Department of Justice

Office of Professional Responsibility's Case-Handling Procedures Gao ID: OSI-95-8 March 31, 1995

A February 1992 GAO report (GAO/GGD-92-31) recommended that the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility, which investigates allegations of criminal or ethical misconduct involving Justice employees, (1) establish basic standards for conducting investigations, (2) set standards for case documentation, (3) review case files to identify needed changes to Justice procedures and operations, and (4) follow up more consistently on the results of misconduct investigations conducted by other Justice components and maintain the follow-up information in the case files. This report discusses whether the recommendations have been implemented and provides information on the Office's handling of referrals.

GAO found that: (1) in response to GAO recommendations, OPR has established new standards for investigating and documenting cases and for case file reviews to identify systemic problems in Justice procedures and operations, but these standards only apply to those cases that OPR actually investigates; (2) the application of OPR investigation and documentation standards has been questionable in some cases; (3) OPR has not established procedures for following up on investigations by other Justice components and it has inconsistently monitored and supervised such investigations; (4) OPR has no formal referral procedures with any Justice component except the Office of Inspector General (OIG); and (5) most referrals of potential fraud, waste, and abuse from the GAO Hotline concerning Justice go directly to OIG.

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