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[Congressional Record: September 12, 2000 (Senate)]
[Page S8370-S8375]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr12se00-106]                         



 
                     MESS AT THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT

  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I rise today to talk again about the 
mess at the Department of Justice. As we all know, this Justice 
Department has been subjected to criticism from Democrats and 
Republicans alike for mishandling cases. Yesterday, the Justice 
Department's own Inspector General completed a lengthy report which 
points to ``egregious misconduct'' by senior officials in the Justice 
Department. That phrase ``egregious misconduct'' is not my phrase. 
That's the conclusion of the IG.
  This is a sordid story which began in 1997, when I wrote to Attorney 
General Reno asking her not to fire a whistle blower who had alleged 
misconduct in two components of DOJ's Criminal Division--The 
International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program, also 
known as ``ICITAP'', and the Overseas Prosecutorial Development, 
Assistance and Training, also known as ``OPDAT''. These offices train 
prosecutors and police in other countries to enforce laws in a way that 
respects the rule of law and human rights. As such, these offices are 
heavy consumers of intelligence from various intelligence gathering 
agencies that monitor human rights abuses. The IG concluded that some 
Senior DOJ Officials in these offices intentionally refused to follow 
Government Regulations regarding the handling of classified information 
and recommended discipline for three DOJ officials.
  The allegations I received in 1997 related to serious security 
breaches as well as the misuse of Government authority for the personal 
and financial benefit of top DOJ Officials. I was shocked to hear 
allegations that Bob Bratt, the Executive Officer of the Criminal 
Division, who had supervisory control over these offices, and Joe Lake 
who was an assistant to Mr. Bratt, used their Government positions to 
get visas for Russian women that Brat met through a ``match making 
service.'' I was shocked to hear allegations that a Senior Justice 
Official was allowed to retire early with an early retirement bonus, 
and then be re-hired at DOJ as an outside contractor just a few months 
later in clear violation of Federal law.
  But, these all proved to be accurate. To quote the Inspector 
General's report ``We concluded that Bratt and Lake committed egregious 
misconduct'' in obtaining visas for Russian women to enter the country 
under false pretenses. These women had been denied visas in the past 
and were only given visas when Bratt assured Embassy Officials in 
Moscow that these women would be working for DOJ in the future. The IG 
concluded that this was a false statement. The IG concluded that Bratt 
and Lake offered explanations for their conduct and denials regarding 
the visas for the Russian women which were ``not credible.'' The IG 
also concluded that Bratt's ``intimate involvement'' with these Russian 
women left him vulnerable to blackmail and presented a security 
concern. The IG report indicates that Bratt may have pressured other 
DOJ employees to mislead the IG inspectors. And the IG found that Bratt 
had DOJ computers sent to a school in Virginia where a girlfriend 
works.
  Clearly, this is the kind of misconduct which should be exposed and 
corrected. This is why I work so hard to support whistle blowers when 
they ask for my help.
  But it doesn't end there. The IG also concluded that Joe Lake 
violated Federal Law when he took an early retirement bonus of $ 
25,000. One provision of the early retirement program prohibited lake 
from working for DOJ for 5 years after his retirement. Yet, two months 
after he retired, Lake was hired as a consultant at DOJ reporting to 
his old friend Bob Bratt. This was patently illegal, and the IG 
recommends that DOJ seek the return of lake's $ 25,000 retirement 
bonus.
  The IG also noted many of the hiring practices at issue were--to use 
the IG's own words--``questionable.'' For instance, the IG report 
described the hiring of a bartender at a local restaurant frequented by 
the Associate Director of ICITAP. The bartender was originally hired to 
work at DOJ on a temporary basis. After this bartender-turned-
Government lawyer began a personal relationship with Bratt, Bratt hired 
her on a permanent basis at DOJ. Another example cited by the IG 
involved an ICITAP official hiring the father of an ex-spouse's step-
children even though he had very little experience. Again, the American 
people deserve better from their Government.
  The IG report also indicates that Senior Justice officials improperly 
used frequent flier miles. The IG recommends that security clearances 
be

[[Page S8371]]

granted to ICITAP officials only after evaluating their poor record of 
complying with security regulations.
  I wrote to the Attorney General on this matter in 1997. It's taken 
until September of 2000 for DOJ to finish its report. Just last month, 
Mr. Bratt was allowed to retire from Government service. The IG report 
indicates that the IG would have recommended that Bratt be fired from 
the Justice Department if he were still working for DOJ. It seems to me 
that Senior Justice officials may need to be held accountable for 
letting Bratt retire rather than face the music for his misdeeds. As 
Chairman of the Administrative Oversight Subcommittee on the Judiciary 
Committee, I intend to keep a close eye on the Criminal Division, in 
light of this sorry Record.
  Mr. President, this is merely the latest example of how Justice 
Department is a real mess. We all know that. For the benefit of my 
colleagues, I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record at 
the cost of $1,300 an executive summary of the report.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                           Executive Summary

       Te International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance 
     Program (ICITAP) is an office within the Criminal Division of 
     the Department of Justice that provides training for foreign 
     police agencies in new and emerging democracies and assists 
     in the development of police forces relating to international 
     peacekeeping operations. The Criminal Division's Office of 
     Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training 
     (OPDAT) trains prosecutors and judges in foreign countries in 
     coordination with United States Embassies and other 
     government agencies. The Criminal Division's Office of 
     Administration serves the Criminal Division's administrative 
     needs. This report details the results of an investigation by 
     the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) into allegations 
     that managers in ICITAP, OPDAT, and the Office of 
     Administration committed misconduct or other improprieties.
       The allegations raised a wide variety of issues including 
     managers' improper use of their government positions to 
     obtain visas for foreign citizens, widespread violations of 
     the rules governing the handling and storage of classified 
     documents, managers' use of business class travel without 
     authorization, managers' use of frequent flyer miles earned 
     on government travel for personal use, violations of 
     contractual rules and regulations, failure to supervise 
     contracts leading to substantial cost overruns and 
     overcharges by contractors, and favoritism in the hiring and 
     promotion of certain employees. Many of the allegations 
     concerned the actions of Robert K. ``Bob'' Bratt, a senior 
     Department official who became the Criminal Division 
     Executive Officer in charge of the Office of Administration 
     in 1992. At varying times during the years 1995-1997, Bratt 
     also was the Acting Director of ICITAP and the Coordinator of 
     both ICITAP and OPDAT.
       We substantiated many of the allegations and found that 
     individual managers, including Bratt, committed serious 
     misconduct. We also concluded that managers in ICITAP, OPDAT, 
     and the Office of Administration failed to follow or enforce 
     government regulations regarding ethics, security, travel, 
     and contracts. As a result of our investigation, we 
     recommended discipline for three employees. We would have 
     recommended significant disciple for Bratt, including 
     possible termination, but for Bratt's retirement effective 
     August 1, 2000. We also found that some of the problems 
     revealed by this investigation go beyond holding individual 
     managers accountable for their actions and that the 
     Department can make changes to enhance the performance of 
     other managers, employees, and offices. Therefore, we made 
     nine recommendations concerning systemic improvements for the 
     Department to consider.
       The report is divided into chapters addressing the major 
     allegations. In this Executive Summary, we summarize the 
     background of the investigation and the allegations, the 
     investigative findings, and the OIG conclusions with respect 
     to each chapter.


