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Department of Homeland Security

Office of Inspector General

Semiannual Report
to the Congress

October 1, 2017 - March 31, 2018

“The audits, inspections, and investigations we conducted during this reporting period will improve treatment and care of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees at detention facilities; make progress toward implementing controls to regulate access to the Department of Homeland Security facilities and systems; and improve oversight and controls for identifying and processing aliens who are known or suspected terrorists.”

- John V. Kelly, Acting Inspector General



Our audits resulted in questioned costs of $129,898,737 of which $12,723,707 did not have supporting documentation. The Department recovered or deobligated from audits $439,807 (appendix 6). We issued 3 reports identifying $72,692,524 in funds put to better use. Additionally, we reported $3,459,877 in recoveries, fines, and restitution from investigations.

Type of Impact Amount
Questioned Costs $129,898,737
Funds to be Put to Better Use $72,692,524
Management Agreement that Funds be Recovered/Deobligated from Audits $439,807
Funds Recovered/Deobligated from Audits $439,807

We issued 59 reports, including management alerts, and reports on Disaster Relief Fund spending (appendix 5), as well as 393 investigative reports, while continuing to strengthen our transparency and internal oversight.

Our reports provide the DHS Secretary and Congress with an objective assessment of the issues the Department faces. The reports also offer specific recommendations to correct deficiencies and improve the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of DHS’ programs.

Since 2003, our work has inspired significant Department and congressional action to correct deficiencies identified in our audit, inspection, and investigative reports. We issued more than 10,298 recommendations to improve the economy, effectiveness, efficiency, and integrity of the Department’s programs and operations. As of March 31, 2018, the Department took action to address all but 578 of those recommendations. Congress has also taken notice of our work and called on us to testify 152 times since our office was created.

During this reporting period, we issued 59 new reports and 202 unique recommendations to the Department; we closed 130 recommendations, issued in this and prior periods, because of the Department’s actions. Congress also recognized our work by calling on us to testify four times about our efforts to improve the Department.


We initiated 577 and closed 423 investigations. Our investigations resulted in 62 arrests, 68 indictments, 30 convictions, and 13 personnel actions. We have included, in accordance with the Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2016, information regarding number of persons referred to state and local prosecuting authorities and indictments that resulted from prior referrals to prosecuting authorities.

Type of Impact Amount
Recoveries from Investigations (Not from Fines and Restitution) $2,705,898
Fines from Investigations $49,005
Restitution from Investigations $704,974



During this reporting period, we issued 59 reports containing 202 recommendations. Our Semiannual Report to Congress highlights a number of audits and inspections that we conducted the eight focus areas below. Click each focus area for a description.


Our reports on acquisitions focused on DHS not always following its statutory requirements for entering, modifying, and overseeing its Other Transaction Authority agreements; USCG does not know if all IT investments within its $1.8 billion in approved procurements are receiving proper acquisition oversight; and DHS needs to improve oversight and accountability of its suspension and debarment program.


FEMA faces significant challenges ensuring its grant recipients properly manage Federal disaster funds. To avoid obligating duplicate or ineligible repair costs to an affected facility, FEMA will need to determine which incident caused facility damages and whether repairs necessitated by a previous incident were complete. FEMA needs to rely on legislatively mandated internal controls designed to ensure appropriate payments for flood victims.


Our reports on financial management focused on the Independent Auditors Report on DHS’ FY 2017 Financial Statements and Internal Control Over Financial Reporting; the FY 2016 audit of the DHS Bankcard Program indicates that moderate risk remains; and FEMA and CBP’s oversight of Operation Stonegarden Program needs improvement.


During this SAR period, we raised concerns about the care and treatment of detainees at four of five ICE detention facilities we inspected. We also found the need for improvement in USCIS's automation of the N-400 Application for Naturalization; and the lack of clarity in USCIS’ website information on the time it takes to adjudicate green card applications, as well as USCIS' unrealistic processing time goal for these applications.


As part of our review of the CBP IT system outage, we identified deficiencies with CBP software capacity testing and maintenance, system monitoring, and business continuity and disaster recovery processes. Although DHS has addressed requirements of the Cybersecurity Act of 2015, DHS faces challenges to effectively share cyber threat information across Federal and private sector entities. DHS has not made much progress in implementing and managing requirements of the HSPD program.


Our audit of controls over firearms and sensitive assets disclosed components do not safeguard and effectively track sensitive assets. We issued Management Alerts in the law enforcement area that addressed a safety issue at the FLETC Artesia warehouse, and ICE’s training model that needed further evaluation.


Our reports on the Department’s efforts to prevent terrorism and other threats focused on DHS’ implementation of Executive Order #13769; challenges ICE faces to screen aliens who may be known or suspected terrorists; and Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) contribution to aviation transportation security.


Our Reports of Investigation disclosed an HSI special agent conspiring to commit wire fraud; a TSA Security Officer for assisting a drug trafficking organization; a USCG contractor providing defective parts; a CBPO and two civilians for possession of marijuana; and an FPS officer submitted fraudulent travel vouchers.


Open Recommendations at the beginning of the period
Recommendations issued this period

* Recommendations closed this period
Open Recommendations at the end of the period

* Note: This chart excludes investigative reports.

A list of reports with open recommendations over 6 months old can be found in the full PDF report:

Pages 27 – 39

Other Activities

Special Reviews Group

Begins at Page 8

Data Analytics Accomplishments

Begins at Page 9

Investigations of Senior Government Employees

Begins at Page 20