, as well as in overseeing the operations of USAOs. EOUSA agreed with our recommendations.
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 or grantees who receive Department money. Examples of the OIG’s investigations discussed in this semiannual report include:
- A joint investigation led to the conviction and sentencing of retired FBI Special Agent John J. Connolly, who assisted the criminal activities of the Winter Hill Gang by supplying gang members with sensitive law enforcement information and intelligence that led directly to the murder of former World Jai Alai President John Callahan in 1982. During this reporting period, Connolly was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 40-years’ incarceration.
- An investigation resulted in the sentencing of a BOP correctional officer to 10 years’ incarceration followed by 3 years’ supervised release for sexual abuse of a ward and 15 years’ incarceration followed by 5 years’ supervised release for use of an interstate facility in the commission of a murder for hire. OIG investigators found that the correctional officer engaged in a sexual act with a female inmate and agreed to pay the inmate $5,000 to arrange for the murder of the correctional officer’s wife. He also traveled from his residence in New York to his place of employment in Connecticut with the intent of having his wife murdered.
- An investigation led to the arrest of an FBI special agent on charges of exceeding his authorized access to FBI computers. The FBI special agent accessed the FBI’s Automated Case Support System and determined that a confidential informant with whom he had an inappropriate relationship was a potential target of an FBI criminal investigation. The special agent subsequently disclosed to the confidential informant that he was a potential target of a criminal investigation. Additionally, the special agent informed the confidential informant that he had stopped the investigation from proceeding. Judicial proceedings continue.
- An investigation led to the arrest of a BOP contract specialist who utilized her government purchasing card to buy more than $10,000 in unauthorized items for her personal use, such as iPods, baseball uniforms, televisions, and videogames and players. In addition, she used her government gas card to purchase more than $5,000 in fuel for her personal vehicle. Judicial proceedings continue.
- An investigation led to the sentencing of a BOP correctional officer who smuggled tobacco into a correctional facility in exchange for approximately $12,000 in bribes. The correctional officer resigned from the BOP and was subsequently sentenced to 46 months’ incarceration followed by 2 years’ supervised release.
- A joint investigation with the DEA OPR led to the arrest of a DEA special agent who fraudulently obtained visas for Mexican nationals to enter the United States in exchange for $2,500 and a diamond ring valued at $1,000. Judicial proceedings continue.
- An investigation found that the City of Macon, Georgia, misspent approximately $350,000 of a $900,000 Safe Schools Initiative earmark grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), which was intended to provide services for at-risk youth. The USAO for the Middle District of Georgia reached a civil settlement with the City of Macon for $315,002.
This report also describes ongoing OIG reviews of important issues throughout the Department, including:
- The Department’s involvement with a National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program
- The FBI’s misuse of exigent letters
- The FBI’s disciplinary system
- Coordination of FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) explosives investigations
- The FBI’s terrorist watchlist nomination practices
- The Department’s efforts to protect the federal judiciary and federal prosecutors
- The Department’s efforts to prevent staff sexual abuse of federal inmates
- FBI Weapons of Mass Destruction preparedness
- The Department’s use of less-lethal weapons
- The FBI’s foreign language translation services
- The Department’s efforts to combat gang violence
- The FBI’s efforts to combat cyber crime