USDOJ/OIG - Semiannual Report to Congress, October 1, 1995 - March 31, 1996

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The Inspections Division

The Inspections Division performs inspections and program evaluations of Department of Justice components and operations using a wide range of analytical skills and methods.


USDOJ/OIG - Semiannual Report to Congress, October 1, 1995 - March 31, 1996

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The Inspections Division

Overview & Highlights

The Inspections Division conducts program reviews and evaluations of Department of Justice (DOJ) programs and operations. In addition, the Division conducts special inquiries, usually initiated at the request of senior Department management or by the Congress. It employs a wide variety of analytical methods in conducting program reviews and evaluations of key activities financed or performed by DOJ. The Division develops its annual workplan in coordination with other Department components and responds to requests from senior officials.

The Division, composed of two evaluation groups, mirrors DOJ's organizational structure to strengthen component expertise and to enhance long-term relationships with component stakeholders and decisionmakers.

During this period the Division completed seven inspections. Significant inspection findings were that the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) would have difficulty training and equipping the new agents it had been authorized to hire by Congress; INS deported only about 11 percent of nondetained illegal aliens after final deportation orders had been issued; and many Department components were not in compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Program.

Significant Inspections

Influx of New Personnel in the INS

In the last Semiannual Report to Congress, we presented an overview of preliminary findings and concerns developed during our review of INS' ability to recruit, train, and deploy the anticipated increase of border patrol agents in FY 1996. Preliminary findings showed INS would be unable to meet its Border Patrol training goal for FY 1996. During this semiannual period, the final report was issued and INS planners are developing solutions for the report recommendations. To date, INS planners revised their FY 1996 training schedule to compensate for some of the delay in opening the new adjunct training facility at the Charleston, South Carolina Naval Base.

The revised training schedule allows all new Border Patrol hires to receive training at either the Charleston or Glynco, Georgia, training facility, but delays between 250-400 new immigration officers from receiving any training during FY 1996. In addition, approximately 525 new immigration officers will complete only part of the training curriculum during FY 1996. These immigration officers will be placed in jobs that do not require use of firearms until after they receive the balance of their core training requirements. As long as the Border Patrol remains INS' highest training priority and there is no further slippage in implementing the revised training schedule, the goal to train 1,480 new border patrol agents can be achieved. With a large number of border patrol hires planned during the last two months of FY 1996, INS planners must take measures to prevent lengthy delays in processing the new hires and ensuring that they receive training promptly.

USDOJ/OIG - Semiannual Report to Congress, October 1, 1995 - March 31, 1996

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Significant Inspections

Department of Justice Drug-Free Workplace Program

The Department's six Drug-Free Workplace (DFW) programs, administered by the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United States Marshals Service (USMS), Justice Management Division (JMD), and INS have established policies and procedures for testing applicants and employees.

We found numerous problems with DFW testing policies and procedures:

• DEA did not test applicants for employment;

• INS did not test short-term employees, i.e. those hired for 90 days or less;

• BOP, FBI, and INS Border Patrol tested applicants who had not been offered employment;

• FBI, USMS, and JMD did not test all Presidential appointees;

• INS, USMS, DEA, and JMD did not consistently reschedule, within 60 days of the scheduled test, employees who did not take random drug tests;

• FBI's Medical Review Officer did not directly receive drug test results from the contract laboratory;

• USMS did not conduct follow-up tests of employees who underwent counseling or rehabilitation for illegal drug use; and

• JMD's practices for selecting and testing employees did not adhere to its random testing policies. Moreover, JMD had not implemented a Federal court ruling allowing it to expand its random testing pool to include certain categories of Federal prosecutors and other employees.

During the last eight years, DFW requirements have changed and testing practices have been modified without much oversight. We recommended that the Department establish procedures to accommodate these changes and assign oversight responsibility for maintaining overall policy and program guidance.

Deportation of Aliens After Final Orders Have Been Issued

The INS reported that in FY 1994 it removed more than one million illegal aliens from this country. Most were Mexican nationals apprehended near the Southwest Border who left voluntarily. Illegal aliens unwilling or unable to leave voluntarily are issued final deportation orders by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). In FY 1994, EOIR issued 99,779 final orders, and INS deported 47,434 aliens; 45,000 of the removal orders were for detained aliens, and 54,779 were for nondetained aliens.


