Segment 3 Of 3 Previous Hearing Segment(2)
SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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WASTE, FRAUD AND ABUSE
THURSDAY, MARCH 14, 2002
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Crime,
Committee on the Judiciary,
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 2 p.m., in Room 2237, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Lamar Smith [Chairman of the Subcommittee] presiding.
Mr. SMITH. I think we are going to start. The Subcommittee on Crime will come to order. It is, of course, that the Ranking Member Mr. Scott is not here. He is actually on his way. We expect him to be here in 5 minutes, and with his agreement, I am going to go on and make my opening statement and then wait for his arrival.
I will have to confess to you all that part of this is an effort to allow Members, which, I guess, means Mr. Scott and me, to get on an airplane before too much longer this afternoon. But because the House has already adjourned for the day, that is why unfortunately we are probably going to have a pretty sparse attendance by other Members.
But let me recognize myself for purposes of an opening statement. Today the Crime Subcommittee holds its third in a series of oversight hearings to look at the administration of law enforcement grants by the Office of Justice programs, OJP, especially grants to State and local agencies that resulted in mismanagement or have been used for questionable purposes. Of particular interest to the Subcommittee are grants under the local law enforcement block grant program and the burn formula grant program administered by the Office of Justice programs.
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Another major grant program we will examine today is the Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS program. This program was established during the Clinton Administration with a stated goal of putting 100,000 new police officers on the street by fiscal year 2000. The COPS office is a separate entity within the Justice Department and administers its grants apart from OJP.
According to the Congressional research service, the COPS program has been awarded more than $8 billion since 1992. As we will hear, the expenditure of billions of tax dollars for the COPS program has had mixed results. The COPS program has encouraged community policing by increasing officer levels, but it is not come without controversy.
There are questions about the actual number of COPS funded positions that have been added by local police departments. This points to two major problems with the COPS program: The failure of local governments to hire new officers instead of using the Federal funds to pay for officers previously funded locally; and the failure to retain COPS-funded officers and redeploy officers on to the street. More troublesome than the low retention rates of COPS officers after this significant investment of Federal dollars is the amount of mismanagement, waste, and, in a few cases, fraud that has occurred in the COPS program.
Programs, simply have failed to demonstrate a clear impact on the reduction of crime as was pointed out by the witness from the Heritage Foundation last week.
The President's budget for 2003 also reflects the concern for the overall effectiveness of the COPS program. The President has recommended that a significant level of COPS funding be redirected to address the needs of our Nation's State and local law enforcement officers who assist in counterterrorism and homeland security measures. The purpose of this hearing is, first, to identify some of the past problems with grant programs administered by both OJP and the COPS office; and second, to explore ways to correct these problems and to ensure that Federal law enforcement funds are used effectively to address both the traditional and expanded mission of our State and local law enforcement agencies.
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Now, that concludes my opening statement. I am glad that the Ranking Member has arrived, and Mr. Scott is recognized for his opening statement.
Mr. SCOTT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate you waiting to the exact minute thatas soon as I could get here, and I apologize for being late and appreciate you accommodating the schedule.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to join you in convening a third oversight hearing on the Office of Justice Programs. In the prior hearings, we were told about OJP's duplication and ineffectiveness. We are now getting down to brass tacks, getting them to tell us where their fraud waste and abuse is. Mr. Chairman, while we are looking at these issues, I am continuing to hear from a growing spectrum of OJP customers that they are concerned about the prospects of OJP operations losing their independence.
I have two letters from the social science organizations expressing their support for looking at streamlining operations, but their concerns that did not go so far as to jeopardize the independence of the statistical and research functions, and I would like to have these letters made a part of the record.
Mr. SMITH. Without objection, they will be made a part of the record.
Mr. SCOTT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I certainly think we should identify and eliminate clear fraud and abuse and other kinds of wastes, but like duplication and effectiveness, what is waste, fraud or abuse may be, in a large part, in the eye of the beholder. What I am hearing is that there is concern that some of the cures we may be proposing may be worse than the disease. So I look forward to the testimony of the witnesses for additional light they may share on the issues of pros and cons of the OJP reorganizational proposals. Thank you.
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Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Scott. Let me introduce the witnesses. They are the honorable Glenn A. Fine, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice; Tracy A. Henke, principal deputy assistant attorney general, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Mr. Karl Peed, director, COPS program, U.S. Department of Justice. And Ms. Bonnie Campbell, former director, Violence Against Women Office, Office of Justice Programs.
Mr. SMITH. And we welcome you all, look forward to your testimony, and Mr. Fine, we will begin with you.
STATEMENT OF GLENN A. FINE, INSPECTOR GENERAL, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Mr. FINE. Thank you. Mr. Chairman, Congressman Scott, Members of the Subcommittee on Crime, thank you for inviting me to testify about the Office of the Inspector General's oversight of grant programs in the Department of Justice. The amount of grants awarded by the Department has grown rapidly over the last several years to nearly $5 billion, almost 20 percent of the Department's total budget.
In recognition of this growth, the last 3 years the OIG has listed grant management as one of the Department's top 10 management challenges. The OIG has conducted numerous audits and informations related to the grants issued by COPS and OJP. We have also investigated a variety of fraud allegations involving Department grant funds.
In my remarks this afternoon, I will discuss the work of the OIG in reviewing COPS and OJP grant programs, and describe examples of our recent audits and investigations. I also will offer some general observations about oversight of COPS and OJP grants.
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With regard to COPS in 1999, we issued two reports summarizing the results from our first 2 years of auditing COPS grants. There are 149 audits up to that time identified approximately $52 million in questioned costs and approximately $71 million in funds that could be better used or 24 percent of the total funds awarded to the 149 grantees.
Among our findings were that most auditees either could not demonstrate that they had redeployed officers or could not demonstrate that they had a system in place to track the redeployment of officers into community policing. A large percentage of auditees also showed indicators of using Federal funds to supplant local funding instead of using grant funds to supplement local funding.
In the second report in 1999, we reviewed the overall administration of the program by COPS. Among other findings, we determined that many grantees did not submit the required program monitoring and financial reports, and that COPS on-sight monitoring reviews did not consistently cover all grant conditions.
We also concluded the deficiencies found in the on-site reviews were not adequately followed up on or corrected. Since our 1999 reports, we have issued an additional 185 audit reports on COPS grants. These audits identified more than $63 million in questioned costs and $32 million in funds to better use. Our audits contain some findings similar to those discussed in our 1999 report. For example, the District of Columbia's Metropolitan Police Department received a COPS grant to hire 56 civilians and purchase equipment that was to result in the redeployment of 364 officer positions. Despite our repeated requests, the DC Police Department was unable to provide us with its deployment plan or with an accurate list of all civilians who were reported to have been hired with COPS grant funds. We therefore questioned more than $6 million based on these grant violations.
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Another continuing issue is COPS' monitoring of corrective actions to our audit findings. We are concerned by the length of time it has taken the COPS office to respond to our findings and recommendations. For example, in September 1998 we issued a report on the police department in Oxford, Michigan. We found that Oxford violated the nonsupplanting requirement and failed to maintain the locally required staffing level. As a result, we questioned $177,000 that Oxford had been reimbursed and recommended deobligating $370,000 in remaining grant funds.
In February 2000, we received correspondence from COPS stating that the Oxford Police Department had been disbanded. However, despite repeated requests and the passage of 3 years since we made the recommendations, we have not received documents demonstrating that any of the funds in question have been returned or that the remaining grant funds have been deobligated.
Mr. Peed, the new director of COPS, has expressed his interest in addressing the untimely audit follow-up and resolution process. He expressed it again today to me. We are encouraged by this, although we remain concerned about the length of time involved for corrective action to take place. Of the 155 completed audit reports with open recommendations, 94 were issued more than 2 years ago.
Over the years, the OIG has audited a variety of OJP grant programs, which I describe in my written statement. The OIG also has several ongoing reviews that are relevant to the administration of OJP and COPS.
In January 2002, we began an audit examining whether administrative activities and grant functions could be streamlined in OJP and COPS. Because of the possible duplication of efforts, particularly in developing grant criteria, awarding grants, monitoring grants and following up on audits, we plan to assess whether activities and functions can be improved or combined to increase operational efficiency.
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In addition, the OIG will soon issue an audit of OJP's State and Local Domestic Preparedness Support grant program, which provides money to State and local police and fire departments who serve as first responders in most emergencies. We are finding that these grant funds were not awarded quickly and that grantees were slow to spend available money.
In addition to audits and inspections of grant programs, the OIG investigates allegations of misconduct, fraud, waste or abuse in the Department, including grant programs. Examples of such cases include an OIG investigation, which led to the arrest and conviction of a former Missouri chief of police who had falsified COPS paperwork to claim he hired and paid one additional officer, when, in fact, he used the grant money to pay his own salary, including a $6,000 annual raise.
In another case, a town clerk in North Carolina submitted a fraudulent COPS grant application and received grant funds that he transferred to his own use, even though the town did not have a police department.
I want to make several observations about continuing concerns regarding COPS and OJP grants. More aggressive oversight. We have found that monitoring activities were not being documented in grant files; on-site inspections did not include visits to project sites; financial and progress reports were not submitted or not submitted timely; and grant managers were not reviewing carefully the information they received. We believe that COPS and OJP need to better monitor their grantees by performing more site visits and by more fully reviewing grantee financial and programmatic status reports.
Page 164 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 3 Of 3 Increased emphasis on timely corrective action: In addition, COPS and OJP should require prompt corrective action on OIG audit findings. Many of the reports remain open for far too long. We believe the COPS and OJP should take more aggressive and more timely corrective action against grantees who did not comply with grant terms.
In sum, we believe that COPS and OJP need to focus more attention on thorough monitoring of grant awards, ensuring that grant requirements are met; and pursuing a corrective action when the requirements are not met. While we have seen some improvement in these areas, we believe that these programs need continuing scrutiny and oversight. That concludes my statement, and I would be pleased to answer any questions.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Fine.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Fine follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF GLENN A. FINE
Mr. Chairman, Congressman Scott, and Members of the Subcommittee on Crime:
Thank you for inviting me to testify about the work of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in auditing and investigating grant programs in the Department of Justice (Department). The number and amount of grants the Department awards have grown rapidly, increasing from $849 million in 1994 to nearly $5 billion in each of the past five years. Grants now account for almost 20 percent of the Department's total budget. They are primarily awarded by the Department's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and the Office of Justice Programs (OJP).
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Over the years, the OIG has conducted numerous audits and inspections relating to the grants issued by these two Department components. In addition, we have investigated a variety of fraud allegations involving Department grant funds.
In my remarks this morning, I will first discuss the work of the OIG in reviewing COPS and OJP grant programs by briefly describing several of our recent audits and inspections. In addition, I will highlight several ongoing OIG reviews in COPS and OJP. Next, I will provide examples of OIG investigations of fraud in these programs. Finally, I will offer several general observations about the COPS and OJP grant programs based on our audits, inspections, and investigations.
I. OIG AUDITS OF COPS GRANTS
The COPS grant program was created by the Violent Crime Control and Enforcement Law Act of 1994, which authorized the Attorney General to implement over six years an $8.8 billion grant program for state and local law enforcement agencies to hire or redeploy 100,000 additional officers to perform community policing. The Department established the COPS Office in 1994 to administer the grant program and advance community policing throughout the country.
The OIG has been involved with the COPS program in various advisory and oversight capacities since its inception. Before grants were awarded, we reviewed program announcements and grant application kits. Since COPS began dispersing grants, we have completed more than 330 audits of grant recipients.
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A. OIG's 1999 Summary Report and Audit of the COPS Office
In April 1999, the OIG issued a report summarizing the audits it conducted during its first two years of auditing COPS grant recipients.(see footnote 34) During fiscal years (FY) 1997 and 1998, the OIG performed 149 grant audits of COPS and OJP hiring and redeployment grants totaling $511 million, or about 10 percent of the $5 billion in grants COPS had obligated up to that time.
Our individual audits focused on: (1) the allowability of grant expenditures; (2) whether local matching funds were previously budgeted for law enforcement; (3) the implementation or enhancement of community policing activities; (4) hiring efforts to fill vacant officer positions; (5) plans to retain officer positions at grant completion; (6) grantee reporting; and (7) analyses of supplanting issues.
Our audits identified weaknesses in each of these areas. For the 149 grant audits, we identified approximately $52 million in questioned costs and approximately $71 million in funds that could be better used.(see footnote 35) Our dollar-related findings amounted to 24 percent of the total funds awarded to the 149 grantees.
Among the findings of our April 1999 report:
Approximately half of the grantees we audited included unallowable costs in their claims for reimbursement.
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Most auditees either could not demonstrate that they redeployed officers or could not demonstrate that they had a system in place to track the redeployment of officers into community policing.
A large percentage of auditees showed indicators of using federal funds to supplant local funding instead of using grant funds to supplement local funding. When grantees use grant funds to replace local funds rather than to hire new officers, additional officers are not added to the nation's streets to perform community policing. Instead, federal funds are used to pay for existing police officers. We found that grantees budgeted for decreases in local positions after receiving COPS grants, used COPS funds to pay for local officers already on board, did not fill vacancies promptly, or did not meet the requirements of providing matching funds.
A majority of auditees either did not develop a good-faith plan to retain officer positions or said they would not retain the officer positions at the conclusion of the grant.
More than three-quarters either failed to submit COPS initial reports, annual reports, officer progress reports, or submitted them late.
Over 90 percent did not submit all required Financial Status Reports or submitted them late.
In July 1999, we issued another audit report describing our review of the COPS Office's overall administration of the grant program.(see footnote 36) We evaluated: (1) COPS' ability to meet the stated goal of putting 100,000 additional police officers on the street, (2) COPS' monitoring of grantees, and (3) the quality of the guidance COPS provided to grantees to assist them in implementing essential grant requirements.
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We found that COPS grants would not result in 100,000 additional officers on the streets by the end of FY 2000. We attributed this shortfall to various factors, including law enforcement agencies not accepting grant funds, grantees terminating many grants, grantees not being able to demonstrate they had or would redeploy officers from administrative duties to the streets, and indications that COPS grant funds were used to supplant local funds, which could result in fewer additional officers on the street.
We also determined that many grantees did not submit the required program monitoring and financial reports and that COPS' on-site monitoring reviews did not consistently cover all grant conditions. Moreover, we concluded that COPS and OJP did not adequately follow up on deficiencies found in on-site reviews to ensure that the deficiencies were corrected.
In response to our July 1999 audit, the COPS Office and OJP agreed with many of our recommendations and reported that they had created specific monitoring divisions dedicated to grant-monitoring efforts. The COPS Office, however, disagreed with many of the findings in our individual grant reports and appealed them to the Deputy Attorney General. In August 1999, the Department hired a mediator to resolve the dispute, using a sample of 40 OIG findings. In the vast majority of the sampled issues, either the mediator found or COPS concluded that the grantees were in violation of grant conditions.
G. Recent OIG Audits of COPS Grants
Since our 1999 reports, the OIG has issued an additional 185 audit reports of COPS hiring and redeployment grants. These audits identified more than $63.9 million in questioned costs and $32.2 million in funds to better use. Our audits contained some findings similar to those discussed in our April 1999 summary report, such as grant recipients:
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Not hiring and retaining additional officers, and using federal funds to supplant local funds
For example, our audit of the El Paso, Texas, Police Department found that it violated COPS' non-supplanting requirement. We found that the El Paso Police Department did not increase its police force by the 231 officers funded by the COPS grants and did not retain the required number of officer positions. We questioned more than $7 million paid to the grantee.
Including unallowable or unsupported costs in reimbursement requests
Our audit of COPS grants made to the City of Camden, New Jersey, found excess police officer salary and fringe benefit costs in Camden's reimbursement requests. We questioned more than $1 million for these grant violations.
Not demonstrating redeployment of officers to community policing.
The District of Columbia's Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) received a redeployment grant to hire 56 civilians and purchase equipment that was to result in the total redeployment of 364 officer positions. Despite our repeated requests, the MPD was unable to provide the OIG with its redeployment plan or with a complete and accurate list of all grant-funded civilians who were reported to have been hired with COPS grant funds. We questioned more than $6 million based on these grant violations.
In our judgment, based on our recent audit work, the Making Officer Redeployment Effective (MORE) grant program continues to be the COPS Office's highest risk program. The MORE grants fund technology or the hiring of civilians to allow existing officers to be redeployed from administrative activities to community policing. Although grants under the MORE program are intended to last for one year, we found numerous instances where COPS extended grant periods several additional years. For example, when police departments buy computers or mobile data terminals and fail to install them in a timely manner, they may become obsolete by the time they are operational. Importantly, we rarely found that MORE grant recipients could demonstrate that they had redeployed the required number of officers to community policing as a result of the MORE grants.
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We continue to believe that the COPS Office's on-site monitoring efforts can be improved. Depending on the size of the grantee, COPS site visits are usually one to two days in length and concentrate mainly on the grantee's community policing activities, rather than on ensuring that grant requirements are met, including hiring, budgeting, and tracking redeployment.
Another continuing issue is the COPS Office's monitoring of corrective actions to our audit findings. In the past, we have been concerned by the length of time it has taken the COPS Office to respond to our findings and recommendations.
For example, in September 1998 we issued a report on the Oxford Emergency Safety Authority (OESA) in Oxford, Michigan. We found that Oxford violated the COPS grant non-supplanting requirement and failed to maintain the locally required staffing level. As a result, we questioned $177,920 that the grantee had been reimbursed at the time of the audit and recommended deobligation of $370,108 in remaining grant funds. In addition, we recommended that the COPS Office deobligate redeployment grant funds of $46,875 if the OESA failed to develop the grant-required redeployment plan within 60 days of the report date.
