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  • DHS Training Needs for Hiring 15,000 Border Patrol Agents and Immigration Officers

    Executive Summary

    On January 25, 2017, the President issued two Executive Orders directing the Department of Homeland Security to hire an additional 15,000 law enforcement officers. We conducted this audit to determine whether the Department and its components — specifically FLETC, USBP, and ICE — have the training strategies and capabilities in place to train 15,000 new agents and officers.  Prior to the start of the hiring surge, FLETC’s capacity is already overextended. FLETC is not only responsible for accommodating the anticipated Department hiring surge, but also for an expected increase in demand from other Partner Organizations. Despite observing ongoing work in the development of hiring surge training plans and strategies, challenges exist due to uncertain funding commitments and current training conditions. Absent remedial action, these challenges may impede consistency and lead to a degradation in training and standards. As a result, trainees will be less prepared for their assigned field environment, potentially impeding mission achievability and increasing safety risk to themselves, other law enforcement officers, and anyone within their enforcement authority.

    Report Number
    OIG-19-07
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2019
  • Management Alert - Observations of FEMA's Debris Monitoring Efforts for Hurricane Irma

    Executive Summary

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through its Public Assistance (PA) Program, is currently responding to Hurricane Irma — one of the most catastrophic disasters in recent United States history.  FEMA’s damage estimates for Florida and Georgia exceed $4.2 billion, with debris removal operations constituting approximately 36 percent of the total PA cost.  Debris removal costs in Florida and Georgia are estimated to reach approximately $1.5 billion as of May 2018.  FEMA’s guidance for debris monitoring lacks sufficient information to ensure adequate oversight.  In the 2011 OIG report, FEMA’s Oversight and Management of Debris Removal Operations, we identified deficiencies in FEMA’s debris removal guidance.  To resolve these deficiencies, we made 10 recommendations to, in part, strengthen FEMA’s debris removal guidance and procedure.  In response, FEMA released additional criteria pertaining to debris estimating and monitoring to enhance the overall effectiveness of the process.  FEMA removed the detailed responsibilities when it released its Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide (PAPPG).  Going forward from the PAPPG version 1.0, FEMA relies solely on the subrecipient to monitor the debris removal operations, and removes monitoring responsibilities from both FEMA and the State.  Subrecipients now have a greater responsibility to identify issues or concerns during debris removal operations.  We made three recommendations that when implemented will strengthen FEMA’s debris monitoring operations.  FEMA concurred with all recommendations.

    Report Number
    OIG-18-85
    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
  • Special Report - Certain Findings Relating to the OIG's Investigation of Allegations Involving FLETC Senior Officials

    Executive Summary

    Between January 2016 and April 2017, DHS OIG received dozens of allegations regarding a variety of issues at the FLETC facility in Glynco, Georgia. Following extensive investigation, DHS OIG determined that many of the allegations could not be substantiated. However, with respect to certain other allegations, DHS OIG’s findings indicate that some of FLETC’s senior managers, including former Director Connie Patrick, failed to exercise the judgment, stewardship, and leadership expected of DHS senior officials. This report focuses on two specific allegations that exemplify the broader issues uncovered by DHS OIG’s investigation. Many of the allegations DHS OIG received regarding FLETC related to the official travel of the former FLETC Director, Connie Patrick. Patrick served as the Director of FLETC from 2002 until her retirement in June 2017. During this time, she frequently traveled domestically and internationally on FLETC-related business. DHS OIG conducted an extensive review of Patrick’s travel for the period January 15, 2014 through June 23, 2016 to identify any instances of impropriety. In addition to multiple complaints about Patrick’s alleged noncompliance with federal, DHS, and FLETC travel rules and regulations, DHS OIG received complaints alleging that Patrick pressured FLETC managers to hire her husband, John Patrick (JP), for a term position within the FLETC Law Enforcement Leadership Institute (LELI). DHS OIG’s investigation determined that JP was hired to a term position with LELI on January 3, 2010 and completed the term on September 11, 2011 — all during Patrick’s tenure as Director of FLETC

    Report Number
    OIG-18-65
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2018
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