                   i. background of the investigation

       ICITAP was created in 1986 and although it is part of the 
     Department of Justice, its programs are funded by the 
     Department of State. OPDAT, created in 1991, is similarly 
     funded. Both ICITAP and OPDAT are headed by Directors, with a 
     Coordinator responsible for overseeing the management of both 
     organizations. The Office of Administration handles the 
     administrative functions for the Criminal Division, including 
     personnel, budget, information technology, and procurement 
     matters. The Executive Officer heads the Office of 
     Administration.
       Bratt became the Executive Officer for the Criminal 
     Division in 1992. He was appointed the Acting Director of 
     ICITAP in March 1995 following the dismissal of the previous 
     Director. After Janice Stromsem was selected as ICITAP 
     Director and assumed the post in August 1995, Bratt resumed 
     his duties as Executive Officer. Bratt was appointed to the 
     newly created post of Coordinator in September 1996 where he 
     remained until being detailed to the Immigration and 
     Naturalization Service (INS) in April 1997 at the request of 
     the Attorney General.
       ICITAP has had a long history of turmoil. Between 1994 and 
     1997, four different individuals assumed the responsibility 
     of Director or Acting Director. During that period, here were 
     two different investigations into allegations of misconduct 
     as well as reviews of ICITAP's organizationals structure and 
     financial systems. In 1994, at the request of the Criminal 
     Division Assistant Attorney General, the OIG completed two 
     investigations of ICITAP that examined allegations of 
     favoritism in selecting consultants, misconduct in travel 
     reimbursements, poor quality of ICITAP's work products, waste 
     and inefficiency in program and contract expenditures, and 
     management of foreign programs. The OIG did not substantiate 
     the allegations of misconduct but did find that ICITAP did 
     not plan its programs carefully. The OIG also made 
     recommendations to improve ICITAP's financial management. 
     In January 1995, Bratt examined a proposed ICITAP 
     reorganization plan and conducted an investigation 
     following additional allegations of misconduct that were 
     made to the Criminal Division, allegations that Bratt 
     substantiated.
       This OIG investigation began in April 1997 when an ICITAP 
     employee reported to the Department's security staff that an 
     ICITAP senior manager had provided classified documents to 
     persons who did not have a security clearance. The 
     Department's security staff and the OIG investigated the 
     allegation and confirmed it. The OIG continued the 
     investigation to determine the extent of security problems at 
     ICITAP. While this investigation was ongoing, the OIG 
     received numerous allegations of misconduct and mismanagement 
     at ICITAP and OPDAT, and we broadened our investigation to 
     encompass these new allegations.


                    ii. investigation of allegations

     A. Issuance of visas to Russian women
       Bratt made four trips to Russia in late 1996 and 1997 in 
     conjunction with his duties as ICITAP and OPDAT Coordinator. 
     We received several allegations of impropriety relating to 
     these trips. The most serious allegation was that Bratt and 
     Criminal Division Associate Executive Officer Joseph R. Lake, 
     Jr. improperly used Bratt's government position to obtain 
     visas for two Russian women, one or both of whom it was 
     alleged were Bratt's ``Russian girlfriends.''
       Our review determined that in 1997 Russians seeking to 
     visit the United States had two methods of obtaining visas 
     from the American Embassy in Moscow: the standard process and 
     the ``referral'' process. The standard process could be used 
     by any Russian seeking to visit the United States. Russians 
     applying through the standard process were required to wait 
     in long lines at the American Embassy in Moscow to submit 
     their applications, and the process included an interview by 
     an American Embassy official. The Embassy official could deny 
     the application if, among other reasons, the official did not 
     believe the applicant had established that he or she would 
     return to Russia. The ``referral'' process could be used in 
     much more limited circumstances. The referral process 
     required that United States government interests be supported 
     by the applicant's visit to the United States or that a 
     humanitarian basis existed for the visit. In the referral 
     process, the visa application was submitted by an Embassy 
     official who completed a form approved by an Embassy Section 
     Chief setting forth the United States government interest in 
     or the humanitarian basis for the applicant's visit. No 
     interview was required, and the use of the referral process 
     generally ensured that the applicant would receive a visa.
       Two Russian citizens, Yelena Koreneva and Ludmilla Bolgak, 
     received on April 7, 1997, visas to visit the United States. 
     They received the visas because Lake submitted their 
     applications using the referral process and purported that a 
     government interest existed for their visit to the United 
     States. On the referral form Lake wrote that ``[a]pplicants 
     have worked with the Executive Officer (EO) Criminal Division 
     in support of administrative functions, Moscow Office.'' He 
     signed it ``Joe Lake for BB.'' In addition to being the 
     ICITAP and OPDAT Coordinator, Bratt retained the title and 
     many of the responsibilities of the Executive Officer.
       We determined that neither woman had ever worked for Bratt 
     or the Criminal Division. Both women socialized extensively 
     with Bratt during his visits to Moscow, but Bratt did not 
     have a professional relationship with them. We concluded that 
     the statement written on the referral form was false.
       We found that Bratt first visited Moscow in November 1996 
     during which he received a tour of various tourist sites from 
     a Russian interpreter. According to the interpreter, during 
     the tour she told Bratt that she also worked for a Russian 
     ``match-making'' agency. She said that in response, Bratt 
     told her he would like to meet a single Russian woman. The 
     interpreter contacted a business associate, Bolgak, who had a 
     friend who was single, Koreneva. Bratt met Koreneva and 
     Bolgak on his next trip to Moscow, in January 1997. On this 
     trip, as well as his later trips to Moscow, Bratt socialized 
     extensively with Koreneva and Bolgak, usually meeting them 
     for dinner or drinks.
       During the January trip, Bratt invited the women to come to 
     the United States to visit him. Koreneva told Bratt that she 
     had previously been denied a visa to visit the United

[[Page S8372]]

     States. Between the January trip and his next trip to Moscow 
     in March 1997, Bratt investigated how Russians could obtain 
     visas to visit the United States. He made inquiries of a 
     personal friend who worked for the State Department and also 
     of Cary Hoover, the Special Assistant to the ICITAP Director. 
     Bratt learned that Russians applied for visas at the 
     American Embassy in Moscow, that they were interviewed by 
     Embassy officials, and that the Embassy made a 
     determination as to whether the applicant would return to 
     Russia. Bratt also asked Hoover specifically for 
     information about the referral process.
       In March 1997 Bratt and Hoover returned to Moscow on 
     business. During this trip Bratt and Hoover met with an 
     unidentified Embassy official to learn more about the visa 
     process. The evidence showed that Bratt, Hoover, and the 
     Embassy official discussed the likelihood of Koreneva being 
     denied a visa. During the meeting Bratt told the official 
     that one or both of the women might work for the Department 
     of Justice in the future. We concluded that Bratt learned 
     through these various inquiries that Koreneva would likely be 
     denied a visa again if she used the standard application 
     process.
       Although Bratt and Lake deny it, the evidence showed that 
     Bratt returned to the Embassy again during this March trip, 
     this time accompanied by Lake who was also in Moscow, and met 
     with Donald Wells, the head of the Embassy office responsible 
     for issuing visas through the referral process. Bratt and 
     Lake told Wells that they wished to bring two women with whom 
     they had a professional relationship to the United States for 
     consultations. Wells told the men that the referral process 
     could only be used if there was a government interest in the 
     women's visit to the United States.
       We also learned that within a few days of the meeting with 
     Wells, Lake obtained a visa referral form from the Embassy. 
     The evidence showed that Lake called Bratt, who had returned 
     to the United States, to discuss the form. Lake submitted the 
     women's applications and the visa referral form containing 
     the false statement about the women having worked for the 
     Executive Officer to the Embassy. The visas were issued 
     shortly thereafter although they were never used by the 
     women. Although he initially falsely claimed to the OIG that 
     he was just friends with Koreneva, Bratt later admitted to 
     the OIG that he had an intimate relationship with her.
       We concluded that Bratt and Lake knowingly used the 
     referral process even though they were aware that it required 
     a government interest in the women's visit and that no such 
     government interest existed. We also found that Bratt's and 
     Lake's explanations of their conduct, as well as their 
     denials that certain events happened, were not credible. We 
     concluded that Bratt and Lake committed egregious misconduct.
     B. Security failures at ICITAP
       In April 1997 the Department of Justice Security and 
     Emergency Planning Staff (SEPS) received an allegation from 
     an OPDAT employee that Special Assistant to the ICITAP 
     Director Hoover had improperly given classified documents to 
     individuals who worked at ICITAP and who did not have 
     security clearances. SEPS and the OIG confirmed the 
     allegation. SEPS then conducted an unannounced, after-hours 
     sweep of the ICITAP offices on April 14, 1997, to further 
     assess ICITAP's compliance with security rules and 
     regulations. During that sweep and a follow-up review 
     conducted by the Criminal Division Security Staff, 156 
     classified documents were found unsecured in the office of 
     Joseph Trincellito, ICITAP Associate Director. The OIG and 
     SEPS conducted further investigation to determine the extent 
     of ICITAP's security problems and ICITAP management's 
     responsibility for the failures.
       The OIG found that the problems discovered in the 1997 
     security reviews had existed for many years. Evidence showed 
     that senior managers provided or attempted to provide 
     classified documents to uncleared consultants or other staff. 
     Staff, including senior managers, routinely left classified 
     documents unsecured on desks, including when individuals were 
     away from their offices on travel. Stromsem, Hoover, and 
     Trincellito improperly took classified documents home. Highly 
     classified documents containing Sensitive Compartmented 
     Information (SCI), or ``codeword'' information, were brought 
     to the ICITAP offices even though ICITAP did not have the 
     type of secure facility (a Sensitive Compartmented 
     Information Facility or ``SCIF'') required to store SCI. The 
     evidence showed that ICITAP inaccurately certified to United 
     States Embassies that individuals had security clearances 
     when they did not. We also found one instance where 
     classified information was sent over an unsecure e-mail 
     system.
       As an example of the inattention ICITAP managers gave to 
     security, we set forth the troubling history of ICITAP 
     Associate Director Trincellito's handling of classified 
     information. From 1995 through early 1997, ICITAP's security 
     officers repeatedly found classified documents left 
     unattended in Trincellito's office. The security officers 
     warned Trincellito that he was violating security rules, and 
     they also notified other ICITAP managers about the problem. 
     One security officer, after becoming aware of repeated 
     violations, documented the violations in writing and 
     recommended discipline for Trincellito. ICITAP Director 
     Stromsem on occasion spoke to Trincellito about his 
     violations and attempted to make it easier for him to 
     comply with rules by putting a safe in his office. 
     However, in the face of repeated violations indicating 
     that Trincellito refused to comply with security 
     regulations, Stromsem and other senior ICITAP managers 
     failed to take sufficient action, such as initiating 
     discipline, to ensure that Trincellito complied with 
     security regulations.
       We found that ICITAP managers' own violations of the 
     security rules, their tolerance of Trincellito's known 
     violations, and the removal of the security officers who 
     attempted to enforce the rules sent a message that security 
     was not important at ICITAP. We also found that the Criminal 
     Division did not adequately supervise ICITAP's security 
     program even though security reviews conducted by both SEPS 
     and the Criminal Division beginning in 1994 showed a pattern 
     of security violations.
       In this chapter we also discuss the security implications 
     raised by Bratt's involvement with Koreneva. Bratt held a 
     high-level security clearance and had access to highly 
     classified documents. We concluded that Bratt's intimate 
     involvement with a Russian citizen about whom he knew very 
     little, has invitation to her to visit the United States and 
     his office, his improper use of his government position to 
     obtain a visa for Koreneva and Bolgak, and his attempt to 
     conceal the true nature of the relationship left him 
     vulnerable to blackmail and represented a security concern.
       We found that the actions of another ICITAP employee who 
     was intimately involved with a Russian national also 
     represented a security concern.
     C. Business class travel
       We found that Bratt and other ICITAP and OPDAT manager 
     improperly flew business class when traveling to and from 
     Moscow in 1996 and 1997. Government and Department Travel 
     Regulations restrict the use of business class by government 
     travelers. Even in circumstances when business class may be 
     used, it must be authorized by the traveler's supervisor. We 
     found that Bratt instigated and approved a scheme to 
     improperly manipulate his flight schedules in order to 
     qualify for business class travel. We concluded that Bratt's 
     and the other managers' use of business class was not 
     authorized and violated the rules limiting the use of 
     business class travel.
       On one trip, in November 1996 Bratt, Lake, and Thomas Snow, 
     the Acting Director of OPDAT, traveled to Moscow and several 
     other European cities using business class on at least one 
     leg of the trip. Business class was arranged by the 
     Department's travel agency because the method used by the 
     airlines to calculate the cost of trips with several stops 
     made the use of business class less expensive than coach 
     class. However, we found that a weekend stop in Frankfurt, 
     Germany, violated the Travel Regulations and that the stop 
     should not have been used as a basis to obtain business class 
     accommodations. We also found that the Department's travel 
     agency had suggested an alternative itinerary for this trip 
     that would have saved the government substantial money but 
     that the itinerary was improperly rejected by Lake.
       On a second trip, in January 1997 Bratt and Hoover flew 
     business class to Moscow purportedly pursuant to the ``14-
     hour'' rule. If authorized by a supervisor, government 
     regulations permit travelers to fly business class when a 
     flight, including layovers to catch a connecting flight, is 
     longer than 14 hours. For this trip, Bratt requested that his 
     Executive Assistant determine whether the flight proposed by 
     the travel agency qualified for business class under the 14-
     hour rule. His Executive Assistant checked with three 
     different individuals and based on the information she 
     received, she told Bratt that he did not qualify for business 
     class because both legs of the flight took less than the 
     requisite time.
       Nonetheless, according to Bratt's Executive Assistant, 
     Bratt told her to ``do what you can to get me on business 
     class.'' As a result, Bratt's Executive Assistant arranged 
     with the Department's travel agency to lengthen Bratt's 
     flight for the purpose of obtaining a flight long enough to 
     qualify for business class travel. Even with the 
     manipulations, however, the flight from the United States to 
     Moscow was still less than 14 hours. We concluded that Bratt 
     and Hoover did not qualify for the use of business class and 
     that they were not authorized to use that class of service.
       In March 1997, on a third trip, Bratt, Hoover, and Stromsem 
     flew business class from Moscow to the United States even 
     though there were economy flights available that would have 
     fit the business needs of the travelers. Although Hoover and 
     Stromsem were originally scheduled to fly on an economy class 
     flight, Bratt directed that their flights be changed to avoid 
     the disparity between his subordinates traveling economy 
     while he traveled on business class. We held Bratt 
     accountable for all the excess costs of the March trip. On 
     his fourth trip, in June 1997 Bratt flew business class on 
     both legs of his trip to and from Moscow. Contemporaneous 
     documents show that the choice of flights for both of 
     these trips was dictated by Bratt's desire to use business 
     class rather than for business reasons. In one facsimile 
     to the travel agency concerning the June 1997 trip, 
     Bratt's Executive Assistant asked, ``Can you rebook him 
     [Bratt] with a slightly longer layover in Amsterdam. . . . 
     So that at least two extra hours is added onto the trip?

[[Page S8373]]

     . . . '' In addition, the travelers were not authorized to 
     travel on business class for either the March or June 
     trip.
       In sum, we found that Bratt pressured his staff to obtain 
     business class travel and approved a scheme to lengthen his 
     travel time solely for the purpose of obtaining flights that 
     would qualify for business class travel under the 14-hour 
     rule. We concluded that Bratt's manipulation of flight 
     schedules to qualify for business class travel violated the 
     Travel Regulations and was improper. The government spent at 
     least $13,459.56 more than it should have for these four 
     trips.
       We also found that the Justice Management Division (JMD), 
     which is responsible for auditing foreign travel vouchers, 
     did not question the use of business class travel by Bratt or 
     the other managers who accompanied him even when the lack of 
     authorization was apparent on the face of the travel 
     documents that the travelers submitted to be reimbursed for 
     their expenses.
       In this chapter we also detail a conversation between Bratt 
     and his Executive Assistant that led her to believe that 
     Bratt was coaching her how to answer OIG questions. Through a 
     series of rhetorical questions that falsely suggested that 
     Bratt was not involved in making decisions regarding his use 
     of business class, Bratt tried to shift to his Executive 
     Assistant the responsibility for the decisions leading to 
     Bratt's business class travel. Bratt also told her that she 
     should not report their conversation to anyone. For some time 
     after that conversation, Bratt continued to contact her 
     asking whether she had been interviewed by the OIG and what 
     she had said. Despite OIG requests to Bratt that he not 
     discuss the subject of our interviews with individuals other 
     than his attorney, we found that Bratt discussed topics that 
     were the subject of the investigation with individuals who 
     would be interviewed by the OIG. Bratt also called 
     individuals, such as the two Russian women for whom he had 
     improperly obtained visas, to alert them that the OIG would 
     be seeking to interview them.
     D. Failure to follow Travel Regulations
       During the course of the investigation, we found that 
     ICITAP, OPDAT, and Office of Administration managers violated 
     government Travel Regulations with respect to the use of 
     frequent flyer benefits. Government regulations state that 
     all frequent flyer miles accrued on government travel belong 
     to the government. Because airlines generally do not permit 
     government travelers to keep separate accounts for business 
     and personal travel, travelers may ``commingle'' miles earned 
     from business and personal travel in one account. However, 
     the Travel Regulations are explicit that it is the 
     responsibility of the traveler to keep records adequate to 
     verify that any benefits the traveler uses for personal 
     travel were accrued from personal travel.
       We found that between 1989 and 1998 Bratt used 380,000 
     miles for personal travel. Bratt told the OIG that while he 
     had no records to verify how many miles he had accrued from 
     his personal travel, he believed that he had collected at 
     least 150,000 miles from personal travel as well as miles 
     from the use of a personal credit card. Even giving Bratt the 
     benefit of his recollection, we concluded that Bratt 
     improperly used between 156,000 and 230,000 miles earned from 
     government travel for his personal benefit.
       We found that Hoover also used frequent flyer miles accrued 
     from government travel to purchase airline tickets and other 
     benefits for personal travel for himself and a family member. 
     Stromsem used miles accrued on government travel to upgrade 
     her class of travel in violation of government rules.
       The investigation revealed that managers violated other 
     Travel Regulations as well. Lake was inappropriately 
     reimbursed by the government for some of the travel expenses 
     associated with weekends that he spent in Frankfurt, Germany, 
     when he was on personal travel. In violation of the 
     regulations requiring a traveler's supervisor to authorize 
     travel and approve travel expenses, Bratt repeatedly either 
     authorized his own travel or had subordinates sign his travel 
     requests. Both Bratt and Stromsem routinely had subordinates 
     approve their travel expenses.
       We received an allegation that Stromsem took a business 
     trip to Lyons, France, as a pretext that allowed her to visit 
     her daughter who was in Tours, France. Although Stromsem 
     did not list a business purpose on her travel paperwork 
     for her stop in Lyons, we did not conclude that her trip 
     to Lyons was pretextual.
       We also received an allegation that Bratt's trips to Moscow 
     in 1997 were for the purpose of furthering his romantic 
     relationship with a Russian woman. We found that the lack of 
     advance planning for the trips, the fact that most of his 
     meetings in Moscow were with his own staff rather than 
     Russians, and his romantic relationship with a Russian woman 
     strongly suggested that the trips to Moscow were not 
     necessary or were unnecessarily extended for personal rather 
     than government reasons.
     E. Lake buyout
       On March 31, 1997, Lake retired from the federal government 
     after receiving $25,000 as part of a government-wide buyout 
     program (the Buyout Program) to encourage eligible federal 
     employees to retire. The following day Lake began working for 
     OPDAT as a consultant. Lake worked as a subcontractor to a 
     company that had been awarded a contract to provide various 
     support services to ICITAP. In May 1997 at Bratt's request, 
