U.S. Department of Justice

Office of the Inspector General

April 30, 1999

Honorable Janet Reno
Attorney General
Washington, D.C. 20530

Dear Madam Attorney General:

This semiannual report summarizes the work of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) during the 6-month period ending March 31, 1999.

On April 14, 1999, the OIG celebrated its tenth anniversary as an independent component within the Department of Justice (Department). Ten years ago the OIG was created through the transfer of units previously located in other Department components, including an Investigations Division largely drawn from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, an Audit Division transferred as an entity from the Justice Management Division, and units within the U.S. Marshals Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and other components that formed the backbone of a subsequently created Inspections Division. There were many challenges during the OIG’s early years: to continue without interruption the duties inherited with the newly transferred units; to assimilate employees with diverse experience and from disparate entities into a new, unified organization; and to extend the OIG’s investigations, audits, and inspections into parts of the Department that had not generally been subjected to independent reviews.

This institution building occurred through the hard work, dedication, and commitment of men and women who recognized the importance of the OIG’s mission and who formed an organization that embodied the lofty aspirations of the Inspector General Act. The development and maturation of the OIG could not have occurred without the leadership of Acting Inspector General Anthony Moscato (1989-90) and Inspector General Richard Hankinson (1990-94).

During the past ten years, the OIG has increasingly been treated as a full partner in the Department through its participation in the Office of Investigative Agency Policies and on various Department task forces and working groups. In addition, jurisdictional boundaries among the OIG, the Office of Professional Responsibility, and internal affairs components within the Department have been clarified, thereby facilitating more effective and productive working relationships. The nature of the OIG’s work has changed as well during the past decade:

While the scope and breadth of our work has expanded, the OIG continues to face several enduring challenges. The first is to approach our work in a spirit of constructive criticism. Although we know it is unlikely that our decision to conduct an audit, inspection, or program review will ever be met with enthusiasm from Department managers, we want and expect our reviews to be perceived as objective, fair, and reasonable. We continue to pursue this as a central goal.

Second, our investigations should lead to a narrowing of the opportunities for misconduct and corruption within the Department. We must search for ways to leverage each criminal and administrative investigation to produce procedural and systemic reforms that make similar misconduct less likely in the future. Such progress is not as easily measured as arrests, convictions, and the imposition of administrative discipline, but is central to the mission of any OIG.

Third, the ability of the OIG to have a significant and positive impact on the Department will be sharply limited in the absence of sufficient budgetary resources. We have lacked such resources in the past several years. I very much regret that, despite the enormous growth of the Department and the strong record of OIG accomplishment, we have no more people on board today than we did in 1992. I do not believe this is good for the OIG, the Department, or the public in light of the dramatic increase in Department personnel and funding since Fiscal Year 1993.

As I approach my fifth anniversary as IG this June, I want you to know that it has been my great privilege to have served in this capacity for half of the OIG’s ten years of existence. I have been proud to serve with the men and women of the OIG who care so much about the important work that they do and about the Department in which they so proudly serve.

It also has been a privilege to serve with an Attorney General who so plainly values the work of a vigorous and independent OIG. We look forward to working with you in the future.


Very truly yours,


Michael R. Bromwich
Inspector General