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Open Recommendations

Immigrant Investor Program: Opportunities Exist to Improve Fraud and National Security Risk Monitoring

GAO-23-106452
Mar 28, 2023
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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services The Director of USCIS should systematically collect and track data on the types and characteristics of EB-5 program fraud. (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services The Director of USCIS should develop and implement a process to collect and assess data on reasons for EB-5 petition and application denials and Regional Center terminations, including whether fraud or national security was a factor in the action. (Recommendation 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Federal Prisons: Bureau of Prisons Should Improve Efforts to Implement its Risk and Needs Assessment System

GAO-23-105139
Mar 20, 2023
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8 Open Recommendations
5 Priority
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Bureau of Prisons The Director of BOP should collect and maintain complete and accurate data in a readily-available format on First Step Act risk and needs assessments, including the actual dates when First Step Act risk and needs assessments and reassessments are conducted. (Recommendation 1)
Open
In March 2023, we reported that BOP does not have readily-available, complete, and accurate data to determine if risk and needs assessments were conducted within the First Step Act required and BOP established timeframes. We recommended that BOP collect and maintain such data and BOP concurred. BOP stated it will continue its ongoing efforts to ensure that its current technology collects and maintains complete and accurate data on risk and needs assessments, including dates these assessments are conducted, in a readily available format. We will continue to monitor BOP's efforts to address this recommendation.
Bureau of Prisons The Director of BOP should ensure that the monitoring efforts it implements can determine if BOP is conducting risk and needs assessments in accordance with First Step Act required and BOP internal timeframes. (Recommendation 2)
Open
In March 2023, we reported that BOP's monitoring efforts have not included whether it completed risk and needs assessments according to First Step Act required and internal timeframes. Further, we reported that BOP has not confirmed if its planned efforts will measure whether assessments are completed on time. We recommended that BOP ensure that the monitoring efforts it implements can determine if BOP is conducting risk and needs assessments in accordance with First Step Act required and BOP internal timeframes. BOP concurred with this recommendation. BOP stated it will continue its ongoing efforts to ensure that its current monitoring efforts can determine whether risk and needs assessments are conducted in accordance with the First Step Act and BOP internal timeframes. We will continue to monitor BOP's efforts to address this recommendation.
Bureau of Prisons
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Director of BOP should use and document the results of its ongoing monitoring of the frequency at which it conducts risk and needs assessments, and take appropriate corrective actions, as needed. (Recommendation 3)
Open
In March 2023, we reported that BOP may not have any results from its monitoring efforts of its risk and needs assessments that it could utilize and document on whether it is conducting risk and needs assessments on time. To help address this issue, we recommended that BOP use and document the results of its ongoing monitoring of the frequency at which it conducts risk and needs assessments, and take appropriate corrective actions, as needed. BOP concurred with this recommendation. In response to our report, in February 2023, BOP stated it will continue its ongoing efforts to use and document the results of monitoring the frequency of risk and needs assessments and take appropriate corrective actions as needed, to ensure these assessments are conducted within the statutorily required timeframes. In addition, BOP stated it is contracting for a quality assurance audit to verify it is conducting risk and needs assessments within the First Step Act of 2018 (First Step Act) required timeframes. If implemented effectively, these actions would better position BOP to ensure it is conducting assessments in accordance with the First Step Act requirements, and take corrective actions, as needed. We will continue to monitor BOP's efforts to address this recommendation.
Bureau of Prisons
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Director of BOP should ensure its plan for evaluating evidence-based recidivism reduction programs has pre-established, quantifiable goals that align with the First Step Act, and includes clear milestone dates. (Recommendation 4)
Open
In March 2023, we reported that BOP's evaluation plan for its evidence-based recidivism reduction programs does not include specific details on pre-established, quantifiable goals or clear milestone dates for the evaluation of most of its programs. To help address this issue, we recommended that BOP should ensure its plan for evaluating evidence-based recidivism reduction programs has pre-established, quantifiable goals that align with the First Step Act, and includes clear milestone dates. BOP concurred with this recommendation. In response to our report, in February 2023, BOP stated its milestones will be finalized as BOP learns to gauge its capacity. We will continue to monitor BOP's efforts to address this recommendation.
Bureau of Prisons The Director of BOP should evaluate its evidence-based recidivism reduction programs, according to the plan established. (Recommendation 5)
Open
In March 2023, we reported that BOP missed dates it previously set to conduct evaluations. To help address this issue, we recommended that BOP evaluate its evidence-based recidivism reduction programs, according to the plan established. BOP concurred with this recommendation. In response to our report, in February 2023, BOP stated the milestones for its plan will be finalized as BOP learns to gauge its capacity and that it has 14 evaluations underway. We will continue to monitor BOP's efforts to address this recommendation.
Bureau of Prisons
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Director of BOP should develop a mechanism to monitor, on an ongoing basis, if it is offering a sufficient amount of evidence-based recidivism reduction programs and productive activities to meet the needs of its incarcerated population. (Recommendation 6)
Open
In March 2023, we reported that BOP does not have a mechanism to monitor, on an ongoing basis, if it is offering a sufficient amount of evidence-based recidivism reduction programs and productive activities to meet the needs of the incarcerated population at each facility. To help address this issue, we recommended that BOP develop such a mechanism and BOP concurred. In response to our report, in February 2023, BOP stated it has contracted to make this information available in a dashboard format that is continually updated. Further, BOP stated the technology currently being developed will offer information on the programs offered by each facility and the needs of the incarcerated people within that facility, and such information could be used to identify unmet needs. We will continue to monitor BOP's efforts to address this recommendation.

Patent Trial and Appeal Board: Increased Transparency Needed in Oversight of Judicial Decision-Making

GAO-23-105336
Dec 22, 2022
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4 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Patent and Trademark Office When finalizing policy for all internal review processes—such as Management Review and the interim process for internal review and decision circulation—the USPTO Director should clarify these policies, including specifying: 1. what, if any, role PTAB management and/or the Director has in these processes—including who reviews the draft decisions and provides comments; 2. the circumstances in which comments would be optional or mandatory for a panel to incorporate; and 3. the extent to which, if at all, following or not following comments may have an effect on a judge's performance review (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Patent and Trademark Office The USPTO Director—in coordination with PTAB management—should take steps to improve internal communication with judges to promote transparency and openness by: 1. Increasing direct communication between the USPTO Director and PTAB judges regarding USPTO/PTAB policies, expectations, and operations; 2. Committing to providing, when applicable, written documentation to accompany verbal communication of a desired change or action; and 3. Creating a central repository—such as a PTAB-specific intranet page—for all important information judges need to perform their duties—including up-to-date written documentation of all policy documents, directives, announcements, information on changes, upcoming deadlines and requirements (Recommendation 2).
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Patent and Trademark Office The USPTO Director—in coordination with PTAB management—should take additional steps to improve communication of the oversight practices used within PTAB with stakeholders and parties—including making public any policies, directives, or guidance judges are required to follow that may have a substantive effect on the decision-making process (Recommendation 3).
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Patent and Trademark Office The USPTO Director should create written guidance that outlines when and how stakeholders provide feedback on POP decisions and communicate this externally (Recommendation 4).
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Online Exploitation of Children: Department of Justice Leadership and Updated National Strategy Needed to Address Challenges

GAO-23-105260
Dec 14, 2022
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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Justice The Attorney General should ensure that the department updates the National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction to fully address all statutory requirements, including appointment of a senior official, inclusion of all 19 statutory elements for the strategy, and issuance of the strategy every two years.
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
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