     Lake worked as a consultant to the Immigration and 
     Naturalization Service (INS) after Bratt was detailed there.
       The Buyout Program prohibited former federal employees from 
     returning to government service as either employees or as 
     contractors working under a ``personal services'' contract 
     for five years after their retirement. A personal services 
     contract is defined by federal regulations as ``a contract 
     that, by its express terms or as administered, makes the 
     contractor personnel appear, in effect, [to be] Government 
     employees.'' Violation of the prohibition requires repayment 
     of the incentive bonus.
       We found that while at OPDAT and INS after his retirement 
     Lake reported to and was supervised by Bratt, that Lake 
     supervised and gave directions to federal employees or other 
     contractors, that he used government equipment, and that 
     other staff were often unaware that Lake was not a federal 
     employee. The evidence showed that Lake essentially did the 
     same job as an OPDAT consultant that he had performed while a 
     government employee. We concluded that Lake worked at OPDAT 
     and the INS under a personal services contract in violation 
     of the Buyout Program requirements.
       The evidence showed that Lake planned for several months to 
     return to work for the Department as a consultant. Both Bratt 
     and Lake were warned by officials in JMD and the Criminal 
     Division Office of Administration that Lake's return as a 
     consultant could constitute a personal services contract. We 
     concluded that Bratt and Lake improperly failed to ensure 
     that Lake's work met the requirements of the Buyout Program.
       After allegations were raised in the media that Lake had 
     received Buyout money and then improperly returned to work 
     for the Department, Bratt asked JMD for an opinion as to 
     whether Lake should repay the Buyout bonus. A JMD official 
     concluded that Lake was not obligated to pay back the money 
     based upon a ``good faith'' exception to the rule requiring 
     repayment. We determined that there is no ``good faith'' 
     exception to the requirement that a person who violates the 
     Buyout Program prohibition against performing personal 
     services must repay the bonus. We also concluded that even if 
     a good faith exception existed in the law it would not apply 
     in this case as Lake was aware of the prohibition against 
     personal services and was warned that his return as a 
     consultant might constitute the performance of personal 
     services.
       We also found that JMD permitted Lake to work at INS 
     without a contract for several months. In addition, while JMD 
     issued a purchase order for Lake's INS work in July 1997, 
     senior JMD procurement officials later expressed concerns 
     that the purchase order that had been issued by their office 
     was a personal services contract. We also found that hiring 
     Lake as a subcontractor to a third party contractor added 
     unnecessary costs to the contract.
     F. Harris contract
       Jo Ann Harris was the Assistant Attorney General for the 
     Criminal Division from November 1993 until August 1995, when 
     she left the federal government. Under federal regulations, 
     Harris was barred from contracting with the government for 
     one year after her government service. In December 1996 
     Harris agreed to become an OPDAT consultant to organize, 
     moderate, and evaluate three conferences that OPDAT was 
     planning to hold at the International Law Enforcement Academy 
     (ILEA) in Budapest, Hungary, and to assist OPDAT in 
     developing curriculum for other OPDAT training programs. 
     The OIG investigated allegations that the award of this 
     contract to Harris violated ethical rules that prohibit 
     contracting with former government officials on a 
     preferential basis. We found that OPDAT's award of a 
     contract to Harris to develop curriculum for OPDAT 
     programs and the processes used to develop the contract, 
     to determine Harris' fee, and to modify her contract 
     raised the appearance of favoritism.
       In September 1996 Harris had discussions with Criminal 
     Division managers, including Bratt, about the possibility of 
     her assisting OPDAT as a consultant. In November 1996 Harris 
     discussed on the phone with Bratt specific projects that she 
     could work on such as the ILEA conferences and curriculum 
     development. At Bratt's direction, an OPDAT official called 
     Harris in early December 1996 and had a similar conversation 
     with Harris during which she reiterated her interest in 
     working on OPDAT projects. On December 12, 1996, Bratt, 
     Harris, and Lake met in Harris' former office at the 
     Department of Justice, and Harris agreed to Bratt's proposal 
     that she work as a consultant on OPDAT projects. The 
     Statement of Work, a contract document that set out the tasks 
     that OPDAT was seeking from a consultant, was issued on 
     January 23, 1997. The tasks included preparing for the ILEA 
     conferences, acting as the conference moderator, and 
     developing curricula for other OPDAT programs.
       Because no competition was involved in awarding Harris' 
     contract, we evaluated the propriety of OPDAT's award of her 
     contract under the rules pertaining to the award of sole-
     source contracts. Sole-source contracts, which do not require 
     the solicitation of competing bids, may be awarded when the 
     exigencies of time or the consultant's expertise justify the 
     waiver of the competitive process. We concluded that OPDAT 
     could have awarded a sole-source contract for her work on the 
     ILEA conference given her extensive experience and the short 
     time frame that existed

