Department of Justice Making Efforts To Improve Litigative Management Systems

GGD-79-80: Published: Sep 4, 1979. Publicly Released: Sep 4, 1979.

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The Department of Justice often cannot provide answers to requests made by congressional committees for specific details on the magnitude of a particular problem or the level of Justice's efforts. Past audits made by GAO have noted the absence of available data supporting budget requests or data by which to measure, track, and evaluate litigation efforts. An internal Justice study of litigation management bore out the validity of these concerns. GAO was requested to make an assessment of the Justice management information systems in the Civil, Civil Rights, Criminal, and Tax Divisions, and in the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys.

The lack of summary information has resulted because Justice does not have information systems that detail how staff resources are used or provide readily retrievable data on the many thousands of cases and matters handled. In an effort to establish management information systems, Justice has committed about $1 million on active projects in the last 2 years. Litigative groups have recently implemented, or are planning to implement, staff time reporting and automated case management information systems. The information systems implemented or under development, however, vary in format and level of detail. Thus, uniform data on litigation activities will not result among the Justice divisions.

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