In February 2000, we received correspondence from the COPS Office stating that the grantee's police department had been disbanded and that the COPS Office agreed that the OESA violated the grant's non-supplanting requirement. Accordingly, the COPS Office suspended funding of the COPS grants associated with the OESA. However, despite repeated requests and the passage of three years since we made the recommendations, we have not received any documents demonstrating that any of the funds in question have been returned or that the remaining grant funds have been deobligated.
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We also have seen that the COPS Office has sometimes not taken aggressive action against grantees for grant violations. Leniency in the administration of the grant program, and failure to take timely action when the grantee does not comply with the grant conditions, can encourage other grantees to ignore or circumvent program requirements. As the responsible program office, COPS is the OIG's primary point of contact on tracking corrective action by grant recipients. While we recognize that there may be instances where prompt corrective action cannot always be achieved, many of our audit reports contain findings and recommendations that could have been addressed quite some time ago.
In September 2001, we informed Carl Peed, the new Director of COPS, that approximately 170 COPS grant audit reports were still open and that the COPS Office had not responded to many of these reports for more than a year. In October 2001, Director Peed advised us that he would dedicate additional staff to audit resolution activities. In addition, Director Peed has contacted OIG staff and expressed interest in addressing the untimely audit follow-up and resolution process. However, our auditors report that many recent responses from COPS provided information that could not be used to close the audit reports. While we are encouraged by the increased awareness and actions on COPS' part related to our open audit findings, we remain concerned about the length of time involved for corrective action to take place. Of the 155 audit reports currently open, 94 of the reports were issued more than two years ago.
IV. OIG AUDITS OF OJP GRANTS
OJP, established in 1988, administers approximately $4 billion in grant programs each year. OJP consists of five bureaus and six program offices that administer a myriad of grant programs designed to reduce crime, improve the criminal justice system, and assist crime victims.
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Over the years, the OIG has audited a variety of OJP grant programs. We describe below several of our more recent reviews.
State Criminal Alien Assistance Grant Program (SCAAP)
Under the SCAAP program, OJP provides grants to state and local governments to help defray the cost of incarcerating undocumented criminal aliens convicted of state or local felonies. In an audit report issued in May 2000, we found that OJP had overcompensated state applicants approximately $19.3 million for unallowable inmate costs and ineligible inmates who were included in grant applications. We found that OJP's methodology for compensating states was over-inclusive and needed improvement, because OJP overpaid states for many inmates whose immigration status was unknown. OJP relied on the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to determine the immigration status of inmates, but INS files were not complete, current, or accurate. We recommended that OJP should improve its methodology for compensating applicants for inmates whose immigration status is unknown by the INS.
Combined DNA Index System
The Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) is a national DNA information repository maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that allows state and local crime laboratories to store and compare DNA profiles from crime-scene evidence and convicted offenders. The goal of the system is to match case evidence to other previously unrelated cases or to persons already convicted of other crimes. Our audit report on the CODIS system, issued in September 2001, reviewed the FBI's implementation and management of CODIS. It also examined awards dispensed by the National Institute of Justicea component of OJPof Laboratory Improvement Program grants totaling $30.7 million to improve the capacity and capability of forensic laboratories in performing forensic DNA testing. We found that the grantees generally complied with the matching fund and indirect cost requirements; however, we noted some areas that OJP could improve to ensure that grantees met the requirements of the grant awards. For example, we saw that OJP did not require one grantee to provide matching funds, as required by law.
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Safefutures: Partnerships to Reduce Youth Violence and Delinquency
Partnerships to Reduce Youth Violence and Delinquency (Safefutures) is a five-year demonstration grant program administered by OJP to help six competitively selected communities reduce juvenile delinquency. OJP's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) administers the grants. The grants help communities implement a continuum of care consisting of prevention, intervention, treatment, and graduated sanctions programs for at-risk and delinquent youth. Each grantee can receive up to $1.4 million per year, for a total of about $7 million, to implement nine specific programs and help reform its existing service delivery system. Total program costs are expected to be about $42 million. Our audit report, issued in April 1999, found that OJJDP program managers were not adhering to the grant-monitoring plans, and their monitoring efforts were neither consistent nor consistently documented. As a result, we found it difficult to determine the level of monitoring that actually occurred. We found that a lack of current policies and procedures, unclear expectations, and insufficient accountability contributed to the monitoring problems.
In addition, we found weak controls over fiscal monitoring of the program. Quarterly financial reports, which often were untimely and inaccurate, were not reviewed or corrected routinely. Based on our review of a grantee in Boston, for example, we found that the OJP's Office of the Comptroller lacked a systematic approach to follow up on identified deficiencies. Additionally, grantees did not submit financial reports by fund source, even though they were required to account for each source separately. We found that incomplete official grant files were a continuing problem. All of the files reviewed by the OIG in this audit were missing some of the required documents that were needed to record the activity of each grant.
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Management of the OJP Regional Information Sharing System (RISS) Program
The RISS project was established to help state and local law enforcement agencies identify and target criminal activity that extends across jurisdictions. At the time of our audit in 1998, six RISS projects serve member agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Canadian provinces. These projects are funded through grants provided by OJP.
Our audit found that the RISS program could save $3.2 million annually by consolidating overhead and management positions from six locations into one. Each of the six RISS projects generally offered the same services to member agencies. Further, the structure and operations of the projects were virtually identical, including the methods by which services were provided to member agencies. In FY 1997, the individual databases maintained by each project were consolidated into a single database, known as RISSNET II, to allow sharing of information. We concluded that staffing levels could be reduced with implementation of RISSNET II because the new system allowed each member agency to directly input and access information without going through their local RISS project.
This audit also found that OJP did not ensure that the RISS projects operated according to grant requirements. For example, RISS projects inappropriately spent more than $300,000 on computer hardware upgrades, lunches at conferences, over-reimbursing a local law enforcement agency, and unnecessary travel expenses.
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Residential Substance Abuse Treatment for State Prisoners Formula Grant (RSAT) Program
The OIG Inspections Division reviewed RSAT grants in six states from March 1999 through June 1999 and issued a summary report in September 2000. The purpose of the RSAT grant program is to develop or enhance residential drug and alcohol abuse treatment programs for adult and juvenile offenders in state and local correctional facilities. Funding for RSAT grants from FY 1996 through FY 2002 has ranged from $27 million to $63 million. OIG site visits assessed the states' adherence to grant guidance and progress toward implementing residential substance abuse treatment programs.
The OJP Corrections Program Office (CPO) is responsible for this program. In the September 2000 summary report, we concluded that the CPO's monitoring and oversight of the grant program needed strengthening. States received grant funds through a formula grant. The states had responsibility for monitoring any sub-awards and providing the required monitoring reports to the CPO. We found that the CPO was not diligent in ensuring that states provided the required reports (such as financial status reports, semiannual progress reports, and individual project reports) on the use of grant funds and the progress of projects. We found that all six RSAT grantees did not submit accurate or timely reports. These reports are an important tool to help managers and grant monitors determine if grantees are meeting program objectives and financial commitments. We found that even when states provided the reports, the quality of the CPO review was not consistent. Further, the CPO failed to ensure that conflicting or missing information in a state's reports are clarified or obtained.
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We found that the CPO conducted limited site visits, citing insufficient staff resources. When visits were conducted, subgranteesthe organizations that actually implement the projects or programswere not targeted and visits were generally limited to the state office designated to receive grant awards. Therefore, the CPO did not assess the actual programs for compliance with grant requirements. We also found that on-site monitoring reports were not completed or included in the official grant file.
Finally, we found that the CPO's overall record keeping needed improvement. Official grant files were missing applications, award documents, state reports, and CPO site visit reports so that the life cycle of a state's grant compliance could not be tracked readily.
VI. ONGOING OIG REVIEWS OF COPS AND OJP GRANT PROGRAMS
The OIG has several ongoing reviews that are relevant to the administration of COPS and OJP grants. In January 2002 we began an audit examining whether administrative activities and grant functions could be streamlined in OJP and COPS. While OJP historically has administered the Department's grant programs, the COPS Office was created in 1994 as a separate, single function grant-making agency. Because of possible duplication of efforts in COPS and OJPparticularly in developing grant criteria, awarding grants, monitoring grants, and following up on auditswe plan to assess whether activities and functions can be improved or combined to increase operational efficiency.
In addition, the OIG will soon issue an audit of OJP's State and Local Domestic Preparedness Support Grant Program. This review is especially timely given the emphasis on homeland security since the September 11 terrorist attacks and the critical role state and local agencies play as ''first responders'' in such crises. Under this 1998 program, OJP awards grants to help state and local police and fire departments obtain training and equipment to respond to acts of terrorism. The OJP's Office of Domestic Preparedness (ODP) is responsible for implementing the program.
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In this audit, we reviewed ODP operations and performed on-site reviews at 13 grantees and 3 training organizations. We found that since inception of the program, grant funds were not awarded quickly and grantees were very slow to spend available monies. We found that as of January 15, 2002, more than half of the total funds ($250 million) appropriated for the grant program from FY 1998 through FY 2001 still had not been awarded. In addition, more than $60 million in grant funds that were awarded was still unspent by the grantees. Further, we found that nearly $1 million in equipment purchased with Department grants was unavailable for use because grantees did not properly distribute the equipment, could not locate it, or had been inadequately trained on how to operate it.
Finally, we are in the final stages of an audit of OJP's Convicted Offender DNA Sample Backlog Reduction Grant Program. In early 2001, state and local DNA laboratories estimated that, at the end of 2000, they held over 745,000 convicted offender DNA samples that had been collected and were awaiting analysis. To aid in reducing the backlog of convicted offender DNA samples, OJP's National Institute of Justice (NIJ) administers a grant program that dispensed approximately $14.5 million to 21 states in FY 2000. States used the funds to hire contractor laboratories to analyze their convicted offender DNA samples so that backlogged DNA profiles could be entered into the National DNA Index System, part of the network of state and local DNA profile databases maintained by the FBI. Our audit examined NIJ's oversight of the grant program and whether the program was helping states reduce and eliminate their backlogs of convicted offender DNA samples.
VII. OIG INVESTIGATIONS OF DEPARTMENT GRANT PROGRAMS
Page 178 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 3 Of 3 In addition to OIG audits and inspections of grant programs, the OIG's Investigations Division investigates allegations of misconduct, fraud, waste, or abuse in Department programs, including grant programs. Within the Investigations Division, the OIG has established a Fraud Detection Office to investigate fraud in Department operations. Although the number of allegations of fraud in Department grant programs that we have substantiated is not large in comparison to the number of grants awarded by the Department, we have found some fraud in the use of grant funds. Examples of cases that we have substantiated include:
An OIG investigation led to the arrest and conviction of a former Missouri chief of police for false statements and theft. The OIG established that the former police chief in Novinger, Missouri, falsified COPS Universal Hiring Grant paperwork to claim he hired and paid one additional officer when, in fact, he used the grant to pay his own salary, including a $6,000 annual raise. When confronted by OIG special agents, the former police chief admitted falsifying grant applications. He was sentenced on January 3, 2002, to two years' probation and ordered to pay $53,190 in restitution.
A former acting chief of the Town of Navajo Department of Law Enforcement was convicted at trial in the District of New Mexico on charges of wire fraud. He was sentenced to 30 months' incarceration and ordered to pay $102,877 in restitution. A joint investigation by the OIG's Fraud Detection Office and the FBI determined that the acting chief fraudulently applied for and received a COPS Problem-Solving Partnership Grant to establish a ''Crime Busters'' program targeting burglaries. The acting chief diverted more than $100,000 in grant funds to personal use by making illegal sub-awards to members of his immediate family, who used some of the money to purchase a used pickup truck and other vehicles.
Page 179 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 3 Of 3 As a result of an OIG investigation, the Clerk of a North Carolina town pleaded guilty to submitting a fraudulent COPS grant application and receiving COPS fundswhich he transferred to his own useeven though the town did not have a police department. The Clerk was sentenced to 12 months' incarceration and ordered to pay $24,692 in restitution as a result of the OIG's investigation.
Based on an investigation by the OIG's Fraud Detection Office and the North Carolina Governor's Crime Commission, Hoke County repaid the state of North Carolina $93,467 in Byrne Formula grant funds awarded by the Department. The county manager was alleged to have purposefully submitted false documentation relating to police vehicle purchases under the grant and then diverted the funds to other uses. Although no proof of intent to defraud was sustained, the supplanted funds were recovered and returned to the state.
It is important to point out that the COPS Office has cooperated fully with our investigative efforts and in several cases has referred suspicious activities by grantees to the OIG. In addition, we have conducted joint training programs with COPS officials to ensure that OIG agents are familiar with COPS program requirements.
V. CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS
Based on our oversight work, we have several continuing concerns and recommendations regarding COPS and OJP grant programs:
Monitoring. Grant monitoring is an essential management tool to ensure that grantees are properly expending funds and that the objectives of the grant program are being implemented. Generally, each grant manager is required to prepare a monitoring plan that includes on-site visits, review of financial and progress reports, telephonic contacts, and review of audit reports. In some cases, however, we found that monitoring activities were not being documented in grant files, reports for on-site visits were not prepared, on-site inspections did not include visits to project sites, financial and progress reports were not submitted or not submitted timely, and grant managers were not reviewing carefully the information they received. As a result, grant managers failed to catch inconsistent or incorrect information on project activities. We believe that COPS and OJP need to better monitor their grantees by performing more site visits and by reviewing more aggressively grantee financial and programmatic status reports.
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Failure to Adequately Review Grant Applications. In one significant OIG investigation in the SCAAP grant program, we saw an undue emphasis by some program managers on dispensing grant funds without sufficient regard to ensuring that grantees met eligibility standards. Our investigation of fraud allegations in SCAAP found that OJP employees failed to apply eligibility rules in making the FY 1999 award of more than $500 million. OJP managers told us they felt pressured to award SCAAP funds before the close of the fiscal year, so rather than examine the FY 1999 data they used FY 1998 submissions as the basis for re-awards. Our investigation also found that OJP did not ensure that key program eligibility requirements had been checked. Specifically, OJP did not check to ensure that an alien's minimum period of incarceration had been met, which is a key trigger to award or denial of SCAAP funds. We have encountered a few similar problems in some of our audits of COPS grants, where grant finds were dispersed by the COPS Office without adequate review of grantee applications.
More Aggressive and Timely Corrective Action. As discussed earlier, COPS and OJP should require prompt corrective action on OIG audit findings. Although we have seen improvement in the responsiveness of the COPS Office to resolving our audit findings, many of the reports remain open for far too long. We believe that COPS and OJP should take more aggressive and more timely corrective action against grantees who do not comply with grant terms. The sense among some grantees is that COPS and OJP rarely require repayment of funds, even when the grantees do not comply with the grant terms. Stricter enforcement of grant terms would send a strong deterrent message that failure to comply with program guidelines will result in the Department seeking repayment of the funds.
In sum, the COPS Office and OJP administer many important and valuable grant programs. But the rapid growth of grant funds in the Department brings with it the increased risk that these funds could be wastefully or fraudulently used. We believe that COPS and OJP need to focus more attention on thorough monitoring of grant awards, ensuring that grant requirements are met, and pursuing timely and aggressive corrective action when the grant requirements are not met. While we have seen some improvement in these areas, we believe that these programs need continued scrutiny and oversight.
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This concludes my written statement. I would be pleased to answer any questions.
Mr. SMITH. Ms. Henke.
STATEMENT OF TRACY A. HENKE, PRINCIPAL DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Ms. HENKE. Chairman Smith, Congressman Scott, I am pleased to have the opportunity to discuss this Administration's efforts to improve the operations and management of the Office of Justice Programs. Last week, Assistant Attorney General Deborah Daniels appeared before this Subcommittee to describe the Administration's efforts to streamline OJP structure and operations, eliminate duplication and overlap and maximize efficiency.
Today, Mr. Chairman, I would like to describe our efforts to measure the effectiveness of the programs we find, meeting the goals of the Government Performance Results Act and to implement recommendations resulting from Inspector General and General Accounting Office audits.
I first want to assure this Subcommittee that the OJP leadership team is committed to the effective and efficient utilization of taxpayer dollars so that we can make real progress and improvement in the criminal justice field. As President Bush has directed all Federal agencies, we are working to ensure through accountability that OJP is results-oriented, not process-oriented. One part of this effort is an increased emphasis on evaluation to measure the results of the programs we fund and to focus OJP resources on what works.
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Through evaluation and the wide dissemination of evaluation results, OJP strides to ensure that criminal justice policymakers at all levels of government, in the field, those of us in the executive branch and those in Congress have the critical information they need to make the decisions on how best to invest limited public dollars.
At OJP we have taken several steps to build evaluations into our programming. First, we now require evaluation components in all OJP discretionary programs and are setting aside 10 percent of program funding for that purpose. Second, we now make participation in a national or local program evaluation a part of the grant conditions for every OJP discretionary grant recipient. Third, we are working with the State agencies that administer OJP formula grants to ensure that all programs supported with block grant funding have evaluation components.
We know that our performance measurement activities do not yet fully capture the impact of our programs nationally, but the clangs I have mentioned on our evaluation efforts will now focus our evaluation activities on outcomes, not outputs. At OJP, our emphasis is not on measuring process but on determining impacts and results.
Because we want to concentrate on results, last year for the first time ever, OJP also prepared a report summarizing OJP and COPS formula and discretionary grants awarded to each State during the fiscal year. This information was made available to every Governor, every U.S. Attorney, every U.S. Senator and every U.S. Representative to serve as a tool for future planning and resource allocation. This will be an annual report that we provide.
In addition, this year we will be adding crime statistic information on that State and also national information so it can see how it compares nationally. As you are aware, OJP's programs and evaluation efforts have been the subject of several recent reviews by the General Accounting Office, including one released last week. These reviews have raised serious concerns, primarily in two areas: monitoring and evaluation.
