Semiannual Report to Congress
October 1, 2006-March 31, 2007
Office of the Inspector General
Equitable Sharing Audits
Under the Department’s Forfeiture Program, state and local law enforcement agencies receive equitable sharing assets when participating directly with the Department’s law enforcement components in joint investigations that lead to the seizure or forfeiture of cash and property. To be eligible to receive equitable sharing proceeds, law enforcement agencies must submit a sharing request within 60 days of an asset seizure.
During this reporting period, the OIG’s Audit Division audited the Iowa Department of Public Safety (Iowa DPS) to assess whether equitable sharing assets were accounted for properly and used for allowable purposes as defined by the applicable regulations and guidelines. We found that t he Iowa DPS generally complied with equitable sharing guidelines. However, we found weaknesses related to its Federal Annual Certification Reports, tracking and reconciliation of sharing requests, and the use of equitable sharing revenues. Specifically, we found that the Iowa DPS did not track equitable sharing requests and receipts, and receipts were not deposited in a timely manner. W e also found that the Iowa DPS did not use equipment purchases totaling $53,150 for law enforcement purposes and could not provide adequate supporting documentation for expenditures totaling $536,820. As a result, we made 4 recommendations to strengthen the Iowa DPS’s receipt tracking and deposit procedures as well as request support for the budget section of its FY 2004 and 2005 Annual Certification Reports and to remedy $589,970 in unsupported and unallowable expenditures totaling approximately 19 percent of the total grant funds. The four recommendations are open and resolved.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
ATF’s 5,000 employees perform the dual responsibilities of enforcing federal criminal laws and regulating the firearms and explosives industries. ATF investigates violent crime involving firearms and explosives, acts of arson, and illegal trafficking of alcohol and tobacco products. ATF also provides training and support to its federal, state, local, and international law enforcement partners and works in 23 field divisions with representation throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. Foreign offices are located in Mexico, Canada, Colombia, and representatives in France.
National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record
The OIG is reviewing ATF’s National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record to determine whether ATF has effective policies and procedures to reliably maintain records of registrations and transfers of National Firearms Act weapons.
The OIG is reviewing ATF’s enforcement policies and practices related to firearms trafficking at gun shows. The review will provide information about ATF’s presence at gun shows and the policies, procedures, and oversight mechanisms that guide ATF’s activities.
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
The following is an example of a case involving COPS that the OIG’s Investigations Division investigated during this reporting period:
An investigation by the OIG’s Fraud Detection Office resulted in the City of Hazlehurst, Georgia, paying restitution in the amount of $177,109 to COPS for misapplication of grant funds. The city police department applied for COPS funds in the amount of $216,000 to hire 2 officers for a 3-year deployment to their school resource program. The officers were required to attend specialized training and be deployed full-time to elementary, middle, and high schools. The investigation disclosed that the police chief only deployed 1 untrained officer to the schools for a 1-year period. Two other officers were hired with the grant funds but were assigned regular patrol shifts. The matter was declined for prosecution in lieu of the administrative recovery.
Executive Office for U.S. Trustees
Monitoring and Oversight of Chapter 7 Panel Trustees
The OIG is auditing the U.S. Trustee Program’s monitoring and oversight of Chapter 7 Panel Trustees who collect, liquidate, and distribute personal and business cases under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code.
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