[[Page S8374]]

     to prepare for the conference. However, we concluded that 
     Bratt's decision to hire Harris to develop curricula for 
     OPDAT projects other than the ILEA conferences created the 
     appearance of favoritism. We also found that Bratt discussed 
     with Harris what projects she could perform and the Statement 
     of Work was written to fit those projects. We concluded that 
     the process OPDAT used to develop Harris' contract violated 
     the principle that the task to be accomplished should drive 
     the development of a contract rather than the desire to hire 
     a particular consultant.
       We disproved the allegation that Harris was paid $65,000 
     for eight days work. She was paid approximately $27,000 for 
     42 days work on two ILEA conferences. However, we found that 
     Harris' rate of pay was not the result of an ``arms length'' 
     negotiation. Harris told Bratt, her former subordinate, to 
     set the fee and to ``scrub it'' because she did not want to 
     read about the fee in the newspaper. She agreed to accept 
     $650 per day although her contract was later modified to 
     permit her to be paid based on an hourly rather than a daily 
     rate. We were unable to determine the basis for the $650 per 
     day fee or find any evidence that Bratt and Lake used any 
     comparable consultant fee arrangement as the basis for 
     setting Harris' rate. Evidence showed that the Department of 
     State, ICITAP, and OPDAT generally set the fees for their 
     consultants at a lower rate. We concluded that the lack of a 
     clear record setting forth the basis for the fee raised the 
     appearance that Harris was given preferential treatment by 
     her former subordinates.
       We also found that OPDAT hired Harris to perform work 
     outside the scope of the contract, which only authorized 
     services to ICITAP not OPDAT.
     G. Improper personnel practices
       The OIG received various allegations relating to ICITAP's 
     and OPDAT's hiring and management of personnel. The evidence 
     showed that ICIPAT and OPDAT managers misused contractor 
     personnel. Federal regulations prohibit contractor personnel 
     from directing federal employees or exercising managerial 
     oversight. Yet, ICITAP and OPDAT managers did not distinguish 
     between employees and contractor personnel and often failed 
     to identify personnel working for contractors as such. As a 
     result, ICITAP and OPDAT staff were often confused about 
     consultant's roles and the scope of their authority.
       We found that contractor personnel were used as managers. 
     For example, one of ICITAP's Deputy Directors was a 
     subcontractor employed by a contractor that provided a 
     variety of services to ICITAP. After ICITAP Director Stromsem 
     was advised by an administrative official that there were 
     limits to the authority of personnel employed by contractors, 
     Stromsem cautioned the Deputy Director about the limitations. 
     However, Stromsem did not notify other staff about the Deputy 
     Director's status as a subcontractor, and he remained in 
     the position of Deputy Director until he became a federal 
     employee six months later.
       We found other problems with the use of contractor 
     personnel including ICITAP's selection of particular 
     consultants to be hired by its service contractors. This left 
     ICITAP vulnerable to claims that it was violating the rules 
     restricting personal services contracts. The practice of 
     directing the hiring of consultants wasted money because 
     ICITAP was performing the administrative work associated with 
     hiring consultants at the same time that it was paying its 
     service contractors administrative fees. In addition, 
     consultants often began work before the Statement of Work was 
     issued to the prime contractor. This practice required the 
     paperwork to be backdated or ratified in order for the 
     consultant to be paid. We also found that consultants were 
     hired as federal employees and then made decisions affecting 
     their former contractor employer in violation of ethical 
     regulations. This practice was stopped by Mary Ellen Warlow, 
     who became the Coordinator for ICITAP and OPDAT in 1997 after 
     Bratt left for the INS.
       We investigated allegations that ICITAP managers engaged in 
     favoritism in the hiring of staff. Federal employees are 
     hired after a competitive process that begins with the public 
     issuance of a vacancy announcement that describes the 
     application process and sets forth the responsibilities and 
     other particulars of the position. Managers were alleged to 
     have engaged in ``preselection,'' that is, they decided whom 
     to hire before beginning the competitive selection process 
     required by federal regulations.
       The hiring of Jill Hogarty in particular raised complaints. 
     Hogarty was an attorney who worked as a bartender at Lulu's 
     New Orleans Cafe, an establishment located near the ICITAP 
     offices which was visited regularly by ICITAP Associate 
     Director Trincellito and other ICITAP staff. While visiting 
     Lulu's, Trincellito discussed ICITAP's work with Hogarty, and 
     eventually Trincellito invited Hogarty to consider working as 
     a consultant to ICITAP. Hogarty gave Trincellito her resume, 
     and Trincellito wrote the paperwork that resulted in her 
     being hired as an ICITAP consultant in September 1994. 
     According to Hogarty, while she was a consultant to ICITAP, 
     she dated Bratt for several months, from September 1995 to 
     December 1995. At that time Bratt had resumed his position as 
     Executive Officer but he retained authority to approve 
     personnel decisions at ICITAP. In November 1995, during the 