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While we have not yet had the opportunity to fully review the GAO report released last week, you may be sure that we have and will continue to carefully assess all of GAO's recommendations so that we can ensure the sound design of OJP evaluations and have confidence that we are accurately measuring program effectiveness.
OJP has already taken a number of steps to improve our evaluations and grant monitoring process. For example, as a result of the GAO recommendation, our executive office for Weed and Seed is working with the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Justice Research and Research Association to improve data collection, and to work with local sites to more accurately measure the effectiveness of the Weed and Seed strategy. To further improve the accountability of OJP's grant management and monitoring efforts, we recently hired a chief information officer who is working to create a comprehensive grant management system for the entire agency. This will greatly increase the efficiency of our grant monitoring process by, for instance, fining grantees who are late in submitting required reports or that fail to comply with grant conditions.
In addition to taking corrective actions in response to GAO reviews, OJP has already implemented, or is working to implement recommendations resulting from annual audits of OJP's financial management that are conducted by the Office of the Inspector General. For example, we have upgraded our financial management software and improved the security of our databases. To further improve the effectiveness and operations of OJP programs, we are also working to meet the mandates of the Government Performance Results Act. As you know, GPRA requires Federal agencies to require standards measuring the performance and effectiveness of their programs. For each OJP program, we set goals and measure our performance in meeting those goals.
Page 184 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 3 Of 3 In addition, starting last fall, we require all OJP grant solicitations to include at least one GPRA performance result or outcome measure. Our goal is to put grantees on notice that performance and results are OJP requirements.
This Administration firmly believes that if we are to hold our grantees accountable for their spending, OJP also must be held to high standards of accountability regarding the stewardship of public funds. Through these and other efforts, OJP is working to ensure the effective use of grant funds, prevent fraud and abuse and measure the impact of the programs we fund. We appreciate the Subcommittee's continued interest in eliminating duplication and waste and improving the operations of Federal grant programs. We look forward to working with you to accomplish our mutual goals.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Ms. Henke.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Henke follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF TRACY A. HENKE
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee: I am pleased to have the opportunity to discuss this Administration's efforts to improve the operations and management of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP). We appreciate this Subcommittee's continued interest in eliminating duplication and waste and in improving the operations of federal grant programs.
Last week, Assistant Attorney General Deborah Daniels appeared before this Subcommittee to describe the Administration's efforts to streamline OJP's structure and operations, eliminate duplication and overlap, and maximize efficiency. Today, Mr. Chairman, I would like to describe our efforts to measure the effectiveness of the programs we fund to ensure the wise investment of taxpayer dollars, to meet the goals of the Government Performance Results Act (GPRA) of 1993, and to implement recommendations resulting from Inspector General (IG) and General Accounting Office (GAO) audits.
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This Administration has a new vision for the role of the federal government in providing criminal justice assistance. Part of that new vision is an increased emphasis on measuring the results of the programs we fund and on focusing OJP resources on ''what works.'' OJP is committed to increased analyses of what works and what doesn't so that criminal justice policy makers at all levels of governmentincluding those in the field, those of us in the Executive Branch, and the Congresscan better decide how to invest limited public dollars.
To this end, we now require evaluation components in all OJP discretionary grant programs and are setting aside 10 percent of program funding to ensure evaluations are built into OJP programs from the outset. Moreover, OJP discretionary grant recipients now are required, as part of their grant conditions, to participate in a national or local program evaluation. In addition, we are working with the state agencies that administer OJP formula grants to ensure that all programs supported with block grant funding have evaluation components so that the effectiveness of these programs also will be measured.
The results of these evaluations will build on the significant body of research that has already been completedor is underwayon a wide variety of OJP and other Department of Justice (DOJ) programs. As you know, Mr. Chairman, one of the principal missions for our National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is to perform evaluations of the OJP and other criminal justice programs. Over the past several years, NIJ has undertaken a total of 24 major evaluations of OJP programs. Seven of these have been completed, and another 17 are currently underway. NIJ also has completed evaluations of three programs supported by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), and is currently evaluating COPS' School Resource Officer Program. In addition, six NIJ evaluations are in the planning stages, including an evaluation of aspects of Project Safe Neighborhoods, the Administration's major gun violence reduction initiative.
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Results from completed evaluations are already having an impact on OJP policy and programs. For example, results from NIJ evaluations of implementation of the STOP (Services, Training, Officers, and Prosecutors) Violence Against Women program demonstrated the importance of coordinated community responses and the impact of victims' services in response to the serious problem of violence against women. The STOP evaluations showed that increasing numbers of women victims of violence are now being served and more perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence are now being arrested and convicted as a result of STOP programming. Results from this evaluation have led to numerous program modifications, such as: additional requirements for further collaborations among law enforcement, prosecutors, victims service providers, and others in the community; funding for specific types of program activities; increased flexibility in distribution of funds; an expanded time frame for spending STOP dollars; increased funding for sexual assault projects; projects for women from under-served communities; and efforts to develop better data for further evaluation.
Other NIJ evaluations also have shown the positive impact OJP programs can have. For example, an NIJ evaluation of Operation Weed and Seed showed that the program resulted in improved law enforcement efforts, including increases in arrests and convictions, and new levels of cooperation among law enforcement, area residents, prosecutors, and social services personnel. As you know, Mr. Chairman, Weed and Seed is a community-based, multi-agency strategy that helps communities combat crime and revitalize crime-plagued neighborhoods. In addition to reducing crime and increasing collaboration, the evaluation also showed that Weed and Seed contributed to the development of innovative crime control approaches, including cross-training of patrol officers in community policing and enforcement, use of civil remedies in neighborhood conflicts, application of new technologies, and inclusion of non-traditional partners in strategic planning and program development. Because of the success of the Weed and Seed strategy, Weed and Seed programs have expanded to almost 300 communities throughout America, and the Administration plans to expand the number of Weed and Seed programs in operation in Fiscal Year 2003.
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Evaluations also have revealed programs or approaches that are not effective. In cooperation with OJP's Corrections Program Office, NIJ has supported a number of evaluations of correctional boot camps. These programs use a military-style, boot camp approach to rehabilitating offenders who would otherwise be incarcerated in a traditional correctional facility. Results from a multi-site NIJ evaluation found no consistent differences in recidivism between adult boot camp graduates and comparison groups of offenders with normal prison sentences. As a result of these findings, OJP no longer funds correctional boot camps.
The OJP leadership is committed to continuing to use the results of research and evaluation to measure the effectiveness of the programs we fund and to ensure that federal taxpayer dollars are invested both wisely and well. If we are to hold our grantees accountable for their spending, OJP also must be held to high standards of accountability regarding the stewardship of public funds. In addition, Mr. Chairman, this Administration will focus its evaluations on measuring outcomes not outputs. Our emphasis is not on measuring process, but on determining impact and results.
IMPLEMENTING IG AND GAO RECOMMENDATIONS
As you are aware, Mr. Chairman, OJP's programs and evaluation efforts have been the subject of several recent reviews by the General Accounting Office (GAO). In addition, each year the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General (IG) conducts audits of OJP's financial management. These reviews and audits have resulted in a number of GAO and IG recommendations for improvement in OJP programs and management, which OJP either has implemented or is working to implement.
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GAO's reviews have raised concerns primarily in two areas: monitoring and evaluation. I have already described this Administration's absolute commitment to performing evaluations to gauge the effectiveness and impact of OJP programs. We are no less committed, Mr. Chairman, to ensuring that those evaluations are grounded in sound research methodology. The OJP leadership is reviewing the GAO report released last week on impact evaluations of a number of Byrne and Violence Against Women Office (VAWO) programs. You may be sure that we will carefully assess GAO's recommendations and work to ensure the sound design of OJP evaluations so that we can be sure we have accurate measures of program effectiveness. As Assistant Attorney General Daniels stated before this Subcommittee last week, we will use the most recent GAO report as an important tool to improve the quality of our evaluations and to design programs to achieve greater impact. We have already agreed to assess the five impact evaluations in their formative stages, as the GAO recommended.
OJP also is working to address problems GAO has identified in evaluation studies of OJP funded drug court programs. As a result of our interactions with GAO auditors during their review, we are aware of the concerns they have raised. However, because GAO has not yet issued its report on this matter, we have not seen GAO's recommendations for corrective action. Nevertheless, Mr. Chairman, you may be sure that we will carefully assess the GAO's recommendations and work diligently to ensure that we have accurate methods of determining drug courts' impact and effectiveness. We will, of course, thoroughly respond to GAO's specific recommendations as soon as it releases its report.
OJP has already implemented a number of corrective actions in response to other GAO reports. For example, GAO examined OJP's Weed and Seed program and recommended that the Executive Office for Weed and Seed (EOWS) develop additional performance measures to better track program outcomes. To meet this recommendation, EOWS has taken a number of steps:
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First, it worked with the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA) to develop surveys that could be fielded in Weed and Seed sites to measure crime victimizations. The survey is currently being tested in several Weed and Seed sites before refinement and eventual dissemination to all sites. Over time, the survey will provide a more accurate and objective measure of crime reductions resulting from Weed and Seed strategy implementation.
Second, EOWS commissioned the principal investigator for the National Process Evaluation of Weed and Seed, which was conducted in 1995, to develop a guide to help individual sites evaluate the impact of their Weed and Seed strategies. The guide was developed and distributed to Weed and Seed sites in February at the 2002 Application Kit Workshop.
Third, EOWS included GPRA forms in the FY 2002 Weed and Seed Application Kits for continuation and competitive funding. The forms, which must be filed as part of the grant application, request information on how sites will use OJP grants to leverage funding from other federal, state, and local agencies, as well as private organizations, to maximize the impact of taxpayer dollars. In addition, the forms require the submission of drug arrest data, which JRSA will use as part of a data collection effort to measure Weed and Seed's impact on drug use and related crime.
Another GAO review of our discretionary grant programs recommended that OJP's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and Violence Against Women Office (VAWO) improve documentation of grant monitoring efforts. To address this problem, BJA expanded its grants tracking system to include grantee contacts; developed and implemented a rating system to determine the need for on-site visits to grantees; developed a monitoring plan for all grantees that is updated monthly; implemented standardized procedures for documenting on-site monitoring visits; instituted a policy that a desk review be conducted twice each year for all grants; and developed more specific guidance for grantees on completing progress reports to ensure that more specific performance data is obtained. VAWO also has developed a management information system that, when fully implemented, will track the submission of progress and financial status reports to flag grantees that are delinquent in meeting reporting requirements.
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In addition to these efforts, OJP's new Chief Information Officer is working to identify all automated systems within OJP as the first step in creating a comprehensive grant management system for the entire agency. This will ensure consistency in grant management policies and procedures throughout OJP and serve as a tool to better measure the performance of OJP grantees.
Further, OJP has already taken corrective actions that respond to all the recommendations for improved financial grants management resulting from the Annual Financial Statement Audits for FY 1999 and 2000 conducted by the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General. For example, the Office of the Comptroller (OC) revised its policies to use a more appropriate methodology for recording audit adjustments. OC also updated procedures to validate the results of the year-end closing process and prior year adjustments and to ensure the accuracy of general ledger balances. In addition, OC upgraded its financial management software to address a number of other IG recommendations. Further, to address security concerns raised by the IG, OC conducted a risk assessment of its Financial Management Information System and took a number of steps to ensure that unauthorized users cannot obtain access to the system and to provide backups in the event of a system failure. The FY 2001 audit has not yet been conducted.
MEETING GPRA GOALS
To further improve the effectiveness and operations of OJP programs, we are also working to meet the mandates of the Government Performance Results Act (GPRA) of 1993. As you know, Mr. Chairman, GPRA requires federal agencies to establish standards measuring the performance and effectiveness of their programs by: (1) identifying annual goals and measures for program activities; (2) describing strategies and resources needed to achieve goals; and (3) identifying the means through which performance data are verified and validated.
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OJP's strategy for accomplishing its mission and developing its GPRA performance measures are based on Goals 3 and 8 in the Department of Justice Strategic Plan. Goal 3 is to prevent and reduce crime and violence by assisting state, tribal, local, and community-based programs. Goal 8 is to ensure professionalism, excellence, accountability, and integrity in the management and conduct of Department of Justice activities and programs.
To reach these goals, OJP has developed strategic objectives in six areas. The following describes these objectives and related OJP program activity for each one in Fiscal Year 2001.
Law enforcement/public safetyImprove the crime-fighting and criminal justice administration capabilities of state, tribal, and local governments.
In FY 2001, OJP's Office for Domestic Preparedness (ODP) provided counterterrorism training in the identification, detection, and management of incidents involving Weapons of Mass Destruction to a total of 19,175 state and local emergency response personnel. This exceeded ODP's FY 2001 target of providing training to 13,000 first responders.
Under the Grants to Combat Violent Crimes Against Women on Campus program, the Violence Against Women Office (VAWO) awarded FY 2001 funding to 26 campuses across the country to adopt violent crimes against women programs, matching the FY 2001 target of 26. In FY 2001, VAWO also funded 30 legal services organizations (matching the FY 2001 target of 30) and 73 victim services organizations (exceeding the FY 2001 target of 70) to provide civil legal assistance to victims of domestic violence.
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In FY 2001, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) restructured its Convicted Offender DNA Backlog Reduction Program to better serve states submitting offender DNA data and to take full advantage of economies of scale. This program is helping states to reduce the backlog of convicted offender DNA samples awaiting analysis and entry into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). As you may know, Mr. Chairman, CODIS can help solve old crimes and prevent new ones from occurring by matching crime scene evidence with stored DNA samples. By pooling several smaller groups of state DNA samples into larger batches, NIJ was able to reduce the cost to DNA vendor labs for analysis of convicted offender DNA samples by about 30 percent, for a savings of more than $2.5 million nationwide.
Juvenile justiceReduce youth crime and victimization through assistance that emphasizes both enforcement and prevention.
In FY 2001, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) exceeded its targets in several areas. Programs supported through OJJDP's Juvenile Mentoring Program (JUMP) enrolled 17,721 youth in programs that provide wholesome adult role models as mentors to keep young people in school and out of trouble. This exceeded OJJDP's FY 2001 nationwide target of 14,000 enrolled youth. In addition, OJJDP provided technical assistance to 4,624 jurisdictions, exceeding its goal of 2,500 jurisdictions, and trained 62,356 practitioners in implementing promising juvenile justice practices, exceeding the FY 2001 target of 40,000.
Drug abuseBreak the cycle of drugs and violence by reducing the demand for and use and trafficking of illegal drugs.
Page 193 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 3 Of 3 By the end of FY 2001, 10,546 offenders had either completed or begun treatment as a result of funding for prison-based treatment programs supported through OJP's Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) for State Prisoners Program. This exceeds the FY 2001 target of 7,293 offenders in treatment.
OJP's Drug Court Program Office (DCPO) funded the implementation of 49 new drug courts, just one short of its FY 2001 target of 50. The remaining drug court was funded early in FY 2002. In addition, to further build drug court capacity at the state and local level, DCPO implemented a comprehensive four-step strategy that guides its efforts to help communities implement drug courts. The four steps include:
Providing direct funding to local courts to implement or enhance a drug court;
Providing an array of training and technical assistance opportunities to implement best practices;
Supporting the evaluation of drug courts to demonstrate effectiveness; and
Partnering with the drug court field to integrate the drug court movement into the mainstream court system.
Victims of crimeUphold the rights of and improve services to America's crime victims.
The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) met its two principal goals for its National Academy initiative: (1) to develop a comprehensive, research-based course of academic instruction providing current and cutting-edge knowledge about victim assistance and the field of victimology; and (2) to encourage the adaptation and integration of victim services instruction into institutions of higher learning and other venues. Because of OVC's leadership in this area, over the past few years, the National Academy has educated and offered graduate and undergraduate academic credit to almost 1,700 victim service professionals, including federal victim-witness coordinators. In 2001, 250 people attended the National Victim Assistance Academy, with one-third of those receiving academic credit for Academy attendance.
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Community servicesSupport innovative, cooperative community-based programs aimed at reducing crime and violence and promoting resolution of racial tension.
In FY 2001, the Executive Office for Weed and Seed (EOWS) reviewed over 103 applications for Official Recognition. Official recognition is important in that it validates a site's strategy and coalition development and makes it eligible to apply for Weed and Seed grant funding. In FY 2001, EOWS awarded 215 grants to a combination of new and continuation sites. Many of these sites saw significant improvements as a result of Weed and Seed strategy implementation. For example, as a result of stepped up ''weeding'' efforts in the Edison neighborhood of Kalamazoo, Michigan, law enforcement officials seized illegal drugs worth over $500,000, almost double the amount seized in the entire City of Kalamazoo the previous year. Weed and Seed participants also removed of hundreds of junk autos from the Edison neighborhood's streets to improve the neighborhood environment.
Grant managementDevelop and maintain grant management accountability mechanisms to ensure proper disbursement and monitoring of funds.
In FY 2001, OJP managed $5.9 billion in new resourcesmost of which were disbursed in the form of grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts. As the number and complexity of OJP's programs have grown, so has the need to more carefully account for, award, and monitor billions of taxpayer dollars. OJP addressed this grant-related management challenge, which was also identified by the DOJ Office of the Inspector General, by developing and implementing an automated grants management system. When operational throughout OJP, this system will allow OJP to electronically track and process grants from initial application to closeout. This paperless system will allow grantees to receive and submit applications and receive awards electronically, which will reduce the paperwork required by the grantees, speed the award of grant funds, and standardize the grant award process across OJP.
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Also during FY 2001, the Office of the Comptroller's Monitoring Division conducted financial reviews of 1,604 grants, exceeding its FY 2001 target of 1,600. These reviews assist grantees in managing their federal funds and also reveal any specialized training or assistance the grantee may need. The results of financial monitoring are used in OJP's nationwide Regional Financial Management Training Seminars, which provide training to law enforcement officers, OJP program monitors, and grant recipients on how to avoid grant financial problems. In FY 2001, 97 percent of the approximately 2,700 recipients of Financial Training reported they were satisfied with the training they received, exceeding the target for FY 2001 by 2 percent.
