We determined that DHS’ Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (CWMD) BioWatch has information sharing challenges that reduce nationwide readiness to respond to biological terrorism threats. We made four recommendations that, when implemented, will improve BioWatch. CWMD concurred with all four recommendations.
- Executive SummaryReport NumberOIG-21-22Issue DateDocument FileDHS AgencyOversight AreaKeywordsFiscal Year2021
- Executive Summary
DHS’ capability to counter illicit Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) activity remains limited. The Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans did not execute a uniform department-wide approach, which prevented components authorized to conduct counter-UAS operations from expanding their capabilities. This occurred because the Office of Policy did not obtain funding as directed by the Secretary to expand DHS’ counter-UAS capability. We made four recommendations to improve the Department’s management and implementation of counter-UAS activities. The Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans concurred with all four of our recommendations.Report NumberOIG-20-43Issue DateDocument FileFiscal Year2020
- Executive Summary
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) does not effectively coordinate and share best practices to enhance security across the commercial facilities sector. Specifically, CISA does not coordinate within DHS on security assessments to prevent potential overlap, does not always ensure completion of required After Action Reports to share best practices with the commercial facilities sector, and does not adequately inform all commercial facility owners and operators of available DHS resources. This occurred because CISA does not have comprehensive policies and procedures to support its role as the commercial facilities’ Sector-Specific Agency (SSA). Without such policies and procedures, CISA cannot effectively fulfill its SSA responsibilities and limits its ability to measure the Department’s progress toward accomplishing its sector-specific objectives. CISA may also be missing opportunities to help commercial facility owners and operators identify threats and mitigate risks, leaving the commercial facilities sector vulnerable to terrorist attacks and physical threats that may cause serious damage and loss of life. We made three recommendations to improve CISA’s coordination and outreach to safeguard the commercial facilities sector. CISA concurred with all three recommendations.Report NumberOIG-20-37Issue DateDocument FileFiscal Year2020
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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) joins the Social Security Administration (SSA) OIG and other Federal agencies on March 5, 2020 for National “Slam the Scam” Day, to raise public awareness of government imposter telephone scams across the United States.
SSA OIG is engaging other Federal agencies and the private sector to promote a National “Slam the Scam Day” as a National Consumer Protection Week initiative. On March 5, SSA will participate in a USA.gov-hosted Twitter chat, and a Facebook Live event at Social Security.
Both DHS OIG and SSA OIG would like to warn all Americans to hang up on all government imposters, and ask them to spread the word to family and friends. These pervasive scams—in which callers pretend to be government employees to mislead victims into providing personal information or making payments—have become a scourge on the American public. The Federal Trade Commission recently reported victims lost nearly $153 million to government imposter scams last year.
DHS telephone numbers have been used in the past as part of a telephone spoofing scam targeting individuals throughout the country. Spoofing is the deliberate falsifying of information transmitted to a caller ID display to disguise an identity. The perpetrators of the DHS-related scam represent themselves as employees with “U.S. Immigration” or other government entities. They alter caller ID systems to make it appear that the call is coming from the DHS HQ Operator number (202-282-8000) or the DHS Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) number (202-401-1474). The scammers obtain or verify personally identifiable information from their victims through various tactics, including by telling individuals that they are the victims of identity theft. The scammers also pose as law enforcement or immigration officials and threaten victims with arrest unless they make payments to the scammers using a variety of methods. The scammers have also emailed victims from email addresses ending in “uscis.org.” Many of the scammers reportedly have pronounced accents.
As a reminder, DHS never uses its HQ Operator or CRCL number to make outgoing calls of this nature. Individuals receiving phone calls from these numbers should not provide any personal information. It continues to be perfectly safe to place calls to the DHS HQ Operator and CRCL numbers and DHS officials may continue to be contacted by dialing the DHS HQ Operator number.
DHS OIG takes these matters very seriously. Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of this telephone spoofing scam is urged to call the DHS OIG Hotline (1-800-323-8603) or file a complaint online via the DHS OIG website www.oig.dhs.gov. You may also contact the Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint and/or report identity theft
For more information regarding SSA OIG’s National “Slam the Scam” day activity you can visit SSA OIG
For more information visit our website, www.oig.dhs.gov
Statement of Inspector General John Roth for a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing titled, “Examining the Problem of Visa Overstays: A Need for Better Tracking and Accountability."
- Executive Summary
The Inspectors General (IG) of the Intelligence Community (IC), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a joint report on the domestic sharing of counterterrorism information. The IGs’ review was conducted in response to a request from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and the Senate Judiciary Committee. The IGs found that federal, state, and local entities are committed to sharing counterterrorism information by undertaking programs and initiatives that have improved information sharing. However, the IGs also identified several areas in which improvements could enhance the sharing of counterterrorism information. The IGs made 23 recommendations to the components of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), DHS, and DOJ to help improve the sharing of counterterrorism information and, ultimately, enhance the government’s ability to prevent terrorist attacks. The components of ODNI, DHS, and DOJ agreed with all 23 recommendations.Report NumberOIG-17-49Issue DateDocument FileDHS AgencyFiscal Year2017
Lower Mississippi River Port-wide Strategic Security Council Did Not Always Properly Manage, Distribute, or Spend Port Security Grant FundsExecutive Summary
The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Port Security Grant Program (PSGP), which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), provides funding to port authorities, facility operators, and other eligible entities to help protect critical port infrastructure from terrorism. FEMA awarded the Lower Mississippi River Port-wide Strategic Security Council (Council) approximately $108 million in PSGP grant funds from fiscal years 2008 to 2013. We determined whether the Council managed, distributed, and spent PSGP funds in compliance with Federal laws, regulations, and guidance. About 73 percent of the nearly $108 million awarded to the Council to protect critical port infrastructure remains unspent. In addition, we identified more than $9.2 million in questioned costs. This occurred because the Council did not always follow Federal laws, regulations, or grant guidance; and FEMA failed to provide proper oversight. As a result, major Lower Mississippi River ports may be less prepared in the event of a terrorist attack.Report NumberOIG-16-14Issue DateDocument FileDHS AgencyFiscal Year2016
On March 16, 2016, Senator Ron Johnson, Chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee (HSGAC), requested that the Office of Inspector General review the events that took place at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), San Bernardino, California, office on December 3, 2015. We concluded that the USCIS Field Office Director at the San Bernardino office improperly delayed HSI agents from conducting a lawful and routine law enforcement action, but when the Field Office Director elevated the situation to her supervisors, the situation was corrected.