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Significant Inspections

We found that INS was effectively removing detained aliens. In our sample of FY 1994 case files, we found INS removed about 94 percent of the detained aliens within an average of 16 days. INS' program to deport nondetained aliens was largely ineffective; only about 11 percent of the nondetained aliens left.

Because INS does not have the investigative resources to pursue all nondetained aliens, their removal depends almost entirely on whether the aliens will surrender voluntarily upon request. Special conditions affecting certain nationalities also impair INS' ability to remove aliens. Despite these constraints, INS needs to increase detention or develop a better strategy for deporting nondetained aliens.

We recommended that INS improve the effectiveness of deportations by taking aliens into custody at hearings when final orders are issued at hearings, delivering surrender notices personally to aliens, moving more quickly to present surrender notices after receiving final orders, pursuing aliens who fail to surrender, and coordinating with other governmental agencies to make use of all data bases available for tracking aliens who fail to appear.

Retention of Drug Evidence In DEA Laboratories

As of February 1995, DEA's 7 drug vaults contained 88,593 exhibits related to 15,287 cases. The DEA plans to meet long-term storage requirements with a 5-year laboratory replacement program, including new, high capacity drug storage vaults for four of the seven regional laboratories. If DEA's plans to replace these laboratories are delayed or if the number of exhibits in DEA inventories increases unexpectedly, DEA's drug evidence vaults could become overcrowded. One facility, the South Central Laboratory, is already near capacity and is not scheduled for replacement.

We found that DEA can adopt more aggressive space management practices by removing from the vault exhibits no longer needed, exhibits related to completed cases, and "nondrug" exhibits. Based on our analysis of data stored in DEA's System to Retrieve Information from Drug Evidence, we determined that, as of February 1995, DEA was storing almost 7,000 exhibits, related to about 1,100 cases, that were seized more than 10 years ago and 576 exhibits, related to 117 cases, that were seized more than 20 years ago. We recommended that DEA work with the U.S. Attorneys' Offices to close stagnant cases and eliminate those exhibits no longer needed.

We also found that 23 percent of the exhibits signed out by DEA agents had not been returned after more than two years. We believe that many of these drug exhibits are probably not in the possession of the agent who signed for them, but have been transferred to State and local jurisdictions for non-Federal prosecutions. We recommended that DEA improve its control over drug evidence exhibits signed out to court for extended periods and ensure that laboratory records are updated to reflect permanently transferred exhibits.


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Significant Inspections

Self-Inspection Program in DEA

Beginning in 1995, DEA instituted a new program that requires field managers and supervisors to conduct annual self-inspections for compliance and enforcement effectiveness and that they report their findings and proposed solutions to DEA headquarters. Headquarters staff perform follow-up reviews to assess whether problems identified through self-inspections have been resolved and corrected. During the first year, self-inspection reviews focused on field activities and emphasized areas having the highest potential for abuse.

We determined that the self-inspections conducted by DEA during FY 1995 identified numerous instances of noncompliance, including some that were significant and long-standing. Self-inspections also identified potential integrity problems that were subsequently referred to DEA's Office of Professional Responsibility. The report contained no formal recommendations but suggested that DEA strengthen the process to review enforcement effectiveness in the field, make greater use of customer surveys during the self-inspection process, establish a systematic approach to identify "best practices" during follow-up reviews and disseminate this information, and evaluate the need for annual self-inspections and consider lengthening the review cycle.

Three-Year Deputy Development Program

We reviewed the 3-year Deputy Development Program (Program) in USMS, which is an on-the-job career development program for newly hired deputies. During the three years, deputies work a standard number of work days in specific operational areas. We concluded that the Program was succeeding in introducing deputies to the full spectrum of their operational duties. All of the districts sampled participated in the Program and had appropriately detailed deputies to other districts if their assigned district could not provide training in a particular area.

Although we generally praised the Program, we also offered the USMS Training Academy staff suggestions to improve administrative aspects of the Program.

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Inspections Statistics