DOJ OIG Audit: FBI's Management of Confidential Case Funds and Telecommunication Costs

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on January 10, 2008

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Management of Confidential Case Funds and Telecommunication Costs, Audit Report 08-03, January 2008, For Public Release.

  • “Summary of Findings: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducts undercover activities as part of its mission to detect and deter terrorist attacks and foreign intelligence threats and to enforce the laws of the United States. The FBI uses confidential funds to support its undercover activities. By using these funds, the FBI is able to conceal its role and identity from criminals, vendors, or the public. However, the way FBI field divisions currently handle confidential funds presents special challenges and creates potential vulnerabilities for theft. The Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (OIG) recently concluded a criminal investigation into allegations that an FBI employee stole FBI confidential case funds…As part of our audit, we analyzed 990 telecommunication surveillance payments made by 5 field divisions and found that over half of these payments were not made on time. We also found that late payments have resulted in telecommunications carriers actually disconnecting phone lines established to deliver surveillance results to the FBI, resulting in lost evidence including an instance where delivery of intercept information required by a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) order was halted due to untimely payment. The FBI’s Financial Management System (FMS) lacks the controls necessary to prevent theft and, as such, is not an effective financial system for FBI employees to use to account for and approve confidential case funds.”
  • Response to Inspector General Audit of FBI Management of Confidential Case Funds and Telecommunications Costs, January 10, 2008: FBI Assistant Director John Miller…”While in a few instances, late payment of telephone bills resulted in interruptions of the timely delivery of surveillance results, these interruptions were temporary, and in our assessment, none of those cases were significantly affected.”
  • Related postings on domestic surveillance program
  • Additional articles via Wired – Point, Click…Eavesdrop: How the FBI Wiretap Net Operates and FBI E-Mail Shows Rift Over Warrantless Phone Records Grab
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