oversight

FBI Reorganization: Progress Made in Efforts to Transform, but Major Challenges Continue

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2003-06-18.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                            United States General Accounting Office

GAO                         Testimony
                            Before the Subcommittee on Commerce,
                            Justice, State, and the Judiciary,
                            Committee on Appropriations, House of
                            Representatives
For Release on Delivery
Expected at 1:00 p.m. EDT
Wednesday, June 18, 2003    FBI REORGANIZATION
                            Progress Made in Efforts to
                            Transform, but Major
                            Challenges Continue
                            Statement of David M. Walker,
                            Comptroller General of the United States




GAO-03-759T
                                                June 2003


                                                FBI REORGANIZATION

                                                Progress Made in Efforts to Transform,
Highlights of GAO-03-759T, a testimony          but Major Challenges Continue
before the Subcommittee on Commerce,
Justice, State, and the Judiciary,
Committee on Appropriations, House of
Representatives




Following the September 11, 2001,               Last June, GAO highlighted the importance of the FBI’s success in
terrorist attacks, the FBI needed to            transforming itself, noting several basic aspects of a successful
refocus its efforts to investigate              transformation. Thus far, GAO is encouraged by the progress that the FBI
those attacks and to detect and                 has made in some areas in the past year, but a number of major challenges
prevent possible future attacks. To             remain.
do this the FBI has taken steps to
change its priorities and sought to
transform itself to more effectively            The commitment of Director Mueller and senior level leadership to the FBI’s
address the potential terrorist                 reorganization and the FBI’s communication of priorities warrant
threats. This testimony specifically            recognition. However, a comprehensive transformation plan with key
addresses the FBI’s (1) progress in             milestones and assessment points to guide its overall transformation efforts
updating its strategic plan;                    is still needed. The FBI has also not completed updating its strategic plan
(2) development of a strategic                  and has not developed a strategic human capital plan, although it has made
human capital plan; (3) realignment             some progress in both these areas.
of staff resources to priority areas;
(4) reallocation of staff resources             To better ensure focus on the highest priorities, over the last year, several
from its drug program; (5) efforts              actions were taken, including permanently redirecting a portion of the field
to recruit and hire new personnel
to address critical staffing needs;
                                                agent workforce from criminal investigative programs to counterterrorism
(6) efforts to enhance its training             and counterintelligence.
program; and (7) implementation
of new investigative authorities and            Increase in Allocation of FBI Field Agent Positions to Priority Areas
internal controls to ensure                     FY 2002 FBI field agent positions before the change to new         FY 2003 FBI field agent positions after the change to new priorities
                                                priorities (N=9,139)                                               (N=9,190)
compliance with the revised
Attorney General’s Guidelines on                                                            Other field programs                                                 Other field programs
General Crimes, Racketeering
Enterprise and Terrorism                                                                                                                   14%                   Organized criminal
Enterprise Investigations and to                               27%
                                                                         21%                Organized criminal
                                                                                            enterprises & drugs              26%
                                                                                                                                                                 enterprises & drugs

help protect individual civil
liberties.                                                                                                                                       24%             White collar crime

                                                                           26%              White collar crime
                                                               26%                                                               36%



                                                                                            Counterterrorism/                                                    Counterterrorism/
                                                                                            counterintelligence/                                                 counterintelligence/
                                                                                            cyber                                                                cyber
                                                Source: FBI.



                                                However, the FBI continues to face challenges in critical staffing areas
                                                including: (1) utilizing staff resources from other criminal investigative
                                                programs to address counterterrorism, and (2) a lack of adequate analytical
                                                and technical assistance and administrative support personnel.

