FBI Can Improve Its Management Control Over Operations by Providing Effective Internal Audit

GGD-78-93: Published: Jan 17, 1979. Publicly Released: Jan 22, 1979.

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Deficiencies in management controls by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been corrected but have not achieved all their potential benefits because of the lack of strong internal audit function. These problems are exaggerated regarding the FBI because of the sensitive nature of the agency's work.

In 1972 and 1976, the FBI made major organizational changes which improved its management controls. Prior to 1972, the FBI relied on periodic inspections by teams of agents. These inspections were not independent, unbiased, probing, or skeptical. Questions were never asked about the justification for actions taken, but only about methods used. The FBI established the Office of Planning and Evaluation in 1972 to address some of the issues hitherto uncovered, and in 1976, took further steps to improve internal management with the combination of the Inspection Division, the Office of Planning and Evaluation, and the new Office of Professional Responsibility within a single division reporting to the Director firsthand. Some of the original problems remain uncorrected, however; the inspection staff is still composed of agents, internal auditors are not professionally qualified, major investigative or priority programs have not been reviewed, most efforts are still devoted to inspections, and internal auditing needs have not been adequately assessed.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The FBI should improve the qualifications and stability of its internal audit staff, review priority programs in depth, and shift the emphasis of its inspection process from administration to investigative programs. Audit plans and programs should be developed for reviewing FBI activities, to include emphasis on major programs as gauged by priority, funding, staffing levels, newness of activity, sensitivity, or the results of prior audits or inspections. Finally, the FBI should coordinate its reviews in progress with the internal audit staff of the Department of Justice.

    Agency Affected:


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