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Texas

  • Management Alert - DHS Needs to Address Dangerous Overcrowding Among Single Adults at El Paso Del Norte Processing Center

    Executive Summary

    According to CBP statistics, the number of southwest border migrant apprehensions during the first seven months of FY 2019 has in general already surpassed that of the total apprehensions for each of the previous four fiscal years. At the sector level, El Paso has experienced the sharpest increase in apprehensions when comparing the first seven months of FY 2019 to the same period in FY 2018. The purpose  is to notify you of urgent issues that require immediate attention and action. Specifically, we are recommending that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) take immediate steps to alleviate dangerous overcrowding at the El Paso Del Norte Processing Center (PDT).

    Report Number
    OIG-19-46
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2019
  • Management Alert - FEMA Did Not Safeguard Disaster Survivors' Sensitive Personally Identifiable Information (REDACTED)

    Executive Summary

    Through the TSA program, FEMA provides transitional sheltering in hotels to disaster survivors displaced by emergencies or major disasters. TSA reduces the number of survivors in congregate emergency shelters by providing hotel lodging. During our ongoing audit of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program, we determined that FEMA violated the Privacy Act of 19741 and Department of Homeland Security policy2 by releasing to the PII and SPII of 2.3 million survivors of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and the California wildfires in 2017.3

    Report Number
    OIG-19-32
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2019
  • CBP Has Not Ensured Safeguards for Data Collected Using Unmanned Aircraft Systems

    Executive Summary

    In December 2014, OIG previously reported on the effectiveness and cost of the UAS program.2 Our report disclosed CBP had not developed performance measures needed to accurately assess program effectiveness and make informed decisions. CBP also did not recognize all UAS operating costs and, as such, the Congress and public may be unaware of the amount of resources invested in the program. This audit determined that CBP has not ensured effective safeguards for surveillance information, such as images and video, collected on and transmitted from its UAS. Without a privacy assessment, CBP could not determine whether ISR Systems contained data requiring safeguards per privacy laws, regulations, and DHS policy. CBP’s failure to implement adequate security controls according to Federal and DHS policy could result in potential loss of confidentiality, integrity, and availability of ISR Systems and its operations.

    Report Number
    OIG-18-79
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2018
  • USCIS' Medical Admissibility Screening Process Needs Improvement

    Executive Summary

    USCIS has inadequate controls for verifying that foreign nationals seeking lawful permanent residence status meet health-related standards for admissibility. First, USCIS is not properly vetting the physicians it designates as civil surgeons. We determined that USCIS designated physicians with a history of patient abuse or a criminal record as civil surgeons. This is occurring because USCIS does not have adequate policies to ensure only suitable physicians are designated as civil surgeons. Second, when reviewing these foreign nationals’ required medical forms, ISOs are accepting incomplete and inaccurate forms because they are not adequately trained and because USCIS is not enforcing its existing policies. USCIS may be placing foreign nationals at risk of abuse by some civil surgeons. USCIS could also be exposing the U.S. population to contagious or dangerous health conditions from foreign nationals erroneously granted lawful permanent resident status.

    Report Number
    OIG-18-78
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2018
  • Summary and Key Findings of Fiscal Year 2017 FEMA Disaster Grant and Program Audits

    Executive Summary

    Collectively, our FY 2017 work shows that FEMA continues to face systemic problems and operational challenges, as the variety of findings summarized in this report illustrates In FY 2017, FEMA did not manage disaster relief grants and funds adequately and did not hold grant recipients accountable for properly managing disaster relief funds. We continue to identify problems such as improper contract costs, and ineligible and unsupported expenditures.

    In FY 2017, we identified $2.08 billion in questioned costs, which represents 96 percent of the $2.16 billion audited.2 We issued 37 reports concerning FEMA grants, programs, and operations funded by the DRF. Specifically, we conducted 16 grant audits, 13 proactive audits, and 8 program audits. In the last 9 fiscal years, we audited grant funds totaling $13.75 billion and reported potential monetary benefits of $6.55 billion.