     time that Hogarty and Bratt were dating, Hogarty applied to 
     become a temporary federal employee at ICITAP. She was 
     selected by Trincellito for this position in December 1995.
       On January 5, 1997, Hogarty's employment status changed 
     once again, and she became a permanent federal employee. It 
     was this selection that raised the complaint about 
     preselection. The vacancy announcement of the position that 
     Hogarty obtained opened on November 1, 1996. An ICITAP 
     employee who held a term position told the OIG that while the 
     position was still open for applications, he was discussing 
     the announcement for the position with another employee when 
     Hogarty told them it was her position and that she had been 
     selected for it. The employee told the OIG that even though 
     he was interested in the position himself, he did not apply 
     for it because he believed Hogarty's statement that she had 
     already been selected.
       To investigate the allegation of preselection, we attempted 
     to determine which manager had selected Hogarty for the 
     position and the reason for the selection. The paperwork 
     listed Stromsem as the official requesting the recruitment. 
     The paperwork did not show who had made the selection, 
     however. All of ICITAP's top managers--Director Stromsem, 
     Associate Director Trincellito (who was also Hogarty's direct 
     supervisor), the ICITAP Deputy Directors, and Special 
     Assistant to the Director Hoover--denied having selected 
     Hogarty for the permanent position. Bratt also denied 
     selecting Hogarty.
       We found strong evidence that Bratt and Stromsem 
     preselected Hogarty. An e-mail from Bratt on October 8, 1996, 
     showed that Bratt authorized hiring Hogarty before the 
     vacancy announcement that opened the position for competition 
     was issued. We also learned from an ICITAP administrative 
     official that in October or November 1996, Stromsem asked the 
     official to determine how they could get Hogarty health 
     benefits, which Hogarty did not have at that time. The 
     administrative official said that he and Stromsem agreed to 
     create a ``term'' position vacancy for Hogarty, but that 
     instructions came back from Bratt through Stromsem to make 
     the position permanent. We concluded that Bratt and Stromsem 
     engaged in preselection in violation of federal regulations 
     governing personnel hiring.
       We investigated other allegations of favoritism, including 
     the hiring of a consultant who was the father of Stromem's 
     former husband's stepchildren. He was subsequently selected 
     by Stromsem to become an ICITAP term employee although his 
     qualifications for the position were questionable. He was 
     ultimately not hired for the term position because of the 
     intervention of Warlow when she became Coordinator. We 
     concluded that Stromsem's involvement with this hire gave 
     rise to the appearance of favoritism.
       The OIG also received numerous allegations that Bratt gave 
     favored treatment to a select group of Office of 
     Administration and ICITAP staff and that he dated 
     subordinates. Although we only conducted a limited 
     investigation into these allegations, we found that some of 
     the employees who socialized with Bratt received rapid career 
     advancement and that Bratt was often involved in the 
     promotions. We saw evidence that he dated staff in the Office 
     of Administration and ICITAP and that in one instance he 
     intervened to protect the salary of a subcontractor with whom 
     he had a social interest but who have been found unqualified 
     by Office of Administration staff for the position she held. 
     We concluded that Bratt's actions gave right to an appearance 
     of favoritism.
     H. Financial management
       In response to allegations that ICITAP's finances were 
     mismanaged, the OIG examined ICITAP's financial management 
     system. We found that until 1997 ICITAP could not account for 
     its expenditures. ICITAP did not receive sufficient 
     information from its contractors to permit it to track 
     whether it received the goods and services for which it had 
     paid. This led to significant problems in 1997 when the State 
     Department, which was funding ICITAP's programs, asked for 
     detailed information on how the money for programs in the 
     Newly Independent States had been spent. ICITAP spent several 
     months trying to provide an acceptable answer to the State 
     Department's request and only succeeded by the use of 
     estimates and extrapolations from the financial information 
     ICITAP did collect. Although the OIG had advised ICITAP in 
     its 1994 report following an earlier investigation into 
     ICITAP's financial management system that ICITAP needed to 
     collect more detailed information from its contractors, the 
     problem was not remedied until after the State Department 
     requested detailed financial information in 1997.
       We found that ICITAP did not pay sufficient attention to 
     the services its contractors provided and left itself 
     vulnerable to overcharges. In one instance, a contractor 
     notified ICITAP that it was unilaterally raising one of its 
     fees, an action not permitted by the contract. Despite this 
     notice, ICITAP did nothing for two years until a JMD 
     contracting officer noticed the overcharge. Subsequent 
     negotiations with the contractor resulted in reimbursement to 
     ICITAP of some of the money.
       Office of Administration managers hired staff for the 
     Criminal Division by using contractor personnel for jobs that 
     were outside the scope of the contract under which they 
     worked. In 1991 the Criminal Division awarded a contract to 
     provide computer support