                                                The FBI’s efforts to address critical skill needs and revise its training
                                                program are commendable. GAO also found internal controls in place to
www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-03-759T.         help ensure compliance with the revised Attorney General’s Guidelines and
To view the full product, including the scope
                                                protect individual civil liberties.
and methodology, click on the link above.
For more information, contact Laurie E.
Ekstrand at (202) 512-8777 or
ekstrandl@gao.gov.
    Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:

    I appreciate the opportunity to return today to discuss the Federal Bureau
    of Investigation’s (FBI) transformation efforts and the implementation of
    new authorities granted agents under the revised Attorney General’s
    Guidelines on General Crimes, Racketeering Enterprise and Terrorism
    Enterprise Investigations. As a follow up to the statement that I provided
    in June 2002,1 and at your request, my testimony today will specifically
    address the FBI’s

•   progress updating its strategic plan;
•   development of a strategic human capital plan;
•   realignment of staff resources to priority areas;
•   reallocation of staff resources from its drug program;
•   efforts to recruit and hire new personnel to address critical staffing needs;
•   efforts to enhance its training program; and
•   implementation of specific investigative authorities associated with the
    revised Attorney General’s Guidelines and internal controls to ensure
    compliance with the Guidelines and to help protect individual civil
    liberties.2

    To prepare this testimony, we (1) reviewed FBI planning documents,
    budgetary, staffing, and workload data; written policies and procedures;
    and other pertinent documents related to the FBI’s reengineering and
    realignment efforts and implementation of the revised Attorney General’s
    Guidelines; (2) interviewed management and program officials at FBI
    headquarters as well as management personnel in charge of operations in
    14 FBI field offices;3 and (3) obtained input from 176 special agents and


    1
     See U.S. General Accounting Office, FBI Reorganization: Initial Steps Encouraging but
    Broad Transformation Needed, GAO-02-865T (Washington, D.C.: June 21, 2002). We are
    reviewing issues related to the FBI’s information technology environment and related
    management practices under a separate engagement.
    2
     We did not focus on internal controls associated with other statutes and guidelines
    relevant to FBI investigations. For example, we did not focus on the type of alleged abuses
    recently reported by the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in
    June 2003 concerning the detention of 762 aliens who were detained in connection with the
    FBI terrorism investigations.
    3
     We judgmentally selected field offices with the largest number of special agent positions
    to be reallocated either away from drug enforcement or to the counterterrorism program
    areas based on the FBI’s May 2002 reallocation plans. As a result, we visited the FBI’s
    Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York City,
    Phoenix, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Francisco, and Washington field offices.



    Page 1                                                   GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                      34 analysts in these 14 FBI field offices using a structured questionnaire
                      and follow up interview questions.4 To address the effect of the FBI’s
                      realignment on drug enforcement efforts, we also interviewed selected
                      Department of Justice (DOJ) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
                      officials as well as local law enforcement representatives.5 Additionally,
                      we analyzed DEA’s budget, staffing, and workload data and DOJ’s
                      Domestic Drug Enforcement Strategy. To address issues related to
                      ensuring FBI’s compliance with the Attorney General’s Guidelines, we
                      also met with officials from FBI and DOJ and several private sector groups
                      interested in civil liberties issues.6 We did our work between September
                      2002 and June 2003 in accordance with generally accepted government
                      auditing standards.


                      Last June, I highlighted the importance of the FBI’s success in
FBI Efforts Part of   transforming itself, noting several basic aspects of a successful
Broader               transformation as well as the need for broader government
                      transformation. Today, the importance of the FBI’s transformation has not
Transformation        diminished. The FBI continues to stand at the forefront of our domestic
Efforts               intelligence efforts to defend the public from the threat of terrorism, while
                      still maintaining responsibility for investigations of other threats to our
                      public safety such as those from drugs, violent crime, public corruption,
                      and crimes against children. As I pointed out last June, any changes at the
                      FBI must be part of, and consistent with, broader governmentwide
                      transformation efforts that are taking place, especially those resulting
                      from the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security and in
                      connection with the intelligence community.


                      4
                       The 176 special agents and 34 analysts from whom we obtained input were not randomly
                      selected from all agents and analysts in the 14 offices we visited. In addition, we did not
                      specifically choose the agents who completed our questionnaire. FBI field office managers
                      selected agents and analysts to participate in our questionnaire. Consequently, we consider
                      the questionnaire and interview results to be indicators of the FBI’s transformation efforts
                      but they cannot be generalized to all agents and analysts in these offices or to the FBI
                      nationwide.
                      5
                       We interviewed officials from the National Sheriffs’ Association, National Association of
                      Chiefs of Police, International Association of Chiefs of Police, and local police agencies
                      located in 13 of the 14 cities in which we made FBI field office visits. The New York City
                      Police Department declined participation.
                      6
                       We interviewed representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for
                      Democracy and Technology, Electronic Privacy Information Center, Arab American
                      Institute, Coalition for American-Islamic Relations, and the League of United Latin
                      American Citizens.