OJP will continue to use the guidance provided through GPRA to set annual goals for its programs, measure performance, and verify results.
Through these and other efforts, Mr. Chairman, OJP is working to ensure the effective use of grant funds, prevent fraud and abuse, and measure the impact of the programs we fund. This concludes my statement, Mr. Chairman. I would welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you or Members of the Subcommittee may have.
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Peed.
STATEMENT OF CARL PEED, DIRECTOR, COPS PROGRAM, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Page 196 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 3 Of 3 Mr. PEED. Mr. Chairman, Congressman Scott, good afternoon. I am very pleased to appear before you today on behalf of the Office of Community Police Organizations, or COPS. For me, it has not been only a career, but a way of life. My father, grandfather, father-in-law, brother and brother-in-law have all served in law enforcement. I served 25 years in Fairfax County Sheriff's Office, the last 10 as a sheriff. Most recently, I served as Virginia's director of Juvenile Justice. As a result of this legacy of law enforcement service, I am proud to be in an organization whose mission is to reduce crime and advance community policing by supporting State and local law enforcement.
I am pleased to be here today with my colleagues from the Office of Justice programs and the Inspector General. COPS enjoys a strong working relationship with both of these components. In fact, both offices are part of our comprehensive strategy. COPS takes seriously its commitment to support State and local law enforcement. We also take seriously our obligation to the American taxpayer. To safeguard the investment made by Congress and the American public, COPS has developed a comprehensive monitoring strategy to ensure that all COPS 32,700 grants are being implemented within the statutory guidelines set forth under the 1994 Crime Act as well as grant program guidelines.
This includes progress reports, on-site visits, comprehensive desk reviews, they can check and regular audits from the office of the Inspector General. As you know, COPS is a product of a bipartisan effort to invest in the safety of our Nation's neighborhoods. More than two-thirds of the law enforcement agencies in the Nation have utilized COPS funding to advance community policing, make our schools safer and purchase time-saving technology.
Shortly after September 11th, Attorney General John Ashcroft called for a national neighborhood watch to combat terrorism. Two months ago, President Bush announced the USA Freedom Corps, a key element of which is the volunteers and policeman service. The President and Attorney General are correct in trying to harness the tremendous benefits that can be derived from a strong partnership between law enforcement and informing an engaged community.
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Local law enforcement agencies practiced in community policing long ago recognized these benefits and have worked successfully in their communities to fight crime. The community policing philosophy fund by COPS has been a great assistance in our fight on crime. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that 86 percent of law enforcement agencies now practice community policing, and the number of community policing officers increased 400 percent between 1997 and 1999. In addition to increasing the number of community policing officers on the beat and in our schools, COPS continues to respond to the pressing technology needs of American law enforcement.
More than 1 billion in COPS technology funding has enabled 4,000 State and local law enforcement agencies to purchase state of the art crime-fighting technology. This technology not only assists law enforcement in combatting traditional crime. It is also enabled law enforcement to meet the many new challenges they have confronted since September 11th.
For example, Austin, Texas received a COPS grant to create a 311 nonemergency phone system that became fully operational just days after the terrorist attack. Citizens responded by calling 311 for information rather than flooding the 911 system with calls.
Ed Harris, Austin Police Department's director of emergency communication said 311 saved us from not only having our 911 system swamped, but saved our systems who had emergencies, such as heart attack and crimes in progress, from getting a busy signal. 311 has been a miracle.
In addition to funding for crime-fighting technology, we provide training and technical assistance on innovative crime reduction strategies, ranging from community policing training to ending racial profiling, and since September 11th to focusing on terrorism. This vital law enforcement training has provided throughout our national network of regional community policing institutes and has been delivered to over 170,000 law enforcement officials and community leaders.
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Additionally, COPS has contributed to combatting crime and disorder in native American communities across the Nation with 171 million funding to 241 Federally recognized tribes. Similarly, COPS has dedicated 223 million in resources to battle the proliferation of methamphetamine . One of the things law enforcement officials have truly appreciated about the COPS program is its flexibility and user friendliness. The President's 2003 budget enhances flexibility through the creation of a new 800 million justice systems grant program. COPS has the flexibility to meet the public safety needs of big cities, small towns and everything in between. We have made user friendliness a top priority by simplifying our application process and by giving chiefs, mayors and sheriffs just one point of contact to do all the business at the COPS office.
We look forward to providing continued funding, flexibility and efficiency to State and local law enforcement in the future. Since September 11th, America has gained an even greater appreciation for the men and women in uniform. I was reminded of this when I attended the memorial service for Officer John Perry to represent the COPS' office and show our solidarity with the NYPD and all those in law enforcement.
On the day he was to turn in his retirement papers, officer Perry gave his life protecting others at the World Trade Center. His body was recovered from Ground Zero just last week.
Thank you for giving me opportunity to testify about the contributions COPS has made to American law enforcement. Each day I come to the COPS office, I am reminded that service in the men and women in uniform, like Officer Perry, and his colleagues, have selflessly given to this Nation. I am happy to answer any questions, and I ask that I may submit my full statement for the record.
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Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Peed.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Peed follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF CARL PEED
Mr. Chairman, Mr. Scott and members of the subcommittee:
I am very pleased to appear before you today on behalf of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Servicesor COPS. For me law enforcement has not simply been a career, it's been a way of life. My father, grandfather, father-in-law, brother, and brother-in-law have all served in law enforcement. I served 25 years in the Fairfax County Sheriff's Department, the last ten as the Sheriff. Most recently, I served as Virginia's Director of Juvenile Justice. As a result of this legacy of law enforcement service, I am proud to lead an organization whose mission it is to reduce crime and advance community policing by supporting state and local law enforcement.
I am pleased to be here today with my colleagues from the Office of Justice Programs and the Office of the Inspector General. COPS enjoys a strong working relationship with both of these components of the Department of Justice. In fact, both offices are part of our comprehensive grant-monitoring strategy.
COPS takes seriously its commitment to support state and local law enforcement. We also take seriously our obligation to the American taxpayer. To safeguard the investment made by Congress and the American public, COPS has developed a comprehensive monitoring strategy to ensure that all of COPS 32,700 grants are being implemented within the statutory guidelines set forth under the 1994 Crime Act as well as grant program guidelines. This includes yearly progress reports, financial monitoring by the Office of the Comptroller, and regular audits from the Office of the Inspector General, as well as on-site visits and comprehensive desk reviews. Office based desk reviews are intended to provide grant monitoring oversight to a specific and large population of grantees that may never qualify for an on-site monitoring visit due to their location and/or amount of grant funding. Desk reviews include collecting, gathering, and reviewing grant documentation and are a way to reach out to grantees to ensure that they adhere to compliance standards.
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As you know, COPS is the product of a bipartisan effort to invest in the safety of our nation's neighborhoods. More than two-thirds of the law enforcement agencies in the nation have utilized COPS funding to advance community policing, make our schools safer, and purchase time saving technology.
Shortly after September 11, Attorney General John Ashcroft called for a national neighborhood watch to combat terrorism. Six weeks ago in his State of the Union Address, President Bush announced the USA Freedom Corps, a key element of which is the Volunteers in Policing Service or VIPS. President Bush and Attorney General Ashcroft are correct in trying to harness the tremendous benefits that can be derived from a strong partnership between law enforcement and an informed and engaged community. Local law enforcement agencies practicing community policing, long ago recognized these benefits, and have worked successfully with their communities to fight crime.
Congress has made a significant investment in community policing through $8.6 billion in COPS grants since 1994. The community policing philosophy funded by COPS has been of great assistance in our fight on crime. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that 86% of law enforcement agencies now practice community policing and the number of community policing officers increased by 400% between 1997 and 1999.
In addition to increasing the number of community policing officers on the beat and in our schools, COPS continues to respond to the pressing technology needs of American law enforcement. More than $1 billion in COPS technology funding has enabled 4,000 state and local law enforcement agencies to purchase state-of-the-art, crime fighting technology. This technology not only assists law enforcement in combating traditional crime, it has also enabled law enforcement to meet the many new challenges they confront since September 11.
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For example, Austin, Texas received a COPS grant to create a 311 non-emergency phone system that became fully operational just days after the terrorist attacks. Citizens responded by calling 311 for information, rather than flooding the 911 system with calls. Ed Harris, Austin Police Department's Director of Emergency Communications said, ''311 saved us from not only having our 911 center swamped, but saved our citizens who had true emergencies, such as heart attacks and crimes in progress, from getting a busy signal. 311 has been a miracle.''
Like Austin, the City of Chicago used COPS grants to enhance public safety. With COPS funds, the Chicago Police Department deployed a web-based data management system called Community and Law Enforcement Analysis and Reporting (CLEAR). The CLEAR technology contributes to operational readiness, intelligence gathering, and target hardening by providing access to real time data from emergency rooms, universities, public housing, motor vehicles, and other criminal justice system data.
The system was put to use after the terrorist attacks of September 11, when the Chicago Police Department was able to immediately map and analyze the locations of 2500 critical facilities and then effectively deploy officers to those locations.
In addition to funding for crime-fighting technology, the COPS Office also supports the creation of new strategies to reduce crime and increase public safety and provides training and technical assistance on these new strategies. This vital law enforcement training is provided through our national network of Regional Community Policing Institutes (RCPIs) and has been delivered to over 170,000 law enforcement officials and community leaders.
Page 202 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 3 Of 3 One of these institutes, located at Wichita State University, delivers essential training on law enforcement intelligence integration and community policing. In December 2001, this institute delivered a training program entitled ''Integrating Law Enforcement Intelligence and Community Policing''. This training program was established to focus on issues such as assessing possible terrorist targets, identifying individuals and groups who might be involved in terrorist acts, and developing and sharing terrorism related intelligence. At the request of the FBI, this training was recently delivered at their academy in Quantico.
COPS has also sought to address critical issues that relate to police integrity, such as use of force and racial profiling. Recognizing that excessive use of force and racial profilingwhich is when law enforcement uses race or ethnicity, rather than behaviorundermines community trust, and is a barrier to community policing, COPS has developed model problem solving programs, technical assistance initiatives, and police integrity training that is being delivered to law enforcement and community members throughout the nation.
Additionally, COPS has contributed to combating crime and disorder in Native American communities across the Nation with over $171 million in funding to 241 federally recognized tribes. Similarly, COPS has dedicated $223 million in resources to battle the proliferation of methamphetamine.
One of the things law enforcement officials have truly appreciated about the COPS program is its flexibility. The President's 2003 Budget enhances flexibility through the creation of a new $800 million Justice Assistance Grant program. In this Nation, there are a wide array of crime problems affecting communities of all shapes and sizes. COPS has the flexibility to meet the public safety needs of big cities, small towns, and everything in between. Local chiefs, sheriffs, and mayors get officers to implement programs they deem necessary in their communities. We look forward to providing continued funding and flexibility to state and local law enforcement in the future.
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Since September 11th, America has gained an even greater appreciation for the men and women of law enforcement. I was reminded of this when I attended the memorial service for Officer John Perry to represent the COPS Office and show our solidarity with the NYPD and all those in law enforcement. On the day he was to turn in his retirement papers, Officer Perry gave his life protecting others at the World Trade Center. His body was recovered from Ground Zero just last week.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify today about the contributions COPS has made to American law enforcement. Each day I come to the COPS Office I am reminded of the service the men and women in uniformlike Officer Perry and his colleagueshave selflessly dedicated to this Nation.
I am happy to answer any questions you may have.
Mr. SMITH. Ms. Campbell.
STATEMENT OF BONNIE CAMPBELL, FORMER DIRECTOR, VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN OFFICE, OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS
Ms. CAMPBELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Mr. Scott, good afternoon. Congress has recently passed, on both the Senate and House sides, bills to create a Statutory Violence Against Women office in the U.S. Department of Justice. This, in my view, is a wonderful development. One that can help further the progress already made since the Violence Against Women Act passed in 1994 and following its reauthorization in 2000.
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As you know, the passage of the VAWA in 1994 was the catalyst for the administrative creation of the Violence Against Women Office. I was fortunate to have served as its first director. The creation of the Violence Against Women Office had an enormous impact on the work done in the States to address domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault.
For the first time, a clear voice of leadership was heard coming from the Federal Government. That voice, the voice of the Violence Against Women Office, lent guidance and support to the courts, prosecutors, law enforcement officers and victim service organizations engaged in reducing the impact of violence against women.
Immediately following the President's announcement of the creation of the Violence Against Women Office, I was asked by numerous State leaders, including governors and attorneys general, to come to their jurisdictions, to help initiate and guide their new initiatives in response to the challenge of the VAWA. I cannot convey how hungry they were for guidance and help from our office. What they needed went far beyond grant funding. They wanted real help in interpreting and implementing the new Federal laws regarding inner-State crimes of domestic violence and stalking. They wanted my help as the liaison to other components of the Justice Department, such as the U.S. attorneys offices and the INS, which were also involved in the implementation and enforcement of VAWA.
They looked to us for guidance in the form of AG memos and departmental policies, to figure out how to implement VAWA in the context of existing State law.
As the director of the office, I learned that simply cutting a check was not enough to meet and support the needs of the State players engaged in carrying out the mandates of the Federal Act. Grantees needed policy guidance, help in the implementation and interpretation of law and assistance in identifying the best practices and protocols in use around the country. The Violence Against Women Office has worked hard, frankly harder than we have a right to expect, and continues to work hard to meet the various needs of the grantees.
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The policy implementation and programmatic guidance demanded of the Violence Against Women Office by the grantees is answered by Congress's passage of bills that would create a statutory Violence Against Women Office. I and all others doing work to respond to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and trafficking across the country thank you for recognizing the importance of creating a permanent office to undertake the duties I have described above.
I know that the differences between the Senate and House versions of these two bills raises the question of the placement of this statutory office. This is a very significant issue for Congress to undertake. The Senate version creates an independent office within the main area of justice. The House version is silent on the issue of placement and may therefore suggest that the Violence Against Women Office remain in the Office of Justice programs.
Let me discuss this issue from my experience as the former director of the Violence Against Women Office. The Violence Against Women Office has responsibilities that go far beyond the simple act of writing checks to grantees. The VAWA's substantive laws create responsibilities, as I have outlined, within the office, to assist grantees in carrying out the clear purpose and conditions of the violence against women act.
Additionally, that Federal law in both its 1994 and 2000 incarnations creates new Federal crimes and significant protections for immigrant victims of domestic violence, tracking and sexual assault. Those changes in substantive law require expertise and coordination within the Department of Justice in order to ensure that they are carried out properly. A grant-focused office does not have the clout within DOJ, nor the authority to take on this crucial work.
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Let me give you two examples of policy and implementation work that occurred during my tenure as director of the Violence Against Women Office.
The full faith and credit provision of the VAWA, the original VAWA and its later amendments, requires States to enforce sister jurisdictions protection orders. In order to carry out this provision, State courts and law enforcement have to build partnerships with the U.S. attorneys offices. Additionally, the department had to promulgate implementation guidelines and policies to guide the work of the States.
As director, I had to coordinate a continuum of work, ranging from the award of grants to jurisdictions, pilot testing protocols for implementation of the full faith and credit mandate, to developing agreements among other interested DOJ entities like the U.S. attorneys office. I had to also coordinate efforts with the Office of Policy Development and Main Justice and the Office of Legislative Affairs as amendments to the full faith and credit provisions arose in the VAWA reauthorization of 2000. Even the Attorney General became involved in this process when she issued memoranda offering guidance as to the interpretation of the full faith and credit provision.
The enforcement of out-of-State protection orders has greatly improved in the past 5 years. Grant money alone, however, could not have made those improvements happen. The policy and implementation activities of the Violence Against Women Office were significant contributions to the success of this process.
Similarly, when the original VAWA created new access to the immigration petition process for battered immigrant women, the Violence Against Women Office was there helping the INS to interpret, implement and enact these provisions. We help the INS understand the importance of having a specialized office to receive VAWA self-petitions.
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That office now exists in Vermont, and I am proud of the role our office played in getting that set up. What I hope is becoming clear through my testimony is that compacting grant offices together isn't necessarily the best way to make programs effective and efficient and expert at what they are doing. The States supported the Violence Against Women Act because they were looking for leadership and partnership, not just financial support, which I will grant they do appreciate.
Mr. SMITH. Ms. Campbell, are you getting to the end of your remarks?
Ms. CAMPBELL. I am.
Mr. SMITH. You are a couple minutes over and I would like to keep us on schedule, if we could.
Ms. CAMPBELL. I would be happy to stop and insert them as.
Mr. SMITH. Okay. Without objection, all of your complete opening statements will be made a part of the record, as well your written testimony you submitted to us earlier.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Campbell follows:]
Page 208 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 3 Of 3 PREPARED STATEMENT OF BONNIE J. CAMPBELL
Congress has recently passed, both on the Senate and House sides, bills to create a statutory Violence Against Women Office in the U.S. Department of Justice. This is a wonderful development, one that can help further the progress already made since the Violence Against Women Act passed in 1994 and following its reauthorization in 2000.
As you know, the passage of VAWA in 1994 was the catalyst for the administrative creation of the Violence Against Women Office. I served as its first Director. The creation of VAWO had an enormous impact on the work done in the States to address domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault. For the first time, a clear voice of leadership was heard coming from the federal government. That voicethe voice of the Violence Against Women Officelent guidance and support to the courts, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, and victim service organizations engaged in reducing the impact of violence against women.
