Semiannual Report to Congress

October 1, 2005-March 31, 2006
Office of the Inspector General

Message From the Inspector General

This semiannual report summarizes the work of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) from October 1, 2005, through March 31, 2006. The audits, inspections, investigations, special reviews, and other activities highlighted in this report illustrate our ongoing commitment to promote accountability, efficiency, and effectiveness in the programs and operations of the Department of Justice (Department).

Over the past 6 months, we continued to concentrate much of our efforts on the Department’s top management and performance challenges, including counterterrorism, the sharing of intelligence and law enforcement information, and attempts to upgrade information technology (IT) systems. For example, during this reporting period we examined the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) development of its Sentinel electronic case management system and the FBI’s efforts to protect the nation’s seaports. We also assessed the FBI’s handling of a matter that involved a Portland, Oregon, lawyer whose fingerprints were misidentified by the FBI as matching a fingerprint found on a bag of detonators connected with the March 2004 Madrid train bombing. In addition, as part of our semiannual report to Congress pursuant to Section 1001 of the USA PATRIOT Act (Patriot Act), we examined the FBI’s process for reporting possible violations involving its intelligence activities to the Intelligence Oversight Board.

We completed significant reviews of other Department components as well, including an examination of the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices’ (USAO) use of intelligence research specialists to analyze and share terrorism-related information and an audit of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services’ (COPS) management of a methamphetamine grant program. We also continued to investigate various allegations of criminal and administrative misconduct by Department employees and contractors.

During this reporting period, the OIG began a review required by Congress in the USA Patriot Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005. That legislation directs the OIG to review the FBI’s use of its authorities to issue National Security Letters and obtain orders under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) for business records.

In addition, in January 2006 legislation was enacted that increases the statutory penalty for sexual abuse of federal inmates by correctional staff and expands federal jurisdiction to sex abuse and contraband cases involving federal inmates housed in non-federal correctional facilities. The OIG has investigated many allegations of sexual abuse of federal inmates and introduction of contraband into contract facilities, and we believe the increased penalties can help deter this criminal conduct.

We appreciate the positive response we receive regarding our work from the Department and Congress. We also appreciate their continued support as we strive to assist the Department in increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations.

Finally, I want to express my gratitude to the OIG staff who work diligently to fulfill the OIG’s critical mission. They are dedicated public servants who deserve great credit for helping improve the work of the Department and the federal government.

Glenn Fine's signature
Glenn A. Fine
Inspector General
April 28, 2006

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