Department of Homeland Security
Office of Inspector General
to the Congress
April 1, 2018 - September 30, 2018
“I am pleased to present our semiannual report, which summarizes the work and accomplishments of our office during the second half of fiscal year 2018. The audits, inspections, and investigations we conducted during this reporting period should help improve treatment and care of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees at detention facilities; make progress toward implementing controls to regulate access to Department of Homeland Security facilities and systems; and improve oversight and controls for identifying and processing aliens who are known or suspected terrorists. In addition, our work will enhance the United States Coast Guard’s oversight of information technology investments, and ensure Federal Emergency Management Agency funds are put to better use to improve management and oversight of disaster-related programs.”
- John V. Kelly, Acting Inspector General
During this reporting period, the DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) completed audits, inspections, and investigations to promote economy, efficiency, effectiveness, and integrity in the Department’s programs and operations.
Our audits resulted in questioned costs of $45,234,688 of which $332,138 did not have supporting documentation. The Department recovered or deobligated from audits $50,053,802. (See appendix 6.) We issued 3 reports identifying $4,964,641 in funds put to better use. Additionally, we reported $32,417,115 in recoveries, fines, and restitution from investigations and $72,947,509 in forfeited assets.
|Type of Impact||Amount|
|Funds to be Put to Better Use||
|Management Agreement that Funds be Recovered/Deobligated from Audits||
|Funds Recovered/Deobligated from Audits||
|Recoveries from Investigations (Not from Fines and Restitution)||
|Fines from Investigations||
|Restitution from Investigations||
* The recovery amount includes $5,212,896.63 in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) deobligation.
1The asset forfeiture amount was obtained from numerous defendants, pursuant to judicial orders, as a result of a joint investigation with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (Seattle), Homeland Security Investigations (Sacramento), and the U.S. Secret Service (Chicago).
We issued 30 reports, including 2 management alerts, and 4 reports on Disaster Relief Fund spending (appendix 5), as well as 406 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 10,414 recommendations to improve the economy, effectiveness, efficiency, and integrity of the Department’s programs and operations. As of September 30, 2018, the Department took action to address all but 547 of those recommendations. Congress has also taken notice of our work and called on us to testify 153 times since our office was created.
During this reporting period, we issued 30 new reports and 116 unique recommendations to the Department; we closed 149 recommendations, issued in this and prior periods, because of the Department’s actions. Congress also recognized our work by calling on us to testify one time about our efforts to improve the Department.
We initiated 395 and closed 433 investigations. Our investigations resulted in 41 arrests, 65 indictments, 46 convictions, and 18 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 Investigation*||Number|
|Open Investigations as of 4/1/2018||1,266|
|Open Investigations as of 9/30/2018||1,228|
|Investigative Reports Issued||406|
|Investigations Referred for Prosecution||102|
|Investigations Accepted for Prosecution||51|
|Investigations Declined for Prosecution||44|
|Total number of persons referred to state and local prosecuting authorities for criminal prosecution||20|
|Total number of indictments and criminal information during the reporting period that resulted from any prior referral to prosecuting authorities||29|
*All data was obtained from the Enforcement Data System, which is the Office of Investigation’s
case management system.
Note: Investigations accepted or declined may have been received in a prior reporting period.
*Complaints referred and closed included complaints received in prior period.
Whistleblower Retaliation Complaints Subject to In-Depth Review: 98
During this reporting period, we issued 30 new reports and 116 unique recommendations to the Department; we closed 149 recommendations, issued in this and prior periods, because of the Department’s actions. Congress also recognized our work by calling on us to testify one time about our efforts to improve the Department. 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 of Investigation disclosed a border patrol agent (BPA) used a BPA vehicle to smuggle marijuana into the United States; a company owner defrauded FEMA; a TSA employee engaged in racketeering and money laundering; a former ICE Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent committed bank fraud, wire fraud, and mail fraud; and a BPA stole government property.
We issued eight disaster related reports, including audits of grants funds. Of note, we questioned $33 million awarded to the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority in California. We also recommend FEMA recover $20.4 million from a wastewater treatment plant in Mississippi. We also reviewed several public assistance projects under the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act.
Our reports on financial management focused on the Department of Homeland Security’s FY 2017 Compliance with Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010; the audit of Department of Homeland Security’s FY 2016 Conference Spending; and FEMA paid Employees Over the Annual Pay Cap.
During this SAR period, we assessed ICE’s inspection and monitoring of detention facilities. We also continued to conduct unannounced site visits to U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities. We assessed DHS' separation of families at the southern border pursuant to Administration's Zero Tolerance Policy, and handling of unaccompanied alien children. We noted serious issues at one ICE processing center that violate detention standards.
We evaluated CBP’s efforts to implement a biometric exit capability, and whether the data collected has improved DHS’ ability to verify foreign visitor departures at U.S. airports. We also reviewed whether CBP’s air mail inspection processes at JFK airport are effective. We determined the extent to which DHS completed an assessment of the security value of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program; and the extent to which the Coast Guard’s oversight of the program ensures only eligible individuals are granted unescorted access to secure areas of regulated facilities.
In response to congressional concerns about the increase in assaults on CBP and ICE law enforcement personnel in recent years, we reviewed those assaults. We also reviewed whether CBP is effectively safeguarding information, such as images and video, collected on and transmitted from the Unmanned Aircraft Systems program. We also conducted an inspection to examine whether ICE is effectively overseeing and managing the 287(g) program as it expands.
We reviewed the extent to which the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) ground-based operations contribute to the Transportation Security Administration’s layered approach to security. This audit was the second in a series of audits on FAMS.
* Note: This chart excludes investigative reports.