FBI Audit Conclusions on the Criminal Informant Program Should Have Been Qualified

GGD-80-37: Published: Mar 13, 1980. Publicly Released: Mar 24, 1980.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO assessed the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) internal audit of its criminal informant program. Also included was an outline of the type of audit GAO had planned but was unable to conduct.

GAO found that, with certain qualifications, the FBI compliance audit report accurately represented the status of the criminal informant program at the time of the audit. However, because the FBI would not permit GAO to examine criminal informant files, it could not verify all of the information presented. GAO recognized that, because of the sensitive nature of the program, the problems it identified would be difficult to overcome. However, more qualified conclusions in view of the limitations of the review methodology would have provided a better assessment of FBI compliance with its regulations and guidelines on the use of informants.

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