Immediately following the President's announcement of the creation of VAWO, I was asked by numerous state leaders, including Governors and Attorneys General, to come to their jurisdictions, to help initiate and guide their new initiatives in response to the challenge of VAWA. I cannot convey how hungry they were for guidance and help from VAWO. What they needed went far beyond grant funding. They wanted real help in interpreting and implementing the new federal laws regarding interstate crimes of domestic violence and stalking. They wanted my help as a liaison to other components of the Justice Department, such as the U.S. Attorneys Offices and the INS, which were also involved in the implementation and enforcement of VAWA. They looked to us for guidance, in the form of AG memos and departmental policies, to figure out how to implement VAWA in the context of existing state law.
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As the Director of VAWO, I learned that simply cutting a check was not enough to meet and support the needs of the State players engaged in carrying out the mandates of VAWA. Grantees needed policy guidance, help in the implementation and interpretation of law, and assistance in identifying the best practices and protocols in use around the country. VAWO has worked hard, and continues to work hard, to meet the various needs of the grantees.
The policy, implementation, and programmatic guidance demanded of VAWO by the grantees is answered by Congress' passage of bills that would create a statutory Violence Against Women Office. Iand all others doing work to respond to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and trafficking across the countrythank you for recognizing the importance of creating a permanent office to undertake the duties I've described above.
I know that the differences between the Senate and House versions of these two bills raises the question of the placement of this statutory Office. This is a very significant issue for Congress to undertake. The Senate version creates an independent Office within the main area of Justice. The House version is silent on the issue of placement, and may therefore suggest that the Violence Against Women Office remain in the Office of Justice Programs. Let me address this issue from my experience as the former Director of VAWO.
The Violence Against Women Office has responsibilities that go far beyond the simple act of writing checks to grantees. VAWA's substantive laws create responsibilities (as I've outlined earlier) within VAWO to assist grantees in carrying out the clear purpose areas and conditions of VAWA. Additionally, VAWA, in both its 1994 and 2000 incarnations, creates new federal crimes and significant protections for immigrant victims of domestic violence, trafficking, and sexual assault. Those changes in substantive law require expertise and coordination within the Department of Justice in order to ensure that they are carried out properly. A grants-focused Office does not have the clout within DOJ nor the authority to take on this crucial work.
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Let me give you two examples of policy and implementation work that occurred during my tenure as Director of VAWO.
The Full Faith and Credit provision of VAWA 1994 (and its amendment in 2000) requires states to enforce sister jurisdictions' protection orders. In order to carry out this provision, state courts and law enforcement had to build partnerships with the U.S. Attorneys Office. Additionally, the Department had to promulgate implementation guidelines and policies to guide the work of the States. As Director, I had to coordinate a continuum of work, ranging from the award of grants to jurisdictions pilot-testing protocols for implementation of the Full Faith and Credit mandate, to developing agreements among other, interested DOJ entities (like the U.S. Attorneys Office). I had to also coordinate efforts with the Office of Policy Development in Main Justice and the Office of Legislative Affairs (as amendments to the FFC provision arose in the VAWA reauthorization of 2000). Even the Attorney General became involved in this process, when she issued memoranda offering guidance as to the interpretation of the FFC provision.
The enforcement of out of state protection orders has greatly improved in the past five years. Grant money alone could not have made those improvements happen. The policy and implementation activities of VAWO were significant contributions to the success of this process.
Similarly, when VAWA 1994 created new access to the immigration petition process for battered immigrant women, VAWO was there, helping the INS to interpret, implement, and enact these provision. We helped the INS understand the importance of having a specialized office to receive VAWA self-petitions; that office now exists in Vermont and I am proud of the role our office played n getting that set up.
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What I hope is becoming clear through my testimony is that compacting grant offices together isn't necessarily the best way to make programs effective and efficient and expert at what they are doing. The States supported the VAWA because they were looking for leadership and partnership, not just financial support. Congress was very careful and deliberate in crafting the laws and grant programs that constitute the work of VAWO; they have many special conditions and purpose areas included in the statutory language to ensure that grant money is well spent, efficiently spent, and spent in a way that will serve victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and trafficking. If you consolidate the VAWA funding streams with other OJP funding streams, you will pit the purpose areas of VAWA against the differing, and sometimes conflicting, purpose areas of the other OJP programs. Congress, in defining VAWA's provisions so exactly, said that subject matter expertise was crucial in carrying out the meaning of the statute. Let us have a Violence Against Women Office that has ALL of that expertise and capacity.
The Senate version would create an independent Office in Main Justice. That is incredibly crucial to the policy and implementation functions I've described above. If you believe that Violence Against Women is a serious issue, then give it the priority and authority it needs to do its work. At the same time, I ask that you include the House language describing the responsibilities and authority of the Director. It is important to have these duties articulated clearly. The combination of these two elements of the two bills will give you just what you needan Office capable of advancing the legal protections and rights of the Violence Against Women Act together with an Office capable of funding that work.
Let us continue to use leadership to change the culture.
Page 212 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 3 Of 3 Mr. SMITH. I have a couple questions, all of which have to do with the COPS program and Mr. Fine, I would like to direct my initial questions to you, and I am tempted to follow up on Mr. Scott's use of the word whether some of these problems might be in the eye of the beholder, which is biblical. And there is another biblical reference to ''thy eye is full of light,'' meaning full of understanding.
So the question is which are you? Is it in the eye of the beholder, or are you full of understanding when it comes to some of these problems with the COPS program? And let me ask you a couple of questions in that regard.
The first, as you mentioned a while ago in your verbal testimony, you said in regard to the COPS program, that deficiencies were not corrected; and then in the various audits that we read, both about the OJP and the COPS programs, you used phrases like questioned costs, unsupported cost and funds that could be put to better use. You mentioned some examples, but I specifically would be interested in hearing more about what deficiencies were not corrected. What were you specifically referring to then?
Mr. FINE. We found that in many cases, the response to our findings was a paper exercise and that the COPS program did not take sufficient action to either bring the grantee in compliance, to offset the funds, to recoup the funds or to waive the funds. We found that there had to be a hard-nosed approach to this, but instead, it was back and forth, back and forth without bringing it to resolution, and that was the main concern that we had.
And these funds, when we questioned them, many times there was the initial questioning of our work, but in the end when it was accepted, we still did not reach resolution or the audit findings. That is what most concerned us.
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Mr. SMITH. Let me ask you about one other COPS problem and that deals with the computer security system that you found you had concerns about, and I wondered what corrective actions have been taken and if you still have the same concerns you did.
Mr. FINE. Computer security is a very important issue, we find that throughout the department. We had concerns about the COPS offices policies on passwords, for example, for disabling accounts for separated employees, for warning banners on all servers, for account lockout options, administrator account privileges, a whole range of security issues that we found were not being taken. We have been told that they have been taken, and we have not done a follow-up review on that, but it is an important issue that needs to be addressed on a constant basis. We are finding these kinds of problems throughout the department, and we found it in COPS as well.
Mr. SMITH. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Fine.
Ms. Henke, let me address a couple questions to you. The first is who decides the National Institute of Justice would be evaluating some of these OJP programs? And do you think that we need more evaluations than just those done by the National Institute of Justice?
Ms. HENKE. First of all, sir, evaluations is an important component and responsibility of the National Institute of Justice, and that has been determined in working with Congress. As far as whether or not evaluations beyond the National Institute of Justice should occur, they do occur. We do encourage them to occur to ensure that the findings and the research and the methodology that we use at the National Institute of Justice is sound.
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Mr. SMITH. And therefore the answer to my question is, are there more evaluations that are going to take place other than by the National Institute of Justice?
Ms. HENKE. Certainly, yes.
Mr. SMITH. Okay. The other is do you feel that the proposed reorganization of OJP will be beneficial? Do you think it will reduce some of the waste or some of the mismanagement of funds that we see?
Ms. HENKE. Yes.
Mr. SMITH. Those are good short answers and I appreciate it, thank you.
Mr. Peed, let me address the question about COPS to you, and that is, what specific steps are being taken by your office to address some of the problems that Mr. Fine and others have found in their audits?
Mr. PEED. Mr. Chairman, I have been here about 6 months and 28 years experience working in large law enforcement organizations. I think it takes leadership and I think it takes accountability, accountability not only of our employees, but also the grantees. We have an IG unit, or at least when I was director of Justice, I created an IG unit. I consolidated our monitoring compliance division, our audit functions, our hotline complaints and our investigations under one leader, so that we made sure that we addressed all those issues that Mr. Fine is raising today.
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In the COPS office we take monitoring very seriously. We have a comprehensive monitoring strategy. We have yearly progress reports and quarterly reports. We use financial reports, and we depend upon the Office of Comptroller and the Inspector General to help us in many issues.
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Peed, my question was what specific steps are you taking?
Mr. PEED. Okay. I take it very seriously, and what I have done is basically I have taken not only a personal interest in it, but I review every IG audit that comes into our agency. I underline and highlight the issues of concern. I bring it to the attention of our executive management team, and I made a visit to Mr. Fine's office along with our local counsel and our assistant director for monitoring and compliance to, again, show my interest and support for making sure that we address all of those issues.
In addition, personally called some of the auditors in the field to talk about those issues. What I intend to do also is to develop a more aggressive approach about inquiring to the localities to meet deadlines and make sure we get the information to respond to the IG concerns. Sometimes the chiefs or the localities don't provide the information as quickly as they can, and I intend to be much more aggressive in pursuing that documentation to resolve those cases.
Mr. SMITH. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Peed.
Page 216 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 3 Of 3 Ms. Campbell, a question for you about the COPSnot COPS program, but about the Violence Against Women's office. Part of the problem with the COPS program, as I understand it, is it was a separate office within the Department, and that has resulted in a lot of the concerns that many of us have. Why wouldn't the same concerns arise if we put the violence against Women's office as a separate entity as well? It seems to me if we have problems with one, we would have problems with the other.
Ms. CAMPBELL. Well, I don't know that I would make the assumption that the same errors would be made. In fact, as I read the various GAO reports evaluating the Violence Against Women Act, most of the concerns had to do with OJP-wide problems rather than problems specific to the Violence Against Women office.
I would also point out that.
Mr. SMITH. I wasn't talking about concerns about the Violence Against Women Office. I was talking about the proposal to make it separate as the COPS program was separate and other problems related to the COPS.
Ms. CAMPBELL. That is my point, that the concerns that were raised against the violence against women office were mostly related to OJP. So I don't know that evaluating COPS versus being within OJP is the proper distinction. But I would make the point that, for example, both the FBI and the DEA have grants programs, and no one would seriously think of folding them into OJP, because the Violence Against Women Act specifically identified systemic changes, changes in the Federal law that have a profound impact on State governments, on State law enforcement, and I think that just writing a check won't cut it.
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So much of what we did had to do with defining the policy, helping to interpret the law, get the word out, which I can't see being done if you are simply a grants office.
Mr. SMITH. Okay. Thank you, Ms. Campbell. Let me give Mr. Fine the last word on my last question. And which is, do you thinkand I don't know the answer myself, that is why I was asking youdo you think it would be a good idea or not be a good idea to the Office of Violence Against Women as a separate entity like we have done with COPS?
Mr. FINE. Well, that is a hard question. We haven't done work recently in the Violence Against Women Office. So I can't answer specifically about the record of that office. Having a single purpose entity would focus attention on a problem. I would caution and would be concerned about whether there would be problems of duplication, coordination, communication, and before that happened and before there was a proliferation of single-issue offices, I would think very carefully about it.
Mr. SMITH. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Fine. Thank you all for answering my questions and the gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Scott, is recognized for his.
Mr. SCOTT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You asked many of the questions that I had to ask. So I will just ask a couple of questions to Mr. Fine.
In your audit you showedfound a lot of problems with audits. Did I understand you to say that you audited 300 grants?
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Mr. FINE. 330 COPS grants, correct.
Mr. SCOTT. And they were a total of how many?
Mr. FINE. There were a total of how many grants?
Mr. SCOTT. Thousands.
Mr. FINE. 10, 20,00030,000. Yes.
Mr. SCOTT. How did you select the 300? Were there any indicia of problems there, or were they just randomly selected?
Mr. FINE. Initially the COPS office would refer cases of concern, cases that they thought there would be a problem. We also picked ones, picked other ones, additional ones that we thought wouldshould be audited. We tried to have a mix of large and small.
Mr. SCOTT. Well, I guess that answers my question. We can'twe should not extrapolate the problems of the 300 to the 30,000.
Mr. FINE. No. I don't think you could point-by-point extrapolate and say it is going to be the same percentages. We were concerned about the scope of the problem, the breadth of the problem, the amount of the problem we were finding, even in the ones we had picked. So we didn't think there would be reason to think that the problems were confined solely to these grantees that we picked, but you are right that you could not statistically extrapolate.
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Mr. SCOTT. You mentioned the fact that some were supplanting, notwithstanding the direction not to supplant. Is that a problem in other grant programs?
Mr. FINE. Supplanting is a difficult issue to address. I know the GAO has done studies on it and they have found in other programs supplanting as well. We found about 40 percent of the grantees had a problem with supplanting in the COPS program. So I would guess that it is not limited to the COPS program, but that is where the majority of our work has been done.
Mr. SCOTT. Now, the waste and problems with the audit, would they be cured with a differentwould it be improved with a different structure or are these just inherent problems that any grant program would suffer?
Mr. FINE. Grant programs need to be carefully monitored. They need to have careful scrutiny. Whether the COPS program would have less problems if they were streamlined or consolidated with OJP, that is a difficult question to answer. We are currently doing an audit to try and determine whether consolidation and streamlining might prevent some of the problems that we are finding.
Mr. SCOTT. Well, if you streamline, would you have less oversight or more oversight?
Mr. FINE. It depends how strong an oversight body there is in the consolidated entity and how carefully and concentrated an effort they make on that. You could have fewer problems if they had a very thorough and aggressive monitoring effort, or you could have more problems if they didn't take it seriously.
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Mr. SCOTT. Ms. Henke, you mentioned evaluations. You require, as a condition of getting a grant, the fact that in evaluation of the program has to take place. Is that right?
Ms. HENKE. Yes.
Mr. SCOTT. Did I understand you to say that that is an NIJ evaluation or some independent evaluation?
Ms. HENKE. A combination of both.
Mr. SCOTT. And how long has this requirement been there?
Ms. HENKE. We just put this requirement in place last fall.
Mr. SCOTT. So do you have any evaluations back yet?
Ms. HENKE. No, sir we do not, not on the new process that we put in place.
Mr. SCOTT. Have programs previously been evaluated, whether it was required or not?
Ms. HENKE. Yes, sir, some have.
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Mr. SCOTT. So a few?
Ms. HENKE. I can't give you a specific number, but whether it be the GAO or other independent evaluations or some through NIJ, they have occurred.
Mr. SCOTT. And when you get these evaluations, will you store them away where no one can find them? Or will they be available so someone could benefit from the evaluations?
Ms. HENKE. Sir, we want to widely disseminate the information. That is something that OJP, and especially the new leadership, takes very seriously. It is one of the reasons why we established our State reports, which I am not certain if you have seen, but we have done State reportsindividual State reports. For instance, I have the State of Virginia here and we break down and provide once again to every governor, U.S. attorney, House Member, Senator, a listthe total amount of money received from OJP and COPS, as well as every single grantee in your State, and that should hopefully help determine future resource allocation. Because in addition, what we are going to add to it this year is the statistic section. So a comparison can be done by the State on these are the resources that the State is getting, but this is where we rank nationally.
Mr. SCOTT. Did you say OJP in COPS or OJP and COPS?
Ms. HENKE. This is OJP and COPS.
Page 222 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 3 Of 3 Mr. SCOTT. So you have all the OJP grants to the Commonwealth of Virginia listed there?
Ms. HENKE. Right. And it is also available on our Web site.
Mr. SCOTT. And in a few months we should have evaluations of all of those programs to see whether or not the taxpayer got the money's worth?
Ms. HENKE. No, not necessarily, sir. Evaluations take a period of time, and so to say that we are going to have them in a couple of months, no. Evaluations, we have to first gather the information, and that is why we have as part of our grantee requirements specific things, specific information they should gather, a combination of both outputs and outcomes so we can comply both with GPRA requirements as well as to determine what works, so then we can widely disseminate the information to the field.
Mr. SCOTT. Now, will the evaluations be somehow evaluated to help us determine what elements of programs are helpful? Will the NIJ be doing that?
Ms. HENKE. Sir, NIJ, that is something that, once again, we are certainly working on but, yes, we want NIJ to be informed in the evaluation. We also are not afraid to have outside entities also evaluate, and whether it be GAO or the IG or other charities. I know the Heritage Foundation testified pertaining to some evaluations that they have done.
Mr. SCOTT. Well, we look forward to that, because in a lot of initiatives that frankly waste the taxpayers' money and a lot of other ones, we get more than our money's worth. So we need to know what to do.
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Ms. HENKE. Yes, sir.
Mr. SCOTT. My last question, I guess, is to Ms. Campbell. You got cut off. Did you have anything more that you wanted to add?
Ms. CAMPBELL. Yes. I was hoping someone would give me the opportunity to say that, since you have before you two different options, at least two different options for creating a statutory office at the Department of Justice. I thought I would share my opinion, probably as informed as anyone, since I did spend some time at the Violence Against Women Office.
The Senate version creates an independent office in Main Justice, and from my perspective, that is very important, because policy, by and large, is not done in OJP. I lived in both places. I initially was at Main Justice reporting to the associate and then moved to OJP, and I can tell you there is an enormous difference. You just don't have the clout if you are not in main justice to deal with the offices where major policy decisions are made, and not to be unkind to the folks from OJP because the situation was exactly the same when I was there, but here we are discussing the future of the Violence Against Women Office, and the director of that office is not at the table.
I think that is unusual in any other forum. It happens when I was there. It is happening now. If that individual were a Senate confirmed presidential appointee, I think that person would be here having this discussion with you, I also like the House language which delineates the responsibilities of the director of office, and I think together we had a wonderful opportunity to create an office with the capacity to do all that Congress seemed to expect of it when the Violence Against Women Office was passed originally and reauthorized in 2000.