[[Page S8375]]

     services and in 1996 the Criminal Division awarded the same 
     contractor a second contract for computer support services. 
     The contractor provided employees to work in Criminal 
     Division's correspondence units performing tasks such as 
     reading and responding to correspondence. This work was 
     outside the scope of the first contract, which only 
     authorized computer support services. The contractor also 
     provided employees who worked as writers, planned 
     conferences, published reports, and organized parties. The 
     services of these personnel were outside the scope of both 
     contracts.
       We also found that Criminal Division managers failed to 
     adequately supervise the contract and the contractor charged 
     the government for the services of personnel who were 
     unqualified under the terms of the contract. The contract set 
     out very specific labor categories, such as Senior Programmer 
     Analyst, and set forth the tasks to be accomplished and the 
     qualifications for each labor category. We found problems 
     with 25 of 56 of the contractor's personnel under the first 
     contract and problems with 19 of 54 of the contractor's 
     personnel under the second contract. We concluded that the 
     minimum the contractor overcharged the government was 
     $1,164,702.01.
       The OIG received an allegation that ICITAP had spent 
     substantial sums of money on an automated management 
     information system (IMIS) that did not function properly. Our 
     investigation showed that the development of IMIS was 
     difficult, that users were unhappy with the product, and that 
     a system designed to replace IMIS could not be completed by 
     the contractor. We concluded that managers did not adequately 
     analyze ICITAP's needs in the initial stages of development, 
     and consequently IMIS was constantly being upgraded and 
     modified leading to new problems. Also, the decision to use 
     floppy disks to transfer information from the field to 
     headquarters rather than develop a network capacity that 
     could be utilized by all users led to significant problems, 
     such as that the data from floppy disks was often out of date 
     or could not be accessed once it was received at 
     headquarters. IMIS and the attempt to develop the 
     replacement system ultimately cost more than one million 
     dollars. We did not investigate to determine how much 
     money might have been saved had IMIS been better planned.
       ICITAP's lack of planning also led to a substantial cost 
     overrun of the translation budget for the first ILEA 
     conference. A hypothetical transnational crime and the 
     statutes of various countries were translated for the 
     conference. The budget for translations was $16,000; the 
     ultimate cost was $128,258. Lake delegated much of the 
     responsibility for coordinating the ILEA conference to his 
     assistant, who worked for a contractor. Lake's assistant 
     ordered large amounts of material to be translated on an 
     expedited basis without adequately determining the cost of 
     the translations. The assistant failed to research whether 
     some of the material was already translated and ordered some 
     of the material on a costly expedited basis when it was 
     unnecessary to do so. We concluded that Lake delegated 
     responsibility to someone who was not qualified to manage the 
     task and then failed to adequately supervise her.
       We examined whether ICITAP could account for the goods it 
     ordered for use in Haiti by selecting 131 expensive items to 
     track. The investigation showed that the contractor 
     responsible for providing goods and services to ICITAP in 
     Haiti had in place an effective inventory control system and 
     that ICITAP could account for all but one of the selected 
     items.
     I. Miscellaneous allegations
       In this chapter we summarize the results of our 
     investigation of additional allegations, most of which we did 
     not substantiate.
       We found that Bratt directed that Criminal Division excess 
     computers be sent to a school associated with a girlfriend, 
     and Deputy Executive Officer Sandra Bright initiated and 
     pursued the donation of computers to a school associated with 
     her husband. In 1996 Bratt directed that 35 computers be sent 
     to an elementary school in Virginia where his then girlfriend 
     was employed as a teacher. On one occasion in 1996 Bright 
     directed that 25 computers be sent to the school district in 
     Virginia where her husband was employed as a principal and on 
     another occasion in 1996 Bright directed that 30 computers be 
     sent to the school at which her husband was employed. We 
     concluded that Bratt's and Bright's actions created the 
     appearance of favoritism.
       We did not substantiate an allegation that Robert Lockwood 
     was awarded an OPDAT grant because of his alleged association 
     with Attorney General Janet Reno. The American-Israeli 
     Russian Committee that Lockwood directed received a $17,000 
     grant from OPDAT in 1997. At the time, Lockwood was the Clerk 
     of Courts of Broward County, Florida, and was acquainted with 
     the Attorney General, although not closely so. We determined 
     that the Attorney General received a phone call from Lockwood 
     in 1997 but that they only discussed Lockwood's organization 
     and its mission; he did not seek any funding from her. 
     Lockwood became involved with OPDAT through the OPDAT 
     Resident Legal Advisor in Moscow. We did not find evidence 
     that the Attorney General encouraged anyone to award a grant 
     to Lockwood's Committee or that she knew that an award had 
     been made. We also did not find any evidence that the 
     Attorney General or anyone from her office took any action 
     after Lockwood's grant was not renewed the following year.
       The remainder of the chapter discusses allegations that we 
     failed to substantiate concerning personnel issues, financial 
     matters, allegations of retaliation, and other issues.


                  iii. recommendations and conclusions

       In this chapter of the report, we offer a series of 
     recommendations to the Department, including that certain 
     employees receive discipline and that the Department seek 
     compensation from employees who improperly received money or 
     benefits from the Department. We also made nine 
     recommendations concerning systemic improvements in the areas 
     of travel, ethics, and training.
       Bratt retired from the Department effective August 1, 2000, 
     and is not subject to discipline. We recommended that the 
     Department recover the costs of his improper use of business 
     class travel and his improper use of frequent flyer miles.
       Lake is also not employed by the Department any longer and 
     is not subject to discipline. We recommended that the 
     Department recover the $25,000 Buyout bonus and the cost of 
     travel expenses that Lake improperly charged the government, 
     including costs associated with the November 1996 trip to 
     Moscow.
       We found that Stromsem violated security regulations, 
     improperly used frequent flyer miles accrued on government 
     travel for personal benefit, and was involved in the 
     preselection of Hogarty in violation of personnel 
     regulations. We concluded that Stromsem's conduct warrants 
     the imposition of discipline. We also recommended that the 
     Department recover the costs of Stromsem's improper use of 
     frequent flyer miles.
       We found that Hoover violated security regulations by 
     disclosing classified information to uncleared parties and by 
     removing classified documents to his home. We also found that 
     he improperly traveled on business class on a flight to 
     Moscow in January 1997 and that he improperly used frequent 
     flyer miles accrued on government travel for his personal 
     benefit. We concluded that Hoover's conduct warrants the 
     imposition of discipline. We also recommended that the 
     Department recover the costs of Hoover's improper use of 
     business class travel and frequent flyer miles.
       We concluded that Trincellito's repeated failure to observe 
     fundamental security practices and his continued resistance 
     to the advice and warnings of ICITAP's security officers 
     warrants the imposition of discipline.
       We also recommended that SEPS and other agencies 
     responsible for issuing security clearances carefully 
     consider the findings and conclusions set forth in this 
     report before issuing a security clearance to the individuals 
     most involved in the security breaches. In addition, we made 
     non-disciplinary recommendations with respect to two other 
     individuals.
       During the course of the investigation, we observed various 
     systemic issues, and we suggested improvements for the 
     Department to consider relating to oversight of ICITAP and 
     OPDAT, security, investigative follow-up, travel, training, 
     performance evaluations, and early retirement programs. For 
     example, we recommended that the Department monitor ICITAP's 
     compliance with security regulations by continuing to perform 
     periodic unannounced security reviews.
       Because many of the travel violations that we found were 
     apparent on the face of the travel forms, we recommended that 
     the Department review the process JMD uses to audit travel 
     vouchers. We believe the Department should offer increased 
     training on travel regulations to employees and secretarial 
     or clerical staff who process travel-related paperwork. And 
     we offered suggestions designed to increase Department 
     employees' use of frequent flyer miles for government travel 
     and to decrease the incidents of improper use.
       We recommended that increased attention be given to the 
     recommendations and lessons learned from investigations. We 
     found that despite numerous investigations of ICITAP, the 
     same problems continued to surface and that managers failed 
     to act on investigative recommendations. Management must take 
     increased responsibility for ensuring that the results of 
     investigations are appropriately considered and addressed.

                          ____________________





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