Inspector General Reports

The rare people in government who actually want you to read their documents.

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The inspectors general are one of the most important oversight mechanisms in the federal government. BUT they write incredibly boring reports, with even more boring titles.

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21 Articles

Justice Department releases damning audit of CoreCivic’s Leavenworth Detention Center

A report released by the Department of Justice yesterday details an assortment of concerns with wider implications for prisons that contract with the U.S. Marshals Service nationwide.

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Bribery allegations in Afghanistan no small worry among big U.S. reconstruction spending

After 15 years and $110 billion, the scorecard of successes for U.S. reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan has tallied yet another loss. A second sergeant was recently sentenced in connection with a bribery and money laundering scandal involving over $30 million in contract awards at the Humanitarian Air Yard at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. The story caught just a blip of coverage, but it offers a sense of the troubles that continue to face American efforts.

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Veterans Benefits Administration executives abused incentive programs, bullied subordinates

Senior executives within the Veterans Benefits Administration misused incentive programs to benefit themselves, an Inspector General report shows. Two officials went so far as to pressure subordinates into accepting unfavorable transfers to create vacancies for themselves.

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Military drone manufacturer accused of “pattern of misconduct”

A breach-of-contract squabble has spiraled into broader allegations of misconduct against a drone manufacturer with millions in US military contracts. A motion filed last week in Florida civil court claims that Prioria Robotics misrepresented specs for its flagship “microdrone,” and also sold refurbished units to the Army as if they were new.

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Lack of winter gear latest in long list of Afghanistan woes

Despite billions spent on failed reconstruction projects, military personnel and national police officers in Afghanistan face a dire shortage of coats and other winter gear, according to a letter of initial findings published last week by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).

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FBI struggles to recruit private sector partners on cybersecurity

Even as hacks like the tawdry Ashley Madison affair demonstrate how vulnerable cyber infrastructure can be to attack, the FBI is finding it difficult to convince companies to share details of security breaches. An audit report released last month by the Justice Department’s inspector general found that the private sector lacks confidence that the FBI will strike the appropriate balance between national security and customer privacy.

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Justice Department Inspector General fighting for access to federal documents

An effective audit should be a strip search, not a cautious patdown. But federal agencies — including the FBI and other law enforcement groups — have begun to argue that they have the legal authority to declare certain records off-limits, even to inspectors general charged with detecting waste, fraud and abuse.

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Army contractor let drones go missing in Afghanistan for 8 months

An Army contractor lost track of at least four surveillance drone systems during the Afghanistan drawdown, a recent audit report uncovered. Sloppy paperwork allowed the drones, worth $500k apiece, to fall through bureaucratic cracks.

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You spent more time reading this title than the DEA spent vetting its confidential informants

A scathing audit released yesterday by the Justice Department’s inspector general lists a slew of issues with the DEA’s management of confidential sources. Auditors found that DEA brass reauthorized long-term informants after mere seconds of review, and that the agency has weak oversight for illegal activity conducted by undercover sources.

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Homeland Security admits border drone goals were “unattainable”

Initial goals for border drones were “unattainable”, the senior aviation official for Homeland Security told a congressional committee on Tuesday. Responding to ongoing pressure from auditors, DHS acknowledged that it must provide hard evidence that drones are the most efficient tool for border security.

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Report finds Pentagon plagued by sweeping cybersecurity vulnerabilities

In 2013, the Pentagon’s inspector general determined that military information systems were vulnerable to compromise. The newly-released report found that the Defense Information Systems Agency failed to address many vulnerabilities due to outdated risk-monitoring procedures.

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Nipped in the bud: Afghanistan reconstruction agency facing crippling staffing cuts

Amidst bad data and abundant opium, threats of SIGAR staffing cuts challenge the promise of women’s programs and reconstruction efforts.

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As US Marshals director resigns amid scandal, questions mount over agency’s cell phone tracking

This week, the director of the US Marshals, Stacia Hylton, announced that she will step down within the year. Director Hylton’s resignation follows increased scrutiny regarding allegations of fiscal mismanagement, cronyism and dubious surveillance practices - especially concerning the infamous Stingray cell phone trackers.

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Texts - and sexts - go unarchived at the Justice Department

As do private citizens, some ATF and DEA agents use their smartphones to sext each other. But we must hazard a guess as to the size of the issue, according to a recent inspector general report.

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FBI’s super-secretive drone program is run by two people

A report released this morning by the Justice Department’s inspector general highlighted “significant challenges” facing the FBI’s drone program. In particular, the report pointed to the skeleton crew of just two pilots authorized to fly FBI drones, both of whom are based out of the same office.

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North Carolina’s 1033 program data is clearly public, says state Attorney General

The North Carolina Attorney General has spoken: the state must, in fact, release data detailing which police departments received excess military equipment. The ruling reverses the position taken by state public safety officials that disclosing this information would be akin to publishing a blueprint for scofflaws.

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Air Force can’t justify $9 billion budget for Reaper drones

Ask how many MQ-9 Reaper drones the US needs for pilot training, and the Air Force budget hawks charged with making that call have an exact figure at the ready: 52 unmanned aircraft, each at a sticker price north of $10 million and total operating cost upwards of $100 million over its lifetime. What sort of analysis did they preform to get at this specific number? According to recently released audit, none.

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How 843 lbs of seized pot led to Customs and Border Protection’s $360 million drone program

The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection piloted its first drone along the Arizona-Mexico border in the summer of 2004. This Monday, over ten years after it’s initial launch, Department of Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth went on C-SPAN to lay out the reasons he considers CBP drones “dubious achievers” despite more than $60 million per year in annual funding. Here’s what happened in-between.

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US Marshals Service spent millions on “swag”

Last November, the Justice Department’s inspector general released a report condemning a division of the US Marshals Service for spending nearly $800,000 on promotional items, otherwise known as “swag.” We now have full, itemized list of the USMS’ “swag” expenditures, and it’s nearly $2 million dollars in tchotchkes.

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Report finds Air Force retaliated against whistleblower by revoking clearance

It appears some Air Force brass wish their subordinates would fly a little farther under the radar, especially when airing their office’s dirty laundry.

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Inspector found Afghan goat giveaway “lacked accountability”

Government investigators looking for fraud in Afghanistan reconstruction efforts have chased leads ranging from military officers soliciting bribes to contractors using shoddy materials, but one investigation of possible abuse stands out: Documents provided by the little-known Special Inspector General for Afganistan Reconstruction show concerns about nearly non-existent oversight for a program that paired impoverished Afghans with goats.

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