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Mr. SCOTT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Scott. Ms. Henke, I have one final question for you, and this goes to what actions OJP takes when you have a grantee or a program manager who has failed to provide you with proper documentation upon whichor which you can use to make evaluations? What do you do when you don't get cooperation from the grantees or the program managers?
Ms. HENKE. Well, first of all from our grantees, sir, we have instituted several different things. For instance, if our grantees have not submitted, for instance, their financial reports, they cannot draw down on future funds. Their funds are frozen until they comply. As far as with OJP staff.
Mr. SMITH. Just on that one score, so there are instances where you have frozen funds?
Ms. HENKE. Yes, sir.
Mr. SMITH. From uncooperative respondees?
Ms. HENKE. From grantees who are not in compliance with submitting. Yes, sir, we have. As far as individual staff, that is part of their individual performance evaluation as far as their employment at OJP in ensuring that they are doing their job. And supervisors hold the individual program managers accountable.
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Mr. SMITH. Okay. I am not sure that that is really enough of a sanction or enough of an incentive for individuals to change their behavior, depending on what is done with those performance recommendations or standards.
Ms. HENKE. Sir, we are instituting several different things to ensure that, first of all, our grantees comply as well as ensuring internally at OJP the proper paperwork documentation and monitoring is done. On our financial monitoring, we are doing semiannual internal audits to make sure that the information is there. We are instituting new evaluations. We are going to be in negotiations with our union to move forward.
Mr. SMITH. It sounds to me like you are making some efforts.
Mr. Fine, do you think the efforts are sufficient to try to get us back on course to be able to make evaluations that are complete and detailed?
Mr. FINE. I think there has been some improvement. I don't think they are where they need to be in terms of careful monitoring of the financial statements, the progress reports and the aggressive, effective action when grantees are not in compliance. They try to bring them in compliance, which is a good effort. But when they are not in compliance, you have to take a firm line with that and we would like to see a more aggressive and firmer line taken with both programs.
Mr. SMITH. Good. That concludes our questions. We would like to submit some additional questions to youI'm sorry; I did not see Ms. Jackson Lee arrive. We would like, after we conclude, to submit some additional questions to you all and if you could respond within 7 days, that would be appreciated.
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The gentlewoman from Texas, Ms. Jackson Lee, is recognized for questions.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. I have not heard your testimony, I will not prolong this. But I thank Ms. Campbell for her presence here today, since I am very interested in the Violence Against Women Office, and to ensure that some of the thrust of combining some of the programs does not cause loss of status and prominence and recognition as well as the ability to do the job. And in the course of answering that, would you then also add for me any thoughts that you have about waste and fraud that is either to be avoided by the suggested combining or whether or not you sense that there is any and that we have a serious enough problem that we have to address it from some of the proposals that have been presented.
Ms. CAMPBELL. Well, I certainly do not think there is any waste or fraud in the work of the Violence Against Women Office. People across the Justice Department worked very hard to get that very substantial grants program up and running.
I will tell you is that over the years, I lamented and to be extraordinary steps to try to get more staff. I do think many of the criticisms are legitimate, perhaps about program monitoring and so forth, but we were simply understaffed, and that is one of the concerns I have about leaving the office within OJP. Otherwise, if we had had an independent office with statutory authority headed by a Senate-confirmed presidential appointee, decisions about staffing could have been made according to the need that exists within that office, not necessarily across the whole of OJP, which is rather vast.
I did have the opportunity to state that I have looked at the Senate version and the House version of creating a statutory office, and I feel very strongly from my experience, having been both at Main Justice originally when I took the position as director, and then in OJP later, that if you are in OJP, you just do not have the clout to be at the table when major decisions are made that affect women who are victims of violence. They do not do policy. And I am very concerned that there is already a dismantling of the policy development team within the Violence Against Women Office. The money is nice. Clearly, you hear from the field how much they appreciate the support that Republicans and Democrats have given the Violence Against Women funding.
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But they look for so much more. They look for partnership with us. They look for leadership. They look for the bully pulpit. I know you saw me in Texas more than once talking about the importance of this issue. They look for interpretation of the statute, which is complicated. Just to give one example: In order to properly analyze the full faith and credit provision, which requires States to honor protective orders from other States, you have to consider the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act and the interplay there. The UCCJA which most States have adopted, it is very complicated stuff. You just cannot have somebody whose main job it is to make sure the money gets out the door and that it is properly spent handling or asking questions about that.
What if the Dallas Police Department calls a State desk which is being proposed and says I have a battered woman with a police officer and a protective order from Iowa. What shall I do with it? You do not have time to say, well, gee, I will get back to you in 3 or 4 days.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. You need interpretation. You support the Senate version?
Ms. CAMPBELL. I support the Senate version in terms of the placement of the office in Main Justice, but I think the House version delineates the responsibilities of that office. I think that is helpful.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. I appreciate that. Mr. Peed, with the COPS program of which I am a strong advocate for that, might I just find out, are you comfortable with the gist of what is planned for the COPS program? It is my understanding that it is being moved.
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Mr. PEED. I do not know. I haven't had any specific information about it being moved. In the 2003 budget, there was no recommendation that it be moved.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. So you are happy with its present structure?
Mr. PEED. I am working just fine there, and if anything develops, I will be happy wherever I am organized.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mrs. Jackson Lee. And thank you all again for your testimony today. It is very, very helpful and we appreciate your being here. As you all know, this is a third in a series of three hearings on the general subject of oversight of the OJP. All three hearings have add up to a great deal of good information for us to consider as we go forward with the authorization process. Thank you all again. And the Subcommittee stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 3:05 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
Statements Submitted for the Hearing Record
March 5, 2002
PREPARED STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE ROBERT C. SCOTT, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF VIRGINIA
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Thank you Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to join you in convening this oversight hearing on the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), United States Department of Justice (DOJ). We are all aware of the important role the Office of Justice Programs plays in administering its more than fifty grant programs for the benefit of state and local law enforcement, juvenile justice, victims of crime and others.
OJP's organizational structure is unique. It has developed over the years as a direct response to Congressional funding, including earmarks and other mandates. The bureaus, offices and programs in OJP are numerous and complex in their design and operation. The substantive functions of the bureaus are vested by law in their directors, rather than the Attorney General or the OJP Assistant Attorney General. These statutes have provided that the directors have final authority over all grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts awarded by their respective agencies. As a result, OJP operates to a large degree as a network of independent agencies which share a common infrastructure. Funding for OJP programs exceed $4 billion annually, up from $1.1 billion in 1995.
As a result of this rapid growth in size and complexity of operation, inefficiencies, duplications, and difficulties began to be noted by some of those observing or negotiating the maze of grant, research, and technical assistance programs under OJP. So, in 1997, Congress, through the appropriations process, directed OJP and DOJ to develop a proposal for reorganization which would clarify and streamline its operations. On March 10, 1999, DOJ responded with a report which proposed changes to the present OJP structure in an effort to accomplish these objectives. It proposed various changes, such as focusing authority in the Assistant Attorney General for OJP through the elimination of presidentially appointed bureau chiefs, eliminating some bureaus, consolidating some program offices, and consolidating all research within NIJ.
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During the oversight hearing, we heard from a variety of ''customers'' of OJP, including researchers, practitioners, administrators and advocates of OJP programs. Two of the seven witnesses expressed support for the proposal or parts thereof; the others expressed criticisms and opposition to the proposal or parts thereof. I expect that we will hear a divergence of views on the issue of OJP reorganization in this series of hearings, as well.
One of the issues I want to focus on during the hearings, Mr. Chairman, is from where we are hearing concerns and proposals as well as what we are hearing. Certainly, it is appropriate for Congress, through its appropriations process, to raise issues about efficiencies wherever there are duplications in program focus and complexities in operations. And certainly DOJ has to respond to directives in its appropriations to address such concerns. As the authorizers, have to look at the questions raised and the proposals for solutions to make a determination as to whether changes are needed, and if so what changes. One thing we learned from the hearing was that the interest in reorganization was not coming from a wide berth of the customers or users of OJP programs and services, and this was taken into account in considering what should be done on the reorganization proposals.
The primary concerns expressed during the hearings were from researchers who thought that consolidation of the research activities of the bureaus under NIJ would improve efficiencies as well quality in research products. However, other researchers and customers of the bureaus disagreed that either efficiency or quality would improve when the history of dedicated research and researchers connected to the particular subject area in OJP was taken into account. Indeed, their concern was that consolidation into a general research context with general researcher might jeopardize the high level of quality in research the field had become accustomed to from the particular bureau or office. We heard the same kind of concerns expressed by customers of services and assistance from a system of dedicated bureaus or offices as to what problems could arise from going to a more general service operation in OJP capacity. As a result of what we heard, we, as the authorizing entity, did not feel at the time that the proposals were justified or that further action was needed on them. We addressed a great part of the concern with how the funds were managed by requiring approval of all bureau and office budgets by the Director of OJP before they can become operative. That requirement remains today.
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And, Mr, Chairman, I note that while we are considering possible elimination of duplications and complexities in operations under OJP, we are also looking at further separations of OJP functions to improve program functions. For example, we have a proposal from the Administration to separate out of OJP the Office on Domestic Preparedness and send it to FEMA. I know you have raised questions about what, and how it, is to be done, and I expect that we might want hold some hearings on the issue. I am also aware of the bi-partisan effort in the Senate, and now in the general DOJ reauthorization bill, to separate out of OJP entirely the VAWA Office. And, of course, Mr. Chairman, there is the provision in your Cyber Security Enhancement bill, requested by the science and technology community, to separate the Office on Science and Technology out of NIJ, though it will remain in OJP. I asked at our Subcommittee markup last week that we take a look at this during this hearing as a part of the OJP reorganization issues on the whole, before proceeding to full committee markup on it. I suspect that all of these proposals recognize the effectiveness, and other values, of separate operation of important functions in OJP, despite suggestions of duplications or inefficiencies.
So, I look forward to hearing from our witnesses on the issues and concerns about, as well as the need for, OJP reorganization. Thank you Mr. Chairman.
PREPARED STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE SHEILA JACKSON LEE, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF TEXAS
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This hearing is an important oversight opportunity for this committee and the Office of Justice Programs (''OJP'') because it allows us to examine, once again, the reorganization plan for the OJP.
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An oversight hearing was held by this body on July 22, 1999, regarding a plan submitted by DOJ pursuant to the Appropriations language in the Conference Report that accompanied the 1999 DOJ Appropriations Act. Since that hearing, however, OJP has not moved forward with the implementation of the new organizational structure. As a result, OJP's structure has remained essentially the same, and so have my concerns.
The OJP is the principal federal grant-making agency that supports state and local law enforcement. The objective of the reorganization plan, as indicated in the January 29 report from OJP, is to streamline the operations of the Office into a centralized administration structure.
The new organizational structure seeks to address duplication and overlap in the performance of OJP by consolidating agency programs and administrative functions.
Currently, the OJP consists of five bureaus, which include the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the Office for Victims of Crime.
There are six program offices which include the Violence Against Women Office, the Corrections Program Office, the Drug Courts Program Office, the Executive Weed and Seed, the Office of the Police Corps and Law Enforcement Education and the Office of State and Local Domestic Preparedness Support. There is also an American Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Office as well as six administrative offices.
Page 233 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 3 Of 3 The reorganization plan proposes that the OJP be comprised of a centralized structure that includes a research institute, a statistical office, four program offices and six administrative offices.
I applaud the efforts of the OJP to reorganize to make its operations more ''user-friendly.'' More so than ever, we must constantly refine our methods of providing service to the law enforcement community especially as we deal in a world that is dependent on technology. The new organization plan is a step in the right direction.
However, I must agree with some of the concerns that have been raised by the advocacy groups and crime prevention groups concerning some of the suggested changes in the OJP structure. I am concerned that some changes, in the name of efficiency, may not be as effective.
After various school violence tragedies and the contentious juvenile justice debate, I believe that we must pay special attention to the needs of the juvenile justice system. Some witnesses here today have expressed concern about the reorganization of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (''OJJDP'').
I share their concern about this new plan, especially as it pertains to the consolidation of all of the research into one National Institute of Justice. This may send an erroneous message to practitioners in the field that juvenile justice is no longer a high priority if it no longer has a distinct research component.
Also of importance to me is the administration of programs and grants under the Violence Against Women Act. VAWA is not just a grant program and we must ensure that policy making functions will still be viable.
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I hope that this hearing will give us a clearer picture of the steps OJP intends to take in this reorganization effort and their effects on various programs. I look forward to the testimony of the witnesses and I hope that we come to some resolution of the OJJDP and VAWA issues.
PREPARED STATEMENT OF SHAY BILCHIK, PRESIDENT/CEO, THE CHILD WELFARE LEAGUE OF AMERICA
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:
My name is Shay Bilchik and I am the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA). CWLA is the nation's oldest and largest membership-based child welfare organization, with over 1,170 member agencies and organizations nationwide, committed to engaging people everywhere in promoting the well-being of children, youth, and their families, and protecting every child from harm. I am pleased to have the opportunity to submit this written testimony on the issue of the proposed Office of Justice Programs Reorganization Plan. During my tenure as the Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and in my current capacity as President/CEO of the Child Welfare League of America, I have had the opportunity to discuss the component parts and overarching tenets of the Plan with a broad range of professional colleagues, including practitioners, researchers, service providers, and advocates in the areas of juvenile justice, child welfare, mental health, juvenile detention and corrections, and substance abuse. My testimony is a reflection of that invaluable input and my 25 years of professional experience.
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As you are aware, in 1997 the Congress took the first of several steps toward developing a new organizational structure for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), initiating an examination of the OJP infrastructure and the statutory framework that has shaped that infrastructure for the past 14 years. The Assistant Attorney General for OJP was asked to submit a report that ''outlines the steps OJP has taken and which recommends additional actions to ensure coordination and reduce the possibility of duplication and overlap among the various OJP divisions.'' The primary functions and responsibilities of the five bureaus, six program offices, and seven administrative support offices of OJP include administration and management of formula and discretionary programs; funding, management and delivery of training and technical assistance; collection and analysis of statistics; to generate and conduct research and evaluation of programs and projects; monitoring of grant-funded programs and projects; and dissemination of information. The proposed OJP reorganization plan is based on OJP's analysis of these functions and responsibilities and represents a thoughtful approach to improving the management and administrative structure of OJP. The Plan would go a long way in achieving the goal of establishing an organization that reflects one ''corporate vision'', eliminates duplication and overlap in efforts across OJP, and institutes a coherent organizational structure that serves all of OJP's constituencies. The current proposal recognizes the most critical problem that currently contributes to duplication of effort, confusion in the field, and a lack of coordination of OJP activitiesthat of the absence of a centralized management structure. I concur with the strategy to vest overall authority in the Attorney General and for the Assistant Attorney General (AAG) to carry out OJP's program authority under the general authority and delegation of the Attorney General. This single, important step, giving the AAG for OJP both final grant approval authority and line authority over OJP program Bureaus will help coordinate programs and resolve existing management issues. The objective of adopting standardized management policies and procedures will be well served by this single action. This would result in significant improvements, such as the implementation of an OJP-wide automated, state-of-the-art, grant management system. While there are other elements of the Plan that would assist in realizing the articulated goals of the OJP reorganization, the effort goes too far in some respects. It is in this regard that the reorganization plan before you would have a deleterious effect on some of the constituencies served by the Bureaus and Offices of OJP, particularly with regard to constituencies served by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).
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The present strategies which are proposed to achieve the objective to ''consolidate and coordinate currently overlapping functions'' includes strategies to consolidate all OJP research and evaluation activities in the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and all statistical functions in the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), whether criminal or juvenile justice system related. Additionally, the objective of ''centralized communication'' contemplates creation of a ''Publishing Central'' office, which would oversee the timing and management of the distribution of all OJP publications. While these components of the reorganization plan support the belief that the needs of the criminal justice field are best met through an organization that can provide a full range of support, the plan fails to recognize that the juvenile justice system is a separate system of justice and not a subset or component of the criminal justice system.
The field of juvenile justice has a different set of practitioners who have very different needs that reflect a unique juvenile justice practice in state and local jurisdiction across the country. The reorganization plan fails to take into account that OJP administers programs that impact these two unique, but interrelated systems. Consequently, a plan to reorganize OJP primarily by function will serve, in my opinion, to fragment juvenile justice programming to the detriment of both the concept of a separate justice system for children and the needs of juvenile justice practitioners across the country. The ultimate loser would be the nation's children.
There are a number of strengths to the current organization of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) that should be retained in the new OJP structure. Currently, OJJDP is an integrated office focusing on all aspects of juvenile justice, including program development and demonstration, research and evaluation, statistics, juvenile justice information and publications, training and technical assistance and direct Federal-State relationships involved with juvenile justice planning and programming through formula and discretionary grants. These strengths are already achieving many of the articulated goals of the OJP Reorganization Plan for the juvenile justice field. It is critical to understand that despite vigorous debate and restructuring of juvenile justice systems in states across the country over the past decade, the juvenile justice system remains a viable, civil-based justice system that is separate from the criminal justice system in every state. It has a distinct history, mandate, and jurisprudence. The system deals with youth not only as criminal and noncriminal (status) offenders but also as victims of abuse and neglect, and as dependents. Also, unlike the criminal justice system, the juvenile justice system has critical linkages to a unique set of other state and local systems, including child welfare, mental health, child protection, social services, and education.
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The functional approach recommended in the current OJP Reorganization Plan runs the risk of creating a lack of attention, focus, receptivity, and proper interpretation of research, statistics, demonstration projects, and subsequent program replication in the juvenile justice system, and would ultimately be harmful to our unique and distinct system of juvenile justice.
