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Management

  • DHS OIG Employees Honored by Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency

    For Information Contact

    Public Affairs (202) 981-6000

    For Immediate Release

    Download PDF (303.66 KB)

    This year, two Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) teams were recognized for their outstanding achievements at the annual awards ceremony held by the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) on October 13, 2020.  

    DHS OIG employees received the following awards: 

    • Award for Excellence, Audit – Limitations of CBP OFO’s Screening Device Used to Identify Fentanyl and Other Narcotics Audit Team.  
      • In recognition of outstanding efforts that identified significant limitations in drug identification equipment deployed to U.S. Customs and Border Protection ports of entry.
      • OIG Report: Limitations of CBP OFO’s Screening Device Used to Identify Fentanyl and Other Narcotics OIG-19-67. 
    • Award for Excellence, Audit – Criminal Alien Program Audit Team
      • In recognition of outstanding achievement in auditing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Criminal Alien Program and in reporting challenges with safety, resources, research, and information technology systems.
      • OIG Report: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Criminal Alien Program Faces Challenges, OIG-20-13.

    “I am tremendously proud that DHS OIG employees, in this year our audit teams, continue to be recognized for their outstanding work by the Inspector General community,” said DHS Inspector General Dr. Joseph Cuffari.  “DHS OIG remains committed to ensuring the integrity and effectiveness of DHS programs and operations.” 

    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
  • DHS OIG Commemorates National Whistleblower Appreciation Day

    For Information Contact

    Public Affairs (202) 981-6000

    For Immediate Release

    Download PDF (161.72 KB)

    Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Inspector General
    (OIG) joins numerous Federal agencies to commemorate National
    Whistleblower Appreciation Day. The day honors and supports whistleblowers
    who step forward in truth, to create a more honest and accountable
    government.

    DHS OIG relies on whistleblowers who come forward to report waste, fraud,
    abuse of agency resources, and criminal activity. DHS OIG also has a
    Whistleblower Protection Coordinator, who plays an important role as a
    resource for employees who need to understand the protections and rights
    afforded them when they report allegations of waste, fraud, or abuse.

    “Whistleblowers are a critical component of maintaining the integrity of our
    democracy,” said Inspector General Joseph V. Cuffari. “Today we celebrate
    those that have raised their voices to help ensure accountability and
    transparency in DHS programs and operations.”

    Individuals who are aware of fraud, waste, abuse or mismanagement of DHS
    resources are encouraged to contact the OIG Hotline through our website or by
    calling (800) 323-8603. Whistleblowers can choose to remain anonymous
    when reporting to the OIG and the OIG Whistleblower Protection Coordinator is
    always available to provide general information to DHS employees and
    contractors on whistleblower rights and protections.

    For more information visit our website, www.oig.dhs.gov

    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
  • DHS' Process for Responding to FOIA and Congressional Requests

    Executive Summary

    DHS generally met deadlines for responding to simple Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, it did not do so for most complex requests.  A significant increase in requests received, coupled with resource constraints, limited DHS’ ability to meet production timelines under FOIA, creating a litigation risk for the Department.  Additionally, DHS has not always fully documented its search efforts, making it difficult for the Department to defend the reasonableness of the searches undertaken.  With respect to responding to congressional requests, we determined DHS has established a timeliness goal of 15 business days or less; however, on average, it took DHS nearly twice as long to provide substantive responses to Congress, with some requests going unanswered for up to 450 business days.  Further, DHS redacted personal information in its responses to congressional committee chairs even when disclosure of the information was statutorily permissible.  This was a descriptive report and contained no recommendations.  In its response, DHS acknowledged FOIA backlogs remain a problem, despite increasing requests processed.  DHS stated its process responding to congressional requests varies greatly and that its redactions are appropriate.

    Report Number
    OIG-20-56
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2020
  • DHS Has Made Progress in Meeting SAVE Act Requirements But Challenges Remain for Fleet Management

    Executive Summary

    Two years since enactment, DHS and its components have mostly complied with SAVE Act requirements.  The SAVE Act requires the Office of the Chief Readiness Support Officer (OCRSO), as delegated by DHS, to collect and review components’ vehicle use data, including their analyses of the data and plans for achieving the right types and sizes of vehicles to meet mission needs.  Most components developed their plans as required.  However, only two of the 12 components we reviewed fully met requirements to analyze and document vehicle use and cost data to help them achieve the right type and size of fleet vehicles to meet their missions.  This occurred because DHS did not require components to include data analyses in their OCRSO-reviewed submissions, as mandated by the SAVE Act.  Had ORSCO thoroughly evaluated component submissions, it would have identified that components did not fully comply with SAVE Act requirements.  DHS concurred with all four recommendations that, when implemented, should improve the Department’s oversight over its vehicle fleets. 

