Glenn A. Fine
Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice
House Committee on the Budget
"Reducing Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Government Programs"
July 9, 2003
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The Department spends over $4 billion annually on contracts for building construction; information technology; and professional, administrative, and management support services. In addition, in fiscal year (FY) 2002 the Department spent an additional $1 billion on intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) with state and local governments to house immigration detainees and individuals awaiting federal criminal proceedings. Our audits of these IGAs have disclosed significant over-billing of the Department for detention services. For example:
In June 2001, we issued an audit of an IGA for detention space with York County, Pennsylvania. The audit revealed that in FY 2000 York County overcharged the Department in excess of $6 million due to York County's understatement of its average daily population, a key figure used to determine reimbursement from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). In addition, we found that the Department could realize annual savings of approximately $6.4 million if York County used the daily rate determined by our audit.
Our audit of the IGA between the INS and the DeKalb County, Georgia, Sheriff's Office revealed that the county included $13.4 million of operating costs that were unallowable, unallocable, or unsupported; understated its average total inmate population by more than 29 percent; and over-billed the INS $5.7 million in FY 2000.
We examined an IGA involving the Government of Guam's detention of INS and U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) detainees and found that for FY 1999-2000 the Department overpaid Guam more than $3.6 million based on the actual allowable costs and the average daily population. In addition, the OIG found that the Department could realize annual savings of $3.3 million by using the OIG's audited rate for future payments.
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Over the years, the OIG has audited a variety of OJP grant programs, several of which we describe below.
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.
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As of March 1, 2003, the INS transferred from the Department of Justice to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Since March 1, oversight of immigration-related programs and personnel is the responsibility of the DHS OIG.