The strong synergistic relationship between statistics, research and evaluation, and program development and demonstration is a unique and beneficial aspect of the current OJJDP organizational structure. One of this Bureau's significant accomplishments has been to integrate these functions so that research and evaluation findings inform program development and identified program needs guide research agendas in practical and beneficial ways. OJJDP's success in integrating research and evaluation, program development, training and technical assistance, and information dissemination, has long been recognized and applauded in many quarters, including the Congress. The fragmentation of these functions through a function-based reorganization would be highly disruptive and harmful to the juvenile justice system.
With regard to serving information needs, the current OJJDP integrated program structure means that juvenile justice practitioners at the state, local, and federal levels can access a single source of information for all juvenile justice matters. That is a great advantage to the broad juvenile justice field. Centralizing all OJP research and evaluation in NIJ and statistics in BJS, while perhaps more efficient for the broader research and statistics communities would, ironically, be less efficient for the primary consumers of OJJDP's work. The practitioners' needs in this regard should be served firstas should the children, youth, families and systems of care they serveand they are best served through an integrated juvenile justice program.
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OJJDP is an example of how an office can grow to serve its state, local, and private sector constituents when nurtured in an environment providing for daily interaction between research, evaluation and statistics; program development and demonstration; training and technical assistance; replication; and information disseminationall contributing to and learning from its formula/block grant component. It also serves as an example of how issue areas, when developed in this kind of integrated program office, can grow in the same way: restitution into balanced and restorative justice; gang research into a comprehensive national gang program with a National Youth Gang Center; parole into intensive aftercare; and analysis of program research and statistics into comprehensive community based approaches, such as OJJDP's Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent and Chronic Juvenile Offenders. These are but a few examples of the positive products that this existing integrated office approach has yielded. It is therefore my recommendation that the current Reorganization Plan be modified to recognize and maintain an integrated, full-service juvenile justice program. As the OJP Plan currently stands, the reorganization would create a confusing and onerous process that would not adequately serve the important field of juvenile justice. It would, instead, create a confusing bureaucracy consisting of splintered points of contact and functions for juvenile justice practitioners, a result directly contrary to the goals of the OJP Reorganization effort. This change would be a disservice to both juvenile justice practitioners and policy makers. Let me walk you through the confusing maze that juvenile justice practitioners would face under the current Reorganization Plan:
go to Bureau of Justice Statistics to obtain information on juvenile justice statistics;
Page 239 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 3 Of 3 go to National Institute of Justice to obtain information on research and program evaluation;
go to Formula Grants/State Desk to apply for formula and block grants;
go to the OJP Grant Administration Unit on grant monitoring and compliance matters;
go to the Office of Juvenile Justice Programs to seek policy guidance on formula and block grants and to apply for demonstration funding
go to the Office of State and Local Information Transfer to obtain information on a variety of topics, such as effective programs and to determine the availability of training and technical assistance; and
back to Office of Juvenile Justice Programs to receive the training and technical assistance.
I must strongly advocate for the preservation of the current structure that allows OJP and OJJDP to build the knowledge about the distinct and separate juvenile justice system and the developmental pathways our children and youth follow into delinquency, including the prevention systems and services that are essential for long-term crime reduction and healthy, productive adults. The contrary notion expressed in the current proposal demonstrates a lack of understanding of the fundamental differences between the juvenile and criminal justice systems. This point is illustrated by the position articulated in the current Reorganization Plan that a consolidated research function within NIJ can address the continuity of offending between teen and adult years. This narrow area of focus relates to less than 10 percent of juvenile offenders, and to none of our at-risk children and youth or those who are victims of child abuse and neglect. We need to learn more about these populations through targeted research and evaluation funding. This perspective further supports the need to maintain separate juvenile and criminal justice programs that are responsive to the needs of these separate and distinct systems and their respective constituencies. At the same time, OJP should use its program authority to ensure communication, coordination, and cooperation in overlapping areas, such as the impact of transferring juveniles to the criminal justice system.
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As OJP Assistant Attorney General, Deborah J. Daniels, stated on November 27, 2001, the reorganization effort is designed ''to improve [OJP's] operational efficiency, improve the accountability, reliability and efficiency of our grant programs, and improve our ability to serve and inform our constituencies.''
The existence of a separate and distinct juvenile justice system began with the creation of the first juvenile court in Cook County, Illinois over 100 years ago. Its goal was to protect the rights of children through a mix of accountability and treatment for this distinct population. This court became the prototype for juvenile courts across the country. Currently, there exists a national network of State Juvenile Justice agencies, State Advisory Groups, and State Juvenile Specialists (which have grown from the Congressional affirmation of this need through the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974) and thousands of local agencies and courts dedicated to juvenile justice and serving the needs of the millions of delinquent and status offenders, abused, neglected, and dependent juveniles. These organizations and individuals have been partnering effectively with OJJDP to maintain and strengthen the basic services and protections youth need to benefit from their experience in the juvenile justice system. I am hopeful that the critical recommendations put forth in my testimony can be adopted to preserve the distinct and unique needs of the juvenile justice system and thereby achieve the desired outcomes articulated by the Assistant Attorney General. The Reorganization of OJP must contribute to, not interrupt, the tremendous advances in knowledge of ''what works'' in serving our children's needs and the significant reductions in juvenile delinquency that we have witnessed over the past decade. Our Nation's children, youth, families, and communities deserve nothing less.
Page 241 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 3 Of 3 Material Submitted for the Hearing Record
March 5, 2002
RESPONSES TO POST-HEARING QUESTIONS FROM LAURIE O. ROBINSON, FORMER ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS
1. What do you think is the biggest impediment to effective administration of OJP?
The biggest impediment to effective administration of OJP is the existence of so many historically semi-independent componentswith statutorily overlapping jurisdiction, presidentially appointed directors, and a longstanding culture in the bureaus that reinforces balkanization.
2. In your experience, if Congress could do just one thing to improve operations at OJP, what would it be?
As I indicated in my testimony, I would start over and develop a federal criminal justice assistance program ''from the ground up.'' That would help ensure a more rationally based and easy-to-access program for state and local customers. Short of taking that radical a step, the one thing I would encourage Congress to do is eliminate the statutory provision that makes the bureau heads presidential appointments. That PAS statuscombined with the longstanding history of final grant-making authority resting with the bureau headshas created over many years an organization too often fraught with ''sibling rivalries'' and separate agendas, rather than an agency with the capacity to implement a comprehensive, coherent vision.
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3. You were the Assistant Attorney General when the Office of Domestic Preparedness was created. Could you describe the operations of that office and the contributions it makes to counterterrorism training for this Subcommittee?
The Office of Domestic Preparednessinitially called the Office of State and Local Domestic Preparedness Supportwas set up in OJP in 1998. It is charged with assisting state and local law enforcement, fire, and emergency services personnel with planning for, and response to, events involving weapons of mass destruction (including chemical and biological weapons, as well as more conventional explosives). ODP's budget has grown dramatically over the four years of its existence. Its work is focused on training, exercises, technical assistance, and provision of equipment grants. Importantly, it hasin coordination with the FBI, FEMA and othersworked directly with each state to help them develop threat and vulnerability plans and look at current capabilities and gaps. Completion of these plans is a prerequisite to their receiving equipment grants. ODP also runs a training center in Anniston, Alabama (which was opened in June of 1998), which is the only live chemical agent training facility in the world. It also funds and coordinates a training consortium of four first responder training centers around the countryat Texas A&M, the Nevada Test Site, New Mexico Tech, and Louisiana State University. Finally, ODP has played a central role in planning and carrying out exercises, which are a crucial part of domestic preparedness. The TOPOFF exercise in the spring of 2000 won wide praise, for example, for its involvement of not only federal agencies, but state and local players.
4. Do you think it has been effective to have the COPS program administered outside of the Office of Justice Programs?
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The COPS Office has undertaken tremendously important work over the past eight years in encouraging adoption of community policing across the country, and, during my tenure at the Department, I worked very closely with the individuals who headed that office, including former Police Chiefs Joe Brann and Tom Frazier. As we look down the road to the future of the federal criminal justice assistance program, it would make most sense to integrate OJP and COPS together into a new organization, so that their work can be better coordinated. What is important, however, isif that should happen down the roadthat a COPS-type office be maintained. State and local law enforcement need a central ''home'' within the Department of Justice that can serve as a center of leadershipand be knowledgeable about, and responsive to, their needs. After all, when the original federal criminal justice assistance program was created in 1968, state and local law enforcement were perhaps its key constituents. As LEAA and OJP grew and evolved over succeeding years, the agency was probably not as attentive to that constituency as it might have been.
5. There have been proposals to transfer the Violence Against Women office outside of the Office of Justice Programs. What type of problems do you think this creates, if any?
Moving the grant-making operation of the Violence Against Women office elsewhere in the Department of Justice is a mistake. There are two reasons for this. First, ensuring sound fiscal stewardship of grant dollars requires an experienced grant-making operation. Having a small office elsewhere in DOJ handle all its own grants will be a recipe for down-the-road audit and other problems. Second, from a substantive standpoint, the grant-making to state and local governments needs to be integrally tied in with all the other work on domestic violence and state and local criminal justice generally being funded out of OJP. Further, the National Institute of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Statistics have worked closely with VAWO on domestic violence issues. I am not convinced those crucial research and statistics tie-ins would continue if VAWO were moved elsewhere. The coordination, I suspect from experience, would be haphazard at best.
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Moving the policy functions of VAWO elsewhere in the Department would be less problematic, butfrom the experience we had with such a ''divided office'' between 1995 and 1999that raises a different set of coordination problems.
March 7, 2002
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RESPONSES TO POST-HEARING QUESTIONS FROM JOHN CARY BITTICK, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL SHERIFF'S ASSOCIATION
1. Can you explain how the Office of Domestic Preparedness performs counterterrorism exercises? Can you provide an evaluation of these counterterrorism exercises from a law enforcement perspective?
To my understanding, the Office of Domestic Preparedness is actively engaged in exercises. In 2000, the ODP National Exercise Program conducted the Top Officials (TOPOFF) exercise. TOPOFF was the largest exercise of its kind and involved a chemical and biological attack simulation in two separate cities in the United States. In the spring of next year, TOPOFF II is scheduled to further test and exercise the government's capabilities.
Beyond the TOPOFF exercises, ODP has conducted 93 exercises across the Nation at all levels of government. It is estimated that ODP will complete 220 exercises in FY 2002. In conjunction with the Department of Energy, ODP has established a Center for Exercise Excellence at the Nevada Test Site. The Center is a national WMD exercise-training program which assists state and local emergency response agencies with the planning and conduct of domestic preparedness exercises.
2. In your capacity as a law enforcement officer you have substantial experience in dealing with crisis situations and crime scenes. What would be the duties of law enforcement in a crisis situationsuch as a bomb exploding or a release of hazardous material?
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The duties of law enforcement in a crisis are vast. The sheriff and his deputies are the true first responders. They will arrive at the scene after the first emergency calls and establish a command center. Second, firefighters and EMS technicians will respond to care for the sick and injured. After local assets are exhausted, state and federal resources will be brought to the scene. Federal assistance in a chemical or biological attack is several hours away and that leaves the sheriff virtually alone to accept responsibility and control the scene.
Sheriffs' have a multidimensional response to an attack. They will have to care for the victims and their families, secure the crime scene, deal with media and press distractions, protect firefighters and EMS technicians from secondary devices, establish command and control, mobilize the disaster plan and coordinate all support efforts.
3. In your testimony you state,''This is a time when the American people need continuity and coordination, not the disruption of unnecessary reorganization.''
The move of ODP to FEMA will cause significant disruption. As you know, the ODP budget was increased to $250 million last year. ODP is currently engaged in the planning for allocation of funds and has been working with the states to complete the state plans. Just as ODP is moving funds, the OMB proposal would have them shudder operations and transfer them to FEMA. In our view, FEMA will have a significant learning curve to overcome as they deal with law enforcement for the first time. This move would dismantle the only agency within the federal government that is providing coordinated support and expertise to responders. It can't help but cause a massive disruption that would hinder the ability of law enforcement to meet our sworn obligations.
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4. This committee has received suggestions that state and local officials have complained about the performance of ODP and this has been given as one reason for the switch to FEMA. Has your organization ever complained about the performance of the Office of Domestic Preparedness to anyone in Federal Government? What is your opinion of ODP?
NSA has an excellent working relation with ODP, OJP and the entire Department of Justice. We work very closely with ODP to ensure that sheriffs are prepared to fulfill their responsibilities in the event of an attack within their jurisdiction. To my knowledge, NSA has never had a reason to complain about ODP, as we find them to be one of the most responsive agencies in the federal government.
5. Has the proposed shift of counter terrorism training and grant responsibility to FEMA resulted in any confusion for first responders who are currently receiving training from ODP?
NSA is very confused by the potential for a move to FEMA. This proposal has greatly concerned local law enforcement because FEMA to this point has been unresponsive to law enforcement despite promises made by high-level officials to the contrary. FEMA has not returned phone calls and ignored an invitation to speak to NSA's Domestic Preparedness Committee about the potential move of ODP to FEMA. FEMA has made no outreach efforts to be proactive in addressing law enforcement concerns.
6. Is there a match requirement to receive grants and training from ODP?
Congress has not required matching grants funds for the programs under ODP. In our view, that is the strength of the domestic preparedness grant programs in the Department of Justice. It is our understanding that FEMA may intend to add a matching requirement to the program should it be transferred. NSA would oppose the matching requirement, as many sheriffs would be unable to participate in the grant program if matching funds are a condition of the grant.
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7. What has been your experience with FEMA in providing counterterrorism training or consequence management? What about with crisis management? Did FEMA participate in the TOPOFF exercises?
I understand that FEMA reluctantly participated in TOPOFF; joining the exercise only in the final stages of the planning. FEMA does not provide counter-terrorism training to law enforcement. That has been the congressionally mandated role of the U.S. Department of Justice. FEMA does not traditionally engage in crisis management. FEMA arrives at a disaster to deal with the consequences and aftermath not the crisis. A terrorist attack is a criminal event, not a natural disaster. The first response to such an incident is always crisis management not consequence management. Crisis management is predominantly a law enforcement function and includes measures to identify, acquire and plan the use of resources needed to anticipate, prevent and resolve a threat or act of terrorism. Crisis management is clearly the role of the Department of Justice, not FEMA.
RESPONSES TO POST-HEARING QUESTIONS FROM DAVID B. MUHLHAUSEN, POLICY ANALYST, CENTER FOR DATA ANALYSIS, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION
Anwser to Question 1:
In some cases, it might be possible to get an accurate assessment of effectiveness from an agency evaluating itself. However, agencies funding their own evaluations can be in the position to practice undue influence that may jeopardize the accuracy of the findings. For example, the findings of evaluations that were assigned through a noncompetitive process may be suspect. The agency funding an evaluation of itself may select an evaluator who is likely to produce the results desired by the agency.
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To add credibility to evaluations of Office of Justice Programs, Congress should transform the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) into the Justice Department's chief evaluation agency. Elevating NIJ to a position similar to the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General will help make NIJ an independent agency. NIJ should have the authority and the necessary budget to evaluate OJP and other Justice Department programs.
Not only should NIJ conduct its own evaluations, but also the agency should be able to fund evaluations by academics and other professionals. These out-sourced evaluations should be awarded on a competitive basis. Further, all NIJ evaluations should be subject to a peer review. The peer review group should consist of academics and professionals with a strong background in evaluation research and criminal justice. In addition, the data and final results of the evaluation should be published by NIJ, regardless of the findings. Either way, Congress needs to know what works and what does not work.
Anwser to Question 2:
In order to remedy the problematic tendency of bureaucracies to produce impact evaluations designed to generate favorable results, Congress could make NIJ an independent agency with its own authority to evaluated OJP programs. Agencies should be barred from evaluating their own programs. An additional way for Congress to ensure that OJP programs are properly evaluated is to mandate that NIJ conduct evaluations that fulfill high standards of scientific research.
Some basic indicators of a good evaluation include (1) the use of comparison or control groups, (2) random assignment, (3) the use of control variables to account for various factors that influence the social condition that the program is designed to improve, and (3) peer review and dissemination of data used in the evaluation. The use of comparison groups assists the evaluator in determining the impact of a program by comparing the condition of the intervention group with an equivalent comparison group. The best way to construct intervention and comparison groups is through the use of random assignment. Random assignment allows the evaluator to test for differences between the intervention and control groups that are due to the intervention and not due to discrepancies between the groups. When random assignment is not possible and selection bias is not present, then evaluators should control for as many variables as possible that can influence the difference in outcomes between the intervention and control groups. Last, peer review allows for a panel of social scientists to judge the evaluation on its scientific merits and allow other researchers the opportunity to conduct additional analysis.
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Anwser to Question 3:
Briefings on the progress of congressionally mandated evaluations will help ensure that the researchers are fulfilling Congress' intent. The initial stages of any evaluation are crucial to the content of the final report. In these early stages, the types of questions asked and how to measure the program's impact will be decided. At this point, Congress would benefit from a briefing on how the evaluators intend to measure the impact of the program. During this briefing, Congress can make sure that the evaluators are designing a study that will produce an impact evaluation and not a process evaluation.