    Report Number
    OIG-20-40
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2020
  • The U.S. Coast Guard Academy Must Take Additional Steps to Better Address Allegations of Race-Based Harassment and Prevent Such Harassment on Campus

    Executive Summary

    We identified 16 allegations of race-based harassment involving cadets between 2013 and 2018 that the Coast Guard Academy (the Academy) was aware of and had sufficient information to investigate and address through internal hate and harassment procedures.  The OIG identified issues in how the Academy addressed 11 of them.  First, in six incidents, the Academy did not thoroughly investigate the allegations, and/or did not discipline cadets when investigations documented violations of cadet regulations or Coast Guard policy.  In two of these instances, cadets committed similar misconduct again.  The Academy also did not fully include civil rights staff as required in six instances (including two of the instances noted previously).  Therefore, civil rights staff could not properly track these incidents to proactively identify trends and offer the Academy assistance.  In addition, in one incident involving a potential hate allegation, the Academy did not follow the Coast Guard process for hate incidents.  Finally, our review determined that race-based harassment is underreported at the Academy for various reasons, including concerns about negative consequences for reporting allegations.  Underreporting is especially concerning because our questionnaire results and interviews indicate harassing behaviors continue at the Academy.  We made five recommendations that will enhance the Academy’s ability to address harassment and hate allegations, including ensuring the Academy consistently investigates allegations, requiring the reasons for disciplinary decisions be documented after race- or ethnicity-based harassment investigations, informing civil rights staff of all misconduct that could reasonably relate to race or ethnicity; and improving training related to preventing and addressing race-based or ethnicity-based harassment or hate incidents.  The Coast Guard concurred with all recommendations

    Report Number
    OIG-20-36
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2020
  • Department of Homeland Security's FY 2019 Compliance with the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010 and Executive Order 13520, Reducing Improper Payments

    Executive Summary

    DHS complied with the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act (IPERA) in fiscal year 2019 by meeting all six of the IPERA requirements.  DHS also complied with Executive Order 13520, Reducing Improper Payments.  Additionally, we reviewed DHS’ processes and procedures for estimating its annual improper payment rates.  Based on our review, we determined DHS did not provide adequate oversight of the components’ improper payment testing and reporting.  We made one recommendation to DHS’ Risk Management and Assurance Division to properly follow the requirements in the DHS Improper Payment Reduction Guidebook. 

    Report Number
    OIG-20-31
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2020
  • Additional IG Designated as Members of CIGIE’s Pandemic Response Accountability Committee

    For Information Contact

    Public Affairs (202) 254-4100

    For Immediate Release

    Download PDF (185.17 KB)

    IGs to Join Committee Coordinating Oversight of Federal Funds Used for Coronavirus Response

    Michael E. Horowitz, Chair of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency 
    (CIGIE), and Glenn A. Fine, Chair of CIGIE’s Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC), 
    announced today additional Inspectors General (IG) to serve as members of the PRAC. The new members 
    are:

    •   Mitchell L. Behm, Acting Inspector General, Department of Transportation
    •   Mark Bialek, Inspector General, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
    •   Kathy A. Buller, Inspector General, Peace Corps
    •   Rae Oliver Davis, Inspector General, Department of Housing and Urban Development
    •   Phyllis K. Fong, Inspector General, Department of Agriculture
    •   Susan S. Gibson, Inspector General, National Reconnaissance Office
    •   Allison C. Lerner, Inspector General, National Science Foundation
    •   Jay N. Lerner, Inspector General, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
    •   Paul K. Martin, Inspector General, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    •   Michael J. Missal, Inspector General, Department of Veterans Affairs
    •   Tammy L. Whitcomb, Inspector General, U.S. Postal Service
    •   Special Inspector General for Pandemic Oversight (when nominated by the President and confirmed 
    by the Senate)

    In addition, Inspector General Martin was named as the Committee’s Vice Chair. Mr. Martin has 
    served as Inspector General at NASA for the past 10 years and prior to that served at the 
    Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General for 12 years, the last 7 as Deputy Inspector 
    General.

    These Inspectors General, who were designated as members of the PRAC pursuant to Section 15010 of 
    the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), oversee agencies that will 
    disburse funds made available under the CARES Act or are otherwise involved in the Coronavirus 
    response.

    Today’s designated Inspectors General join the PRAC alongside Mr. Fine and 8 other Inspectors
    General specifically identified as PRAC members by the CARES Act:

    •   Sandra D. Bruce, Acting Inspector General, Department of Education
    •   Joseph V. Cuffari, Inspector General, Department of Homeland Security
    •   Scott S. Dahl, Inspector General, Department of Labor
    •   Richard K. Delmar, Acting Inspector General, Department of the Treasury
    •   J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
    •   Christi A. Grimm, Acting Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services
    •   Michael E. Horowitz, Inspector General, Department of Justice
    •   Hannibal “Mike” Ware, Inspector General, Small Business Administration

    Consistent with the CARES Act, all Inspectors General serving on the Committee will continue to 
    perform their Inspector General duties.

    “This additional group of Inspectors General brings a wide range of expertise to the Committee. 
    Working closely with all 75 Federal Inspectors General, the Committee will seek to ensure that the 
    funds intended to support individuals, workers, healthcare professionals, businesses and others 
    affected by the pandemic are used efficiently, effectively, and in accordance with the law,” said 
    PRAC Chair Fine.

    The CARES Act provides over $2 trillion in emergency federal spending to address the economic 
    impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and establishes the PRAC and several other oversight 
    mechanisms to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse in the use of these funds.

    The PRAC will promote transparency and support independent oversight of the funds provided by the 
    CARES Act and two prior emergency spending bills, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response 
    Supplemental Appropriations Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. In addition to its 
    oversight responsibilities, the PRAC is tasked with supporting efforts to “prevent and detect 
    fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement [and] mitigate major risks that cut across program and 
    agency boundaries.”

    ###

    CIGIE is an independent entity established within the executive branch by the Inspector General Act 
    and includes 75 statutorily created federal Inspectors General. Its mission is to address 
    integrity, economy, and effectiveness issues that transcend individual government agencies and to 
    aid in the establishment of a well-trained and highly skilled workforce in the Offices of the 
    Inspectors General. For more information about CIGIE and the Inspector General community, please 
    visit https://www.ignet.gov/. To find and read reports from the federal Ins  ectors
    General, please visit https://oversight.gov and follow @OversightGov on Twitter.

    If you have additional questions, please contact:

    Dwrena Allen
    DOD OIG Spokesperson
    dwrena.allen@dodig.mil

    Stephanie Logan
    DOJ OIG/CIGIE Spokesperson
    Stephanie.logan@usdoj.gov

    Alan Boehm
    CIGIE Executive Director
    alan.boehm@cigie.gov

    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
  • PALMS Funding and Payments Did Not Comply with Federal Appropriations Law

    Executive Summary

    DHS’ funding and payments for PALMS violated Federal appropriations law.  Specifically, DHS violated the bona fide needs rule in using fiscal year (FY) 2011 component funds in FYs 2012 and 2013 for e-Training services and PALMS implementation respectively, when the funds were not legally available for those needs.  As a result of the bona fide needs rule and purpose statute violations, DHS may also have violated the Antideficiency Act in FYs 2013 – 2015 when the Department augmented appropriations for the Human Resources Information Technology program with component funds. We made nine recommendations to address violations of Federal appropriations law and to improve controls to prevent such potential violations in the future.

    Report Number
    OIG-20-19
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2020
  • United States Secret Service Expenses Incurred at Trump Turnberry Resort

    Executive Summary

    The U.S. Secret Service incurred operational and temporary duty costs for rental cars, hotel rooms, meals and incidentals, overtime pay, commercial airfare, golf cart rentals, and other logistical support.  Certain details of the cost information related to the Secret Service’s protective operations presented in the report are designated as Law Enforcement Sensitive.  We did not include salaries and benefits for government personnel traveling with the President because the Secret Service would have incurred these costs regardless of whether the President traveled.  Also excluded are costs associated with assistance provided by the Department of Defense, such as the use of military aircraft to transport personnel and equipment, because the Secret Service is not required to reimburse these costs.  We did not identify any fraud indicators or unauthorized costs.  We made no recommendations. 

    Report Number
    OIG-20-18
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2020
  • DHS Confirmed It Has Applied Lessons Learned in the Latest Financial System Modernization Effort

    Executive Summary

    DHS developed a strategy to apply 29 lessons learned from prior system updates to the current Financial Systems Modernization (FSM) TRIO program. Since DHS’ actions provides a positive outlook on the future progress of the FSM TRIO project we made no recommendations for improvement.  The report’s limited objective and scope does not provide a complete assessment DHS’ efforts to incorporate lessons learned into their recently reinvigorated FSM efforts. 

    Report Number
    OIG-20-09
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2020
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