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For Immediate Release
For the second year in a row, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) employees were awarded top honors for their outstanding achievements at the annual awards ceremony held by the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE).
This year, DHS OIG earned CIGIE’s highest honor – the Alexander Hamilton Award. This award, given to only one agency, was awarded in recognition of exemplary service and commendable achievement to the team responsible for OIG report, “Better Safeguards Are Needed in USCIS Green Card Issuance,” published in November 2016.
The team audited U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) electronic processing, issuance, and delivery of Green Cards, the documentation that grants foreign nationals approval to reside and seek employment in the United States. The team disclosed that from 2013 to 2016, USCIS issued nearly 20,000 Green Cards in duplicate or with incorrect information, primarily due to design and functionality problems of its Electronic Information System for processing immigrant benefits. For the same time period, USCIS received over 200,000 reports from approved applicants about missing cards. Collectively, these deficiencies posed national security risks, denied benefits for approved applicants, and increased workload and costs for the agency.
Along with the Alexander Hamilton Award, CIGIE also recognized other DHS OIG work with awards including: “Transportation Security Administration Needs a Crosscutting Risk-Based Security Strategy,” “Review of Domestic Sharing of Counterterrorism Information,” and an investigation of fraud in FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighter’s Grant Program. Two OIG employees were also part of the team that was awarded the Barry R. Snyder Joint Award for CIGIE’s efforts in leadership development.
DHS OIG was also recognized by the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community (IC IG) as part of this year’s National Intelligence Professional Awards Program. OIG employee Angela Garvin received the Leadership Award, and was the only individual to receive it. This award is presented to the person whose contributions most ensured efficiency and effectiveness of national security or IC programs and activities, promoted greater accountability, or furthered the OIG mission of detecting and deterring waste, fraud, and abuse. DHS OIG also received the IC IG Collaboration Award for its work with the Department of Justice OIG and the IC IG on the joint report, “Review of Domestic Sharing of Counterterrorism Information.”
“I am immensely proud that DHS OIG audit teams have received CIGIE’s most prestigious award two years in a row,” said Inspector General John Roth. “These awards highlight the wide-ranging and impactful work undertaken by DHS OIG employees on behalf of the American public and serve as a reminder of the positive change their work can have on DHS programs and operations.”