    Report Number
    OIG-18-75
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2018
  • Management Alert - FEMA Faces Significant Challenges Ensuring Recipients Properly Manage Disaster Funds

    Executive Summary

    Because of the high dollar amount in disaster funds likely awarded and the history of audit questioned costs for FEMA disaster funds, FEMA’s inadequate grant management poses a significant risk to taxpayer dollars. We identified issues in our previous reports that demonstrate FEMA’s ongoing issues with ensuring disaster grant recipients and subrecipients comply with Federal regulations and FEMA guidelines. Specifically, FEMA faces significant challenges in ensuring its grant recipients properly manage FEMA disaster funds. This alert highlights the significant deficiencies with FEMA’s internal controls and its lack of enforcement of Federal requirements. As FEMA moves forward with its recovery efforts, it must hold recipients accountable for proper grant management. FEMA must implement and use effective controls to overcome existing problems with managing and monitoring funds for disaster response and recovery.

    Report Number
    OIG-18-33
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2018
  • Lessons Learned from Prior Reports on Disaster-related Procurement and Contracting

    Executive Summary

    This is a Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General (OIG) special report on Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and FEMA recipient and sub recipient disaster-related procurements. FEMA is currently responding to some of the most catastrophic disasters in U.S. history — Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and the October 2017, California wildfires. Because of the massive scale of damage and the large number and high-dollar contracts that will likely be awarded, there is a significant risk that billions of taxpayer dollars may be exposed to waste, fraud, and abuse.

    Report Number
    OIG-18-29
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2018
  • Special Report: Lessons Learned from Prior DHS-OIG Reports Related to FEMA's Response to Texas Disasters and Texas' Management of FEMA Grant Funds

    Executive Summary

    FEMA is currently responding to Hurricane Harvey in Texas, one of the largest disasters in U.S. history, with current damage estimates reported to exceed $100 billion. Due to the massive scale of damage, FEMA and Texas, as a FEMA grantee, will face many challenges in the recovery phase of the disaster. As FEMA moves into the recovery phase for Hurricane Harvey, it will begin to obligate hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars from the Disaster Relief Fund for administrative costs and for Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation grants to eligible state, tribal, and local governments and certain nonprofit organizations. Texas, as FEMA’s grantee, will be responsible for oversight and monitoring of the disaster grants to Texas subrecipients.

    Report Number
    OIG-18-21
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2018
  • Management Alert - Observations and Concerns with FEMA's Housing Assistance Program for Hurricane Harvey Efforts in Texas

    Executive Summary

    We are providing this report to emphasize the potential housing challenges and risks that FEMA needs to address during Hurricane Harvey’s recovery efforts based on our observations and discussions with FEMA officials at the Austin, Texas Joint Field Office.  FEMA is currently responding to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, some of the most catastrophic disasters in recent United States history.  Damages from Hurricane Harvey are estimated to exceed $100 billion.  On September 22, 2017, the State of Texas General Land Office entered into an Intergovernmental Service Agreement to provide assistance to FEMA in the delivery of Direct Housing Assistance (DHA) to Hurricane Harvey survivors on a temporary basis.  FEMA estimates these costs will reach approximately $1 billion.  The agreement does not clearly identify basic controls to ensure DHA funds are spent according to Federal regulations. For instance, the agreement does not include approval authorities and physical inspections, or separation of duties and independent certifications.  We are concerned that without adequate controls in place the Federal funds may be at risk of fraud, waste, and abuse.  Therefore, it is imperative that FEMA ensure Texas’ proposed project management plan clearly identifies the internal controls needed to ensure that Federal funds will be properly spent.  Our report also provides observations on the current and past issues with FEMA’s use of direct housing assistance programs.

    Report Number
    OIG-17-121-MA
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2017
  • Fort Bend County, Texas, Needs Additional Assistance and Monitoring to Ensure Proper Management of Its FEMA Grant

    Executive Summary

    Fort Bend County, Texas (County), needs additional technical assistance to account for FEMA Public Assistance grant funds according to Federal regulations and FEMA guidelines. Specifically, the County needs to revise its accounting policies and procedures to ensure it can fully support the disaster work it intends to complete with its own labor force. In addition, although the County’s procurement policies and procedures generally comply with Federal procurement standards, they did not include all required contract provisions in either of their disaster contracts. Because of our audit, the County revised its policies and procedures to include implementing a plan that specifically addressed Federal requirements for documenting and accounting for disaster-related costs and compliance with Federal procurement standards.

    Report Number
    OIG-17-83-D
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2017
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