Defense Procurement Fraud:

Justice's Overall Management Can Be Enhanced

GGD-88-96: Published: Jun 29, 1988. Publicly Released: Jul 6, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the Department of Justice's (DOJ) overall management of its defense procurement fraud investigations.

GAO found that DOJ: (1) lacked complete and timely information about case referrals and case status, since investigating agencies and DOJ attorneys frequently failed to report such data to its Fraud and Corruption Tracking (FACT) System; (2) did not gather information about the number of attorneys involved in defense procurement fraud investigations and prosecutions; (3) stated that it needed more staff for such investigations and prosecutions but lacked a case-weighting system that could help it assess and justify additional resource requirements; and (4) lacked written management plans outlining its efforts in this area. GAO also found that: (1) turnover among attorneys and support staff had an adverse impact on investigations; (2) DOJ provided adequate, timely guidance to investigating attorneys on an as-needed basis; (3) DOJ case monitoring procedures varied according to each case's importance and sensitivity; (4) DOJ did not maintain written records of staff assignments or time commitments to specific cases; and (5) attorneys did not develop general or specific written investigation plans.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Justice Criminal Division fully implemented the FACT system upgrades as of the first week in April 1990. It distributed the forms needed to input the data to all users.

    Recommendation: The Attorney General should reassess the operation of the FACT system with regard to defense procurement fraud to determine what needs to be done to ensure that an interagency tracking system is in place that will provide complete, accurate, and timely information on fraud referrals and cases.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: This recommendation is included as part of broader GAO recommendations that Justice determine the amount of U.S. Attorney resources spent to prosecute various types of cases. EOUSA is developing measures of case complexity.

    Recommendation: The Attorney General should develop a means for determining the amount of attorney resources being spent on defense procurement fraud and pursue the development of a case-weighting system.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Department has determined that formal written management plans are not practical. The Department does not believe that such plans would significantly improve law enforcement efforts in the defense procurement fraud area. GAO continues to believe such plans are needed.

    Recommendation: The Attorney General should select those U.S. attorney offices that investigate a large number of defense procurement fraud referrals and then direct these offices and the Criminal Division to prepare written management plans and update them periodically to assess progress.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice


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