OJP manages the majority of the Department’s grant programs and is responsible for developing initiatives to address crime at the state and local levels. OJP is composed of 5 bureaus – Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 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 Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. In this section, we discuss OJP’s oversight of grant funds awarded through the regular appropriations process. We discuss our work related to OJP’s oversight of grant funds awarded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in a separate section in this semiannual report.
The OIG conducts audits of various grants and other financial assistance provided by OJP to recipients outside of the Department. These recipients include state and local governments, universities, non-profit agencies, and for-profit agencies. During this reporting period, we conducted 11 audits of external OJP recipients. Examples of findings from these audits included the following:
- The OIG audited the Cooperative Agreement awarded to the University of Denver for $1,550,000 for the operation of the Weapons and Protective Systems Technologies of Excellence (WPSTC). The WPSTC participates at conferences and exhibitions, and manages activities in support of the research, development, testing, and evaluation of law enforcement technologies. The audit identified several internal control weaknesses as well as questioned costs totaling $586,342. This included $454,285 in unallowable payments made under 10 of the 11 contracts that were not competitively bid as required by the award special conditions. For the remaining contract, we found that an unallowable contracting method was used. In addition, we reported that payroll and fringe benefit costs were charged for two unapproved personnel positions. Finally, the report disclosed the University of Denver’s charges for unreasonable property damage costs, unsupported contractor payments, and unallowable travel costs. The report made seven recommendations. OJP agreed to coordinate with the University of Denver to remedy the questioned costs and implement appropriate corrective action.
- An OIG audit examined the funding provided to Hudspeth County, Texas, under the Southwest Border Prosecution Initiative (SWBPI). SWBPI is a program in which the Department provides reimbursement to the four Southwest border states and local jurisdictions for prosecution and pre-trial detention costs in federally-initiated cases that are declined by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices. The OIG audit examined over $6 million in SWBPI reimbursements received by Hudspeth County from FY 2002 through FY 2008 and found that Hudspeth County claimed and was reimbursed for cases that were ineligible under the SWBPI guidelines. Specifically, the audit identified questioned costs totaling $479,595 for 151 cases that either did not meet, or were reimbursed in excess of, SWBPI’s guidelines for reimbursement. OJP agreed with the 10 recommendations we made in our report.
- We audited a grant and cooperative agreement together totaling $3,093,400 awarded by OJJDP to the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) in Newton, Massachusetts. The cooperative agreement was to provide support to the EDC’s Tribal Youth and Technical Assistance Center in supporting American Indian and Alaska Native juvenile justice, education, mental health social services, culture, recreation, and employment programs. Our audit found unallowable and unsupported costs related to conference food and beverage, room, travel, and consulting expenditures; inadequate budget management controls related to the fact that EDC’s accounting system did not track award expenditures based on approved budget categories; deficiencies in compliance with award special conditions; inadequate monitoring of consultants; and incomplete performance metrics. As a result of these deficiencies, we questioned $286,698 in award expenditures and issued 10 recommendations to OJP to enhance EDC’s grant management.
During this reporting period, the OIG received 23 complaints involving OJP. The most common allegation made against OJP employees, contractors, or grantees was fraud.
During this reporting period, the OIG opened eight cases and referred six complaints to OJP for its review and appropriate action. At the close of the reporting period, the OIG had 29 open criminal or administrative investigations of alleged misconduct related to OJP employees, contractors, or grantees. The majority of these criminal investigations were related to fraud.
|Source: Investigations Data Management System|
The following are examples of cases involving OJP that the OIG’s Investigations Division handled during this reporting period:
- An investigation by the OIG’s Fraud Detection Office resulted in the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine, a Department grantee and non-profit organization, surrendering $506,178 in Department grant funds awarded by the National Institute of Justice. The Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine received the grant for the purpose of providing forensic training and development in the field of forensic pathology. The investigation determined that the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine had insufficient accounting procedures and poor internal controls that resulted in the misapplication of grant funds. During the course of the investigation, the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine filed for bankruptcy and the organization was dissolved.
- An investigation by the OIG’s New York Field Office led to the arrest of the former executive director of the Rape and Victim Assistance Center in Schuylkill, Pennsylvania, based on an indictment returned in the Middle District of Pennsylvania charging her with embezzlement of Department grant funds. The investigation determined that the executive director embezzled over $100,000 from two grants awarded by OJP, OVC, and OVW. From June 2006 to June 2008, the executive director allegedly diverted these funds from their intended use, supporting victims of crimes against women, and instead spent the money on personal matters. The executive director was dismissed from her position in December 2008.