Anwser to Question 4:
The Coats Human Services Amendments of 1998 provided clear guidelines of how Head Start should be evaluated.(see footnote 37) The amendment specifically mandated four components that are critical to determining the impact of Head Start on improving the lives of children served by it. First, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is required to appoint a panel of experts in program evaluation and early childhood education. This panel is given the authority to recommend the proper methodological designs and scientific techniques needed to measure the impact of Head Start. Second, Congress specifically instructed HHS that the evaluation must examine the impact of Head Start programs in increasing the social competence and school readiness of children. Third, the progress of Head Start participants is to be compared to a comparable group of children who did not participate in Head Start. Comparing Head Start children to non-Head Start participants is essential to determining the impact of Head Start. If the program is effective, Head Start participants should experience greater gains in school readiness than non-participants. Fourth, Congress required that the study's design be based on random assignment. Studies based on random assignment, or experimental design, are preferred because their results are less ambiguous. Random assignment allows the evaluator to test for differences between the experimental and control groups that are due to the intervention and not due to discrepancies between the groups. While the Head Start impact evaluation has yet to be completed, Congress has set in motion a process that will help determine the program's effectiveness. Similar types of congressional mandates for OJP to evaluate its programs would constitute a substantial improvement.
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Anwser to Question 5:
In my studies of the COPS program, I have not found any requirements that grantees provide data to the COPS offices to allow for the evaluation of performance. The COPS grant application process appears to have little regard for setting up a system to measure performance. For example, the application form used for the 2000 Universal Hiring Program (UHP) grants is only four pages long.(see footnote 38) Absent from the application is any indication that data will be collected for evaluative purposes.
Anwser to Question 6:
A requirement that OJP receive a needs assessment, a proposed evaluation, and an agreement to collect performance-related data from grantees prior to grant approval would be a substantial improvement in accountability. Requiring grantees to conduct a needs assessment prior to grant approval will help grantees identify the problems that the OJP funding will address and develop a clear strategy to help ensure that funding is put to its most effective use. A needs assessment is defined as a study that answers questions about the social problems a program is intended to improve.(see footnote 39) The needs assessment should specifically identify how OJP funding will be used to reduce crime. OJP should be required to use the information contained in the needs assessment to judge the merit of the grant application.
A panel of experts appointed by NIJ should review the proposed evaluation. The panel should assess the evaluation proposal for its adherence to rigorous social science standards. To improve the quality of the proposed evaluations, the panel should have the authority to recommend to OJP that the proposals be accepted or rejected. To insure the integrity of the process, the recommendations of the panel should be publicly available through the Internet.
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Requiring that grantees agree to collect relevant evaluation data before grant approval will significantly improve data collection for OJP. A system to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of OJP grants should be in place before the awarding of funds. After the funds have been spent, the OJP funded activities should be evaluated for their effectiveness in reducing crime. To help ensure integrity, OJP-related evaluations should be done by the National Institute of Justice.
Anwser to Question 7:
While there are a few NIJ-sponsored impact evaluations that are important to informing policy makers about what works in criminal justice policy, NIJ has not been effective in managing performance evaluations.(see footnote 40) As the recent General Accounting (GAO) report demonstrates, NIJ evaluations are too frequently process-oriented.(see footnote 41) When impact evaluations have been done, the GAO found that most of the studies were of such poor design that the findings were unreliable.
To improve ability of NIJ to produce rigorous impact evaluations, Congress' plan to reorganize OJP should consider the following step. First, NIJ should become an independent agency with its own budget. NIJ should have the ability to evaluate programs without the permission of other OJP agencies. This change will help insulate NIJ from pressure to not rigorously evaluate the impact of OJP programs. Second, Congress should specifically set the criteria for how the research will be conducted. Impact evaluations should use comparison groups and control for factors that may influence the evaluated program's outcomes. Third, NIJ should have an adequate budget to evaluate OJP programs.
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RESPONSES TO POST-HEARING QUESTIONS FROM LAURIE E. EKSTRAND, DIRECTOR, JUSTICE ISSUES, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE
March 14, 2002
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RESPONSES TO POST-HEARING QUESTIONS FROM GLENN A. FINE, INSPECTOR GENERAL, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
April 16, 2002
The Honorable Lamar Smith
Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and
Committee on the Judiciary
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Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr. Chairman:
Thank you for inviting me to testify at the Subcommittee's March 14, 2002, oversight hearing about the Office of the Inspector General's (OIG) reviews of grant programs in the Department of Justice, specifically the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and the Office of Justice Programs (OJP).
As I discussed at the hearing, the OIG has conducted numerous audits and inspections related to grants issued by COPS and OJP. In addition, we have investigated a variety of fraud allegations involving improper use of Department grant funds. We will continue to provide oversight in the important area of grant management in the years ahead, and we appreciate your interest in our work.
In response to your March 21, 2002, letter, I enclose answers to the Subcommittee's additional questions for the record. I can be reached at 5143435 if you have any further questions.
Glenn A. Fine
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1. In a recent Semi-Annual Report to Congress your office noted that a few years ago the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) stopped processing reports under the Single Audit Act of 1996 for COPS-related grants in a dispute over reimbursement. As a result, a backlog developed. Has this matter been resolved and what corrective was taken to resolve it?
Yes, the matter has been resolved. The OJP agreed to process the COPS Office's Single Audit Act reports.
2. Mr. Fine, based on your experience with the COPS program, can you point to any specific reasons why COPS grants are so high risk? Is it because it is a separate office within Justice or are there other reasons?
There are several reasons why we believe COPS grants are high-risk grants. First, according to the COPS Office, a large number of its grantees are first-time recipients of federal grant monies. Inexperienced grantees may not know COPS' program requirements or understand basic grant management requirements. Second, these grants often are awarded to small communities that do not have sophisticated financial systems or structures to administer the grant.
Third, we believe that the COPS MORE grant program is inherently a high-risk program. MORE grants fund technology to free up existing officers for community policing. Through the end of fiscal year 2002, we estimate that the COPS Office will have awarded in excess of $1 billion in MORE grants. In our audits, we rarely find that MORE grant recipients can demonstrate that they have redeployed the required number of officers to community policing. Further, we frequently find that MORE grants, which were intended to last for a period of one year, are extended for several additional years because grantees have not implemented the technologies purchased with the grant funds. Such extensions increase the likelihood that technology may become obsolete by the time it becomes operational.
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3. In your statement (at p. 6) you express concern about the length of time it takes to resolve COPS grant audit reports and you recommend that the COPS Office should take more aggressive and timely action. You also state that stricter enforcement should be taken. Does that mean collection actions by the Department and U.S. Attorneys or other similar measures?
Yes. When grantees are found to be non-compliant, they should be given a reasonable time frame in which to become compliant. If this does not occur, however, we believe a demand letter should be sent to the grantee from COPS. If a demand letter does not bring about necessary action by the grantee, referral for collection to the Department or U.S. Attorneys should be initiated. Too often we find that grant program offices are reluctant to pursue this course of action. We believe that aggressive enforcement action is needed when grantees do not comply with the terms of the grant in a timely fashion.
4. When the use of grant funds are brought into question by your office or the Office of Justice Programs what steps are normally taken to resolve these questions?
The OIG works with the applicable grant program office to resolve our findings, including dollar-related findings. The applicable program office is responsible, in turn, for working with the grantee. The grant office's first option is to bring the grantee into compliance with grant requirements. This process is generally very paper intensive and time consuming. During this process, the grantee is usually provided grant extensions to allow it time to demonstrate compliance. We find that grantees also are frequently allowed to continue to draw grant funds during this period. In our judgment, this practice does not sufficiently hold grantees accountable for their lack of compliance.
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5. What steps, if any, does your office or the Department take to seek reimbursement or collection of OJP or COPS funds misused by grantees?
The OIG does not have the authority to directly seek reimbursement or collection of federal funds from grantees. We report ''questioned costs'' and ''funds to better use'' in accordance with the Inspector General Act. The decision to seek reimbursement or collection of funds is a management decision made by the program offices and the Department. The program office contacts the grant recipient and asks it to provide necessary documentation to address the OIG's findings. This process can take an extended period of time. Options available to the Department include temporarily withholding cash payments pending correction of the deficiency; disallowing all or part of the cost of the activity or action not in compliance; wholly or partly suspending or terminating the current award; and withholding further awards for the project or program. As a practical matter, we have found that the program office usually only demands repayment of grant funds in response to OIG findings as a last resort. According to OJP, once a debt has been established it gives the grantee several chances to repay the debt before referring the matter for collection.
6. Did you randomly select COPS and OJP grantees for audits? If so, wouldn't you expect to find the same percentage of ''questioned costs'' and ''funds to better use'' across all grant programs? Your auditors found that 24 percent of the funds audited fell into these categories. If you applied the 24 percent figure across all grants, that would be more than a billion dollars, not including amounts subject to further investigation for fraud and/or criminal prosecution. So isn't possible that the amount of fraud, waste, and abuse in the system could be well over a billion dollars?
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Our audits were not selected randomly. About one-half of our COPS audits were referred to us by the COPS office, primarily because of indications of grantee non-compliance. The remaining audits are selected by us based on the size, location, and risk of the grantee. We therefore cannot statistically extrapolate the findings in our audits of grantees to the entire universe of grantees. That said, in general our findings in audits selected by us and audits referred to us by the COPS Office do not appear to show great variances. Although we cannot say for certain what percentage of total grant funds would fall into the categories ''questioned costs'' or ''funds to better use,'' based on our experience we would expect it to be a very significant amount.
RESPONSES TO POST-HEARING QUESTIONS FROM CARL PEED, DIRECTOR, COPS OFFICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
1. The Inspector General's Office has devoted a significant amount of its time and resources in oversight of the COPS program. Among all of the Department's federal grant programs, by far the largest amount of questioned and unsupported costs have been found with COPS grants. Why do you think this is the case?
COPS has put in place a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach to monitor more than 32,700 grants.
First, we require every agency to submit yearly progress reports on the implementation of their COPS grant(s).
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Second, through our COPS Count process, we contact each grantee on a yearly basis to monitor and ensure that implementation and compliance are consistent with the terms and conditions of their grants.
Third, we do more intensive monitoring for high-risk grantees, which includes comprehensive desk reviews of programmatic and financial reports as well as on-site visits.
Fourth, the Office of the Comptroller assists COPS in financially monitoring COPS grantees.
Fifth, the Office of the Inspector General includes as part of its regular audits of COPS grantees those agencies COPS perceives to be most at-risk.
In addition, the COPS Office vets all proposed grant lists through the Civil Rights Division, Office of Civil Rights, Office of the Inspector General Investigations Division, and all United States Attorneys. This pre-award vetting process allows the COPS Office to be aware of any pending investigations or potential compliance issues prior to making new grant awards.
At least one person is assigned to every state to answer any questions a grantee may have and ensure that grant compliance is met. With all of these monitoring activities, any irregularities and problems are referred to the appropriate division for further action, resolution, and recourse.
We appreciate the role that the OIG audits play as part of our comprehensive monitoring strategy. With over 32,700 active COPS grants, we depend on the OIG to help monitor our grantees. In fact, the COPS Office refers many of these grants to the OIG for audits.
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The OIG audit findings, however, do not necessarily reflect grant violations by our grantees. First, questioned costs are only allegationsgrantees usually provide documents to support the costs. Second, our reviews show that a high percentage of audited grantees are not in violation of their grant requirements. As a result of the high number of OIG audit findings from COPS grants, the Department previously hired an independent arbitrator to review a random sample of OIG audit findings from COPS grants. The arbitrator determined that approximately 38% of those findings were not accurate.
When the OIG's audit findings are accurate, the COPS Office takes enforcement action to ensure that grant violations are fully remedied.
1. Two findings of the OIG set forth in his most recent report to Congress related to the processing of Single Audits of grants and computer security within the COPS Office. You have heard both the IG and the Deputy Attorney General's testimony on these matters. Do you agree with their views on the resolution of them?
The Single Audit issue has been resolved between COPS and OJP. Single Audits are performed by OJP.
COPS addressed the OIG's computer security concerns shortly after their 2000 report was released. We strengthened our security measures by developing and implementing multiple written policies to improve internal controls to address specific circumstances like:
Accounts that have never been logged into for a specific period of time.
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Accounts after a staff person leaves or is on extended leave.
COPS has also finalized and implemented a written policy and procedure to address the auditing option, and the Security Event Log ''Do Not Overwrite Events'' option.
COPS continues to take the issue of computer security very seriously to safeguard our computer system against security violations.
1. Two of the biggest problems of abuse with the COPS grant program are the use of federal funds to supplant the pay of officers not hired under the COPS program and the low retention rate of police officers after the COPS funds expire. What is your recommendation for addressing these two problems?
COPS takes allegations of supplanting very seriously and devotes a great deal of resources to preventing and investigating it. In all the reviews we conduct of COPS grants, we have not discovered widespread supplanting. When we do discover supplanting, we require the grantee to repay the supplanted funds or to hire new officers with local funds.
COPS takes retention very seriously and monitors it closely. During the application process and again upon accepting a COPS grant award, the chief government executive and chief law enforcement official both sign documents to attest to their understanding of the requirements of the grant, including the retention of the officer positions. A recent report conducted by the COPS office as part of our comprehensive monitoring strategy indicates that 92% of grantees are retaining their COPS officers with local funds. The 1999 Inspector General report included a random survey of 191 COPS grantees, which confirmed that 96 percent of those surveyed intended to retain their additional COPS officers with state or local resources. Grantees that demonstrate severe fiscal distress, however, can be exempted from the retention requirement.
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We will continue to make monitoring supplanting and retention violations a priority in the future.
2. The President's Budget for FY 2003 recommends redirecting a significant amount of COPS funding into a new Justice Assistance Grant Program. Do you support this shift of funding and what steps will you take to prevent some of the waste and mismanagement that has occurred with the COPS grant program?
The President's FY03 budget redirects funds to address new and critical Administration priorities, including counterterrorism. I support the President's budget. The President's budget includes $800 million for a new Justice Assistance Grant program. Although this grant is listed in the COPS budget, the budget directs it to be administered by the Office of Justice Programs. The COPS FY03 budget request continues to fund community policing development activities, technology grants, methamphetamine grants, and police integrity. We will vigorously monitor these grant programs next year.
3. Again, in reference to the audit findings of the OIG, how many of these audits, especially with regard to questioned and unsupported costs listed in the most recent Inspector General's Seminannual Reports to Congress remain unresolved and what actions is your office taking to resolve them?
To date, COPS has just two unresolved OIG audits. We have made resolving and closing IG audits a top priority. Currently, approximately 72% of COPS staff are involved in grant monitoring to safeguard the taxpayer's investment against misuse. Some of the remedies we have taken include suspending grantee funds, recovering misused grant funds and/or prohibiting the grantee from obtaining future COPS grants.
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We work closely with the IG on these audits and the IG plays an important role in our comprehensive grant monitoring strategy, which includes: yearly progress reports from grantees on the implementation of their COPS grant(s); contacting each grantee on a yearly basis to monitor and ensure that implementation and compliance are consistent with the terms and conditions of their grants; intensive monitoring for high-risk grantees, which includes comprehensive desk reviews of programmatic and financial reports as well as on-site visits; the Office of the Comptroller assists COPS in financially monitoring COPS grantees; the Office of the Inspector General includes as part of its regular audits of COPS grantees those agencies COPS perceives to be most at-risk.
[NOTE: Additional material submitted for the Hearing Record is not reprinted here but is on file with the House Judiciary Committee. The material referred to is listed below.
U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs
United States General Accounting OfficeThe Honorable Bob Schaffer, House of Representatives, Juvenile Justice: Better Documentation of Discretionary Grant Monitoring Is Needed (October 2001, GAO0265)
Page 265 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Segment 3 Of 3 United States General Accounting OfficeReport to the Honorable Bob Schaffer, House of Representatives, Juvenile Justice: OJJDP Reporting Requirements for Discretionary and Formula Grantees and Concerns About Evaluation Studies (October 2001, GAO0223)
United States General Accounting OfficeReport to Congressional Requesters, Justice Discretionary Grants: Byrne Program and Violence Against Women Office Grant Monitoring Should Be Better Documented (November 2001, GAO0225)
(Footnote 34 return)
Police Hiring and Redeployment Grants, Summary of Audit Findings and Recommendations October 1996September 1998 (Audit Report No. 9914, issued April 1999).
(Footnote 35 return)
''Questioned costs'' are expenditures that do not comply with legal, regulatory, or contractual requirements, are not supported by adequate documentation at the time of the audit, or are unnecessary or unreasonable. Questioned costs may be remedied by offset, waiver, recovery of funds, or the provision of supporting documentation. ''Funds to better use'' are expenditures that would be better used if management acts on and implements our audit recommendations.
(Footnote 36 return)
Management and Administration of the Community Oriented Policing Services Grant Program (Audit Report No. 9921, issued July 1999).
(Footnote 37 return)
42 USC 9801 et seq. For more information, see http://www2.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/hsb/hsreac/legis.htm. (March 3, 2002).
(Footnote 38 return)
This application was obtained from http://www.usdoj.gov/cops/pdf gpa/uhp/uhppdfs/e022k0060.pdf (December 1, 2001).
(Footnote 39 return)
Peter H. Rossi, Howard E. Freeman, and Mark Lipsey, Evaluation: A Systematic Approach, (Thousand Oaks, Cal.: Sage Publications, 1999), p. 118.
(Footnote 40 return)
For examples of good impact evaluations, see Anthony A. Braga, David L. Weisburd, Elin J. Waring, Lorraine Green Mazerolle, William Spelman, and Francis Gajewski, ''Problem-Oriented Policing in Violent Crime Places: A Randomized Controlled Experiment,'' Criminology, Vol. 37, No. 3 (1999), pp. 541580 and Anthony A. Braga, David M. Kennedy, Elin J. Waring, and Anne Morrison Piehl, ''Problem-Oriented Policing, Deterrence, and Youth Violence: An Evaluation of Boston's Operation Ceasefire,'' Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Vol. 38, No. 3 (2001), pp. 195225.
(Footnote 41 return)
Laurie E. Ekstrand, ''Justice Impact Evaluations: One Byrne Formula Evaluation Was Rigorous; All Reviewed Violence Against Women Office Evaluations Were Problematic,'' Report to Congressional Requesters, GAO02309, (U.S. General Accounting Office, March 2002).