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As of April 7, 2020, there are 4984 open recommendations, of which 369 are priority recommendations. Recommendations remain open until they are designated as Closed-implemented or Closed-not implemented.
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Recommendation: To improve transparency and better ensure that face recognition capabilities are being used in accordance with privacy protection laws and policy requirements, the Attorney General should assess the SORN development process to determine why a SORN was not published that addressed the collection and maintenance of photos accessed and used through NGI for the FBI's face recognition capabilities prior to using NGI-IPS, and implement corrective actions to ensure SORNs are published before systems become operational.
Agency: Department of Justice Status: Open Priority recommendation
Comments: DOJ agreed, in part, with our recommendation and submitted the SORN for publication to the Federal Register on April 21, 2016, and it was published on May 5, 2016. In June 2019, DOJ officials told us that they had recently applied the pilot program for expediting the PIA review process to the way that DOJ develops and reviews SORNs. DOJ subsequently documented in its July 2019 memorandum for the record the requirement that the DOJ Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties (OPCL) is to provide comments or approval within 30 days of the FBI submitting a draft SORN to DOJ OPCL for review. The memorandum also outlines a more direct and expedient process for resolving feedback and finalizing drafts. Further, the memorandum provides that after DOJ approves an FBI SORN, it will begin the formal publication process, in accordance with the law and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) policy. DOJ officials told us that the intent of the July 2019 memorandum was to make changes to the current process that would permit DOJ to more efficiently and effectively facilitate all aspects of SORN development within its purview prior to submission to OMB. DOJ and FBI officials stated that it is their goal to consistently publish SORNs before a system's implementation. In follow-up with DOJ in December 2019, DOJ stated that it may have sufficient data to demonstrate the effect of these changes in the spring of 2020. We believe that DOJ's efforts to begin establishing a more streamlined review process for SORNs is a positive step and continue to monitor this recent pilot to determine whether these efforts help ensure SORNs are published before systems become operational.
Recommendation: To better ensure that face recognition systems are sufficiently accurate, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation should conduct an operational review of NGI-IPS at least annually that includes an assessment of the accuracy of face recognition searches to determine if it is meeting federal, state, and local law enforcement needs and take actions, as necessary, to improve the system.
Agency: Department of Justice: Federal Bureau of Investigation Status: Open Priority recommendation
Comments: In July 2019, the FBI reported that it has designed a Face Recognition Test Strategy for Operational Analysis with the objective of being able to perform an annual operational review of NGI-IPS. The FBI plans to develop and test the operational review in fiscal year 2020. As a first step, in January 2020, FBI officials told us that they had developed a tool to benchmark whether the FBI face recognition system returns the expected photos in the FBI's operational environment and were in the process of testing it. To fully implement this recommendation, the FBI should conduct operational reviews at least annually to assess the accuracy of face recognition searches on NGI-IPS.