                      Page 2                                                   GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
    To effectively meet the challenges of the post-September 11, 2001,
    environment, the FBI needs to consider employing key practices that have
    consistently been found at the center of successful transformation efforts.7
    These key practices are to

•   ensure that top leadership drives the transformation;
•   establish a coherent mission and integrated strategic goals;
•   focus on a key set of principles and priorities;
•   set implementation goals and a timeline;
•   dedicate an implementation team to manage the process;
•   use a performance management system to define responsibility and
    establish accountability;
•   establish a communication strategy;
•   involve employees; and
•   build a world class organization that continually seeks to implement best
    practices.

    Strategic human capital management is the centerpiece of any change
    management initiative, including any agency transformation effort. Thus
    far, we are encouraged by the progress that the FBI has made in some
    areas in the year since the announcement of phase II of its reorganization.
    Specifically, the commitment of Director Mueller and senior level
    leadership to the FBI’s reorganization; the FBI’s communication of
    priorities; and the FBI’s efforts to realign its activities, processes, and
    resources warrant recognition. However, a comprehensive transformation
    plan with key milestones and assessment points to guide its overall
    transformation effort is still needed.

    In addition, as I testified last June, the FBI can and should reinforce its
    transformation efforts through its performance management system by
    aligning unit, team, and individual employee performance expectations
    with planned agency goals and objectives. High-performing organizations
    create a clear linkage—“line of sight”—between individual performance
    and organizational success and thus transform their cultures to be more
    results-oriented, customer-focused, and collaborative in nature.8 This


    7
     For more information, see U.S. General Accounting Office, Mergers and Transformation:
    Lessons Learned for a Department of Homeland Security and Other Federal Agencies,
    GAO-03-293SP (Washington, D.C.: Nov. 14, 2002).
    8
     See U.S. General Accounting Office, Results-Oriented Cultures: Creating a Clear Linkage
    between Individual Performance and Organizational Success, GAO-03-488 (Washington,
    D.C.: Mar. 14, 2003).



    Page 3                                                GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                         alignment will help FBI employees see the connection between their daily
                         activities and the Bureau’s success. The FBI may already show some
                         indication that its agents see how their work relates to agency priorities.
                         Eighty-five percent of the special agents and 31 of the 34 analysts who
                         completed our questionnaire in the 14 FBI field offices we visited generally
                         or strongly agreed that their daily activities have been consistent with the
                         FBI’s top priorities.

                         Coupled with this alignment is the need for a performance management
                         system that makes meaningful distinctions in performance. The FBI
                         currently uses a pass/fail system to rate its employees’ performance. This
                         type of system does not provide enough meaningful information and
                         dispersion in ratings to recognize and reward top performers, help
                         everyone attain their maximum potential, and deal with poor performers.
                         As a result, the FBI needs to review and revise its performance
                         management system to be in line with revisions to its strategic plan,
                         including desired outcomes, core values, critical individual competencies,
                         and agency transformational objectives.


                         Although a strategic plan is vital to an organization’s transformation effort,
FBI Strategic            the FBI has not completed the update to its strategic plan. At the same
Planning Efforts         time, it has made some progress in its strategic planning efforts.
                         Specifically, the FBI’s Office of Strategic Planning has developed a
Underway, but            framework for a revised strategic plan. The operational divisions have
Revised Strategic Plan   made some progress in completing their program plans—the Bureau’s
                         building blocks, in addition to the FBI’s top 10 priorities, for completing a
Not Completed            strategic plan. Furthermore, information about the progress of the
                         strategic planning process seems to have been disseminated. Both field
                         office managers and field staff we spoke with generally reported being
                         afforded the opportunity to provide input. Director Mueller, through
                         leadership and management conferences, electronic communications,
                         visits to field offices, messages on the FBI’s intranet, public statements,
                         and press releases, has communicated the FBI’s top priorities.
                         Additionally, the FBI, through a strategic planning reengineering project,9
                         is developing a revised strategic management process to better align the
                         planning and budget processes with strategic priorities in the future.




                         9
                          The strategic planning reengineering project is one of about 30 ongoing reengineering
                         projects the FBI has to address issues related to its transformation efforts.



                         Page 4                                                  GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
The Office of Strategic Planning has developed a framework for the
revised strategic plan, and the operational divisions were provided
guidance to develop their program plans.10 According to the FBI, the
Counterintelligence and Cyber program plans have been completed,
presented to FBI executive management, and approved. The Office of
Strategic Planning is in the process of incorporating them into the revised
strategic plan. As of June 2003, the Counterterrorism and Criminal
Investigative Divisions’ program plans11 were in the final stages of
development. FBI officials indicated that the implementation of two staff
reprogrammings and delays in the appropriation of its fiscal year 2003
budget, as well as the war in Iraq, delayed the completion of these
program plans. FBI officials estimate that a new strategic plan should be
completed by the start of fiscal year 2004. It is unclear, however, whether
the FBI will achieve this milestone, and because the plan has not been
completed we cannot comment on the quality of its contents.

As noted earlier, employee involvement in strategic planning, and
transformation in general, is a key practice of a successful agency as it
transforms. FBI executive management seems to have recognized this.
Based on our discussions with program officials in FBI headquarters and
visits to FBI field offices, field management in the 14 field offices we
visited reported that they had been afforded opportunities to provide input
into the FBI’s strategic planning process. In addition, 68 percent of the
special agents and 24 of the 34 analysts who completed our questionnaire
reported that they had been afforded the opportunity to provide input to
FBI management regarding FBI strategies, goals, and priorities, by among
others, participating in focus groups or meetings, and assisting in the
development of the field offices’ annual report. FBI managers in the field
offices we visited and 87 percent of the special agents and 31 of the
34 analysts who completed our questionnaire indicated that FBI
management had kept them informed of the FBI’s progress in revising its
strategic plan to reflect changed priorities.




10
  In developing the program plans, operational divisions are to incorporate information
from field office annual reports about their threats, crime situation, and resource needs.
Field offices, in developing these annual reports, conduct surveys of other federal, state,
and local law enforcement agencies, as well as other sources, to gather relevant
information.
11
  The Criminal Investigative Division’s program plan is to cover 5 of the FBI’s priorities,
including plans for public corruption, civil rights, criminal enterprises, violent crime, and
white-collar crime.



Page 5                                                     GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                    FBI management seems to also have been effective in communicating the
                    agency’s top 3 priorities (i.e., counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and
                    cyber crime investigations) to the staff. In addition to the awareness of
                    management staff in FBI headquarters and field offices, nearly all of the
                    special agents and all of the analysts who answered our questionnaire
                    indicated that FBI executive management (i.e., Director Mueller and
                    Deputy Director Gebhardt) had communicated the FBI’s priorities to their
                    field offices. Management and most of the agents we interviewed in the
                    field were aware of the FBI’s top 3 priorities.12 Further, over 90 percent of
                    special agents and 28 of the 34 analysts who completed our questionnaire
                    generally or strongly agreed that their field office had made progress in
                    realigning its goals to be consistent with the FBI’s transformation efforts
                    and new priorities.

                    Completion of a revised strategic plan is essential to guide the decision
                    making in the FBI’s transformation. The Director has set the priorities and
                    they have been communicated; however, it is vital that the FBI place a
                    priority on the completion of a new and formal strategic plan, as it is a key
                    first step in transformation.


                    In my statement last June, I highlighted the importance of the development
FBI’s Progress in   of a strategic human capital plan to the FBI’s transformation efforts. A
Developing a        strategic human capital plan should flow from the strategic plan and guide
                    an agency to align its workforce needs, goals, and objectives with its
Strategic Human     mission-critical functions. Human capital planning should include both
Capital Plan        integrating human capital approaches in the development of the
                    organizational plans and aligning the human capital programs with the
                    program goals. The FBI has not completed a strategic human capital plan,
                    but has taken some steps to address short-term human capital needs
                    related to implementing its changed priorities, as well as made progress,
                    through a variety of initiatives, to begin to link human capital needs with




                    12
                     Over 80 percent of the special agents and 24 of the 34 analysts who completed our
                    questionnaire ranked counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and cyber crime investigations
                    as the FBI’s first, second, and third priorities, respectively.



                    Page 6                                                  GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
    the FBI’s strategic needs.13 The FBI should continue to build a long-term
    strategic human capital approach, including maximizing use of human
    capital flexibilities,14 to identify future critical needs and to attract, retain,
    and develop individuals with these skills.

    The FBI has taken actions to address human capital concerns related to
    implementing its changed priorities. These include (1) initiating several
    reengineering projects on human capital issues, such as succession
    planning, enhancing the FBI’s communication strategy and streamlining its
    hiring process; (2) initiating the staffing of the Office of Intelligence, a key
    component of building the FBI’s intelligence mission; (3) realigning agents
    and support staff to counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and cyber
    crime investigations to address priority areas; and (4) implementing plans
    to enhance recruitment and hiring for critical skill needs and training staff
    shifted to priority areas to address the change in the FBI’s priorities. This
    statement further addresses the FBI’s progress in realigning staff
    resources to priority areas and efforts to enhance recruitment, hiring and
    training of personnel in the sections that follow.

    Additional efforts underway within the FBI to address future human
    capital needs include, among others:

•   Administrative Services Division actions to recruit personnel with critical
    skills, as identified by the Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and
    Cyber Divisions to support their priority missions.

•   Steps to identify key staff competencies and establish comprehensive
    career programs for all occupational groups in the FBI and plans to link
    these competencies to training and developmental needs.




    13
      According to Bureau officials, the FBI is currently using the Administrative Services
    Division’s Strategic Plan, reengineering projects, as well as several ongoing initiatives that
    address long-term human capital issues as a framework for strategic human capital
    planning efforts. When the operational divisions finalize their strategic plans and put forth
    their requirements, FBI officials said that the Administrative Services Division will
    compare these requirements with their strategic plan to ensure that human capital
    strategies, plans, and goals are aligned with the operational divisions’ requirements and
    needs.
    14
     In broad terms, human capital flexibilities represent the policies and practices that an
    organization has the authority to implement in managing its workforce to accomplish its
    mission and achieve its goals. See Human Capital: Effective Use of Flexibilities Can
    Assist Agencies in Managing Their Workforces, GAO-03-2 (Washington, D.C: Dec. 6, 2002).



    Page 7                                                     GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
•   In support of the FBI’s intelligence mission, the creation of two new
    intelligence analyst positions, the reclassification of a third position, and
    plans to establish career paths for these positions.

•   Re-engineering the Training Division’s mission and operations intended to
    meet the present and future training needs of the FBI workforce.

    In building a long-term approach, the FBI may want to focus on identified
    aspects of successful human capital management systems, such as
    utilizing existing human capital flexibilities. While the FBI has made use of
    several human capital flexibilities, including work-life programs, such as
    alternative work schedules and transit subsidies; monetary recruitment
    and retention incentives, such as recruitment bonuses and retention
    allowances; and incentive awards for notable job performance and
    contributions, such as cash and time-off awards,15 it needs to fully
    maximize the use of available human capital flexibilities in recruiting
    agents with critical skills, intelligence analysts, and other critically needed
    staff. The use of such flexibilities should be based on a data-driven
    assessment of the FBI’s specific needs and capabilities. Such an analysis
    should be outlined in the FBI’s strategic human capital plan. After fully
    maximizing the use of its recruiting flexibilities, if they prove to be
    inadequate in helping the FBI meet its recruiting and retention goals, the
    FBI may then want to seek additional legislative authority.16

    Finally, as the FBI has yet to hire a Human Capital Officer to oversee these
    efforts, it is critical that this individual have the appropriate expertise in
    strategic human capital management, as well as the necessary resources to
    continue to develop and implement long-term strategic human capital
    initiatives. Options for which may include enhancing existing planning
    resources or contracting out these functions.




    15
     For example, in fiscal year 2002, the FBI offered 18 recruitment bonuses and 15 superior
    qualification appointments. In addition to these, the FBI permits reimbursement of
    relocation expenses for some counterterrorism new hires, and in fiscal year 2002 these
    expenses were reimbursed for 35 new hires.
    16
     The FBI has taken steps to seek additional legislative authority by conducting a pilot
    program to offer enhanced relocation entitlements to fill critical skill positions.



    Page 8                                                   GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                            A key element of the FBI’s reorganization and successful transformation is
FBI Realigned Staff         the realignment of resources to better ensure focus on the highest
Resources to Address        priorities. Since September 11, 2001, the FBI has permanently realigned
                            some of its field agent workforce from criminal investigative programs to
Priorities, but Some        work counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and cyber programs.
Major Challenges            Additionally, over three-fourths of the new special agent positions in the
                            FBI’s fiscal year 2004 budget request are for the priority areas. However,
Continue                    despite these efforts, the FBI continues to face major challenges in critical
                            staffing areas. Some of the more noteworthy challenges include (1) a
                            continuing need to utilize special agent and staff resources from other
                            criminal investigative programs to address counterterrorism workload,
                            (2) lack of adequate analytical and technical assistance, and (3) lack of
                            adequate administrative and clerical support personnel.


Staff Resources Realigned   As figure 1 shows, about 26 percent of the FBI’s field agent positions were
to Address Investigative    allocated to counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and cyber crime
Priorities                  programs prior to the FBI’s change in priorities. Since that time, as a result
                            of the staff reprogramming17 efforts and funding for additional special
                            agent positions received through various appropriations, the FBI staffing
                            levels allocated to the counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and cyber
                            program areas have increased to about 36 percent.




                            17
                             The FBI has the authority to reprogram funds (i.e., move funds between activities within a
                            given account) without notifying the relevant appropriations committees unless a specific
                            purpose is prohibited or the amount of the reprogramming exceeds a dollar threshold
                            ($500,000 or a 10-percent change in funding level, whichever is less). Any other
                            reprogramming action requires notification to the relevant appropriations committee
                            15 days in advance of the reprogramming.



                            Page 9                                                  GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
Figure 1: Increase in Allocation of FBI Field Agent Positions to Priority Areas

FY 2002 FBI field agent positions before the change to new                FY 2003 FBI field agent positions after the change to new priorities
priorities (N=9,139)                                                      (N=9,190)

                                            Other field programs                                                        Other field programs



                                                                                                  14%                   Organized criminal
                         21%                Organized criminal                                                          enterprises & drugs
               27%                          enterprises & drugs                     26%

                                                                                                        24%             White collar crime

                           26%              White collar crime
               26%                                                                      36%



                                            Counterterrorism/                                                           Counterterrorism/
                                            counterintelligence/                                                        counterintelligence/
                                            cyber                                                                       cyber
Source: FBI.



                                               The FBI’s staff reprogramming plans, carried out over the last 12 months,
                                               have permanently shifted 67418 field agent positions (about 7.5 percent of
                                               the 8,881 field agent positions existing before the change to new priorities)
                                               from the drug, white-collar, and violent crime program areas to
                                               counterterrorism and counterintelligence. In addition, the FBI established
                                               the Cyber program, which consolidated existing cyber resources.19

                                               Despite the reprogramming of agent positions in fiscal year 2002 to
                                               counterterrorism and the additional agent positions received through
                                               various supplemental appropriations since September 11, 2001, agents
                                               from other program areas have also been continuously redirected to work
                                               temporarily on counterterrorism. This demonstrates a commitment on the
                                               part of the FBI to staff this priority area. The FBI has certain managerial




                                               18
                                                This figure excludes 11 supervisory positions that were returned to the drug program.
                                               19
                                                 The FBI is working with Congress to obtain some flexibility with respect to the funding
                                               for cyber-related agent positions, according to FBI officials.



                                               Page 10                                                   GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
flexibilities to temporarily redirect staff resources to address pressing
needs and threats.

As figure 2 shows, the average number of field agent workyears20 charged
to investigating counterterrorism-related matters21 has continually
outpaced the number of agent positions allocated to field offices for
counterterrorism since September 11, 2001. The FBI’s current policy is
that no counterterrorism leads will go unaddressed, resulting in a need for
these shifts in resources. This policy results in substantial commitment of
resources that may have to be reassessed in the future. As the FBI gains
more experience and continues assessing risk in a post September 11,
2001, environment, it will gain more expertise in deciding which matters
warrant investigation and the investment of staff resources. To better
manage the investment of its staff resources in the future, the FBI should
systematically analyzing the nature of leads and the output of their efforts.
This will enable the FBI to better pinpoint how best to invest staff
resources based on value/risk and overall resource considerations in the
future.




20
 A workyear represents the full-time employment of one worker for 1 year.
21
 For this statement, a matter is an allegation that is being or has been investigated by the
FBI.



Page 11                                                   GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
Figure 2: Comparative Analyses of FBI Field Agent Non-Supervisory Positions Allocated and Agent Workyears Charged to
Counterterrorism Matters


Field agent positions
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  FY 2001                                                                                                   FY 2002                                                                                                     FY 2003

                                                                                                              Special agent positions allocated to FBI field offices for the Counterterrorism Program
                                                                                                              Average number of field agent workyears charged to investigating counterterrorism-related matters
Source: GAO analysis of FBI TURK data.

                                                                                            Note: The Time Utilization and Recordkeeping (TURK) system is used by the FBI to record the
                                                                                            proportion of time spent by field agents on various types of investigative matters such as organized
                                                                                            crime, white-collar crime, and counterterrorism. The FBI uses the TURK system to track and project
                                                                                            the use of field resources. Data derived from the TURK system are only as valid as the information
                                                                                            reported by FBI field agents.


                                                                                            Use of field agent staff resources for three of the four other programs we
                                                                                            included in our review (i.e., drug enforcement, violent crime, and white
                                                                                            collar crime) were below their allocated staffing levels. Appendix I
                                                                                            provides comparative analyses of field agent positions allocated to field
                                                                                            offices for these other criminal programs and the average number of field
                                                                                            agent workyears charged to investigating these matters.

                                                                                            Last year, we testified that neither the FBI nor we were in a position to
                                                                                            determine the right amount of staff resources needed to address the
                                                                                            priority areas. Since that time, the FBI has completed a counterterrorism
                                                                                            threat assessment and has had some experience in staffing priority work
                                                                                            in a post-September 11, 2001, environment. This, along with an analysis of
                                                                                            the nature of leads and the output from them, may put the Bureau in a


                                                                                            Page 12                                                                                                                 GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                           better situation to assess the actual levels of need in counterterrorism,
                           counterintelligence, and cyber programs.


Counterterrorism Matters   The level of effort in counterterrorism is further reflected in the number of
Have Increased             counterterrorism matters that have been opened following September 11,
                           2001. As figure 3 shows, the number of newly opened counterterrorism
                           matters has increased substantially.

                           Figure 3: Number of Counterterrorism Matters Newly Opened, Fiscal Years 2001
                           through Second Quarter Fiscal Year 2003


                           Number of newly opened counterterrorism matters
                           5,000

                           4,500                                                    9/11                                              4,408

                           4,000

                           3,500                                                                                             3,350

                                                                                                                  2,943
                           3,000
                                                                                    2,667
                                                                                                         2,472
                           2,500
                                                                                             2,196
                           2,000

                           1,500                 1,232
                                                               1,092     1,006
                                        993
                           1,000

                                500

                                 0
                                        1st      2nd             3rd       4th       1st      2nd         3rd       4th       1st      2nd
                                      quarter   quarter        quarter   quarter   quarter   quarter    quarter   quarter   quarter   quarter

                                      FY 2001                                      FY 2002                                  FY 2003
                           Source: GAO analysis of FBI data.




FBI Field Offices Lack     Previous internal and external studies of the FBI and our recent visits to
Adequate Support           14 FBI field offices have identified a lack of adequate support personnel.
Personnel                  Among the critical support personnel needs identified were intelligence
                           analysts, foreign language specialists, computer engineering and technical
                           specialists, and administrative and clerical support.22 Based on information


                           22
                            In general, the FBI is currently operating below its authorized staffing levels for support
                           personnel.



                           Page 13                                                                     GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
obtained during our site visits to FBI field offices and discussions with
officials in the FBI headquarters, there continues to be challenges
associated with meeting resource needs in these areas.

During our site visits, both management officials and field agents indicated
that inadequate numbers of intelligence analysts and foreign language
specialists resulted in delays to investigative work. Specifically, 70 percent
of the agents and 29 of the 34 analysts who completed our questionnaire
responded that the staffing level of intelligence analysts was less than
adequate given their office’s current workload and priorities. As a result,
many agents said they spend time performing their own intelligence
analysis work.

FBI officials also expressed a need for more foreign language specialists
largely due to an increase in translation needs, for instance, translating
documents and electronic surveillance recordings. Fifty-four percent of
the agents and 17 of the 32 analysts who completed our questionnaire
indicated that the staffing level of foreign language specialists was less
than adequate given their office’s current workload and priorities.

Also, agents expressed a need for additional computer and technical
specialists. Fifty three percent of the agents and 21 of the 34 analysts who
completed our questionnaire indicated that staffing level of computer and
technical support was less than adequate given their office’s current
workload and priorities. Agents reported that they sometimes have to wait
for several days to get computer hardware support when needed.
Additionally, managers and agents in the field offices said that their field
office lacked adequate access to staff who could assist in the search and
seizure of computer evidence as well as provide forensic examination of
computers.

Lastly, FBI management and special agents with whom we met indicated
that the staffing level of administrative and clerical support personnel was
inadequate and that this adversely affected the efficiency of their
investigative activities. Over 60 percent of the agents and 18 of the
34 analysts who completed our questionnaire indicated that the level was
less than adequate given their office’s current workload and priorities.
According to FBI field office officials, it was not uncommon for
management, agents, and analysts to take on many of the administrative
support functions, such as answering telephones and entering data, in
addition to their other responsibilities.




Page 14                                         GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                             Last year at this time the FBI announced that, in keeping with its new
Reallocation of FBI          priorities, it would move 400 field agent positions from its drug program to
Resources Affects            counterterrorism.23 Indeed, the FBI has transferred even more agent
                             positions than it originally announced and has augmented those agents
DOJ’s Drug                   with the short-term assignment of additional field agents from drug and
Enforcement Efforts          other law enforcement areas to work on counterterrorism. As would be
                             expected, the number of newly opened drug cases has fallen in relation to
                             the decline in the number of field agent positions allocated to drug
                             enforcement. Additionally, according to the FBI and DOJ’s recent
                             domestic drug enforcement strategy, the FBI’s, as well as DEA’s, drug
                             enforcement efforts will primarily focus on targeting the most significant
                             high-level drug trafficking organizations leaving some other lower-level
                             drug enforcement activities (e.g., street sweeps) to state and local
                             entities.24 It is unclear the extent to which state and local law enforcement
                             agencies can sustain or enhance their drug enforcement efforts given that
                             they also have added homeland security responsibilities and face their
                             own fiscal challenges.


Nearly Half of the FBI       Since September 11, 2001, about 40 percent of the positions allocated to
Field Agent Drug Positions   FBI field offices’ drug program have been reallocated to counterterrorism
Have Been Reallocated to     and counterintelligence priority areas. As figure 4 shows, just prior to
                             September 11, 2001, about two-thirds (or 890) of the 1,378 special agent
Priority Program Areas       positions allocated to FBI field offices for drug program matters were
                             direct-funded.25 The remaining one-third (or 488) of the special agent
                             positions was funded by the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task
                             Force program (OCDETF). As of the second quarter of fiscal year 2003, the
                             number of direct-funded positions allocated to FBI field offices for the
                             drug program had decreased over 60 percent, going from 890 to 335.
                             OCDETF-funded agent positions, which have remained constant, now


                             23
                               The FBI also pledged to move 59 agent positions from the violent crime and 59 agent
                             positions from white-collar crime, but these moves represented a much smaller reduction
                             in agent staffing than the shift from the drug enforcement area.
                             24
                               DEA officials said that DEA would continue to provide state and local law enforcement
                             agencies with investigative, intelligence, training, and financial assistance in addressing
                             their most significant or violent drug trafficking problems.
                             25
                               FBