Referral of Federal Criminal Cases to Local Law Enforcement Agencies

GGD-86-18: Published: Nov 19, 1985. Publicly Released: Nov 19, 1985.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed whether: (1) state and local law enforcement officials have been overburdened with federally referred criminal cases; and (2) meritorious cases were going unprosecuted.

GAO found that: (1) federal agencies did not compile data on the number of criminal complaints, matters, or cases they referred to state and local authorities; (2) data on federal investigative and prosecutive workloads and case dispositions were incomplete and insufficient; (3) agency officials felt that considerable time and resources would be required to compile available data and develop estimates of federal referrals; (4) 17 out of 20 state and local agency officials said that their agencies have not had much, if any, problem in handling criminal case referrals; and (5) there was insufficient evidence to infer that meritorious cases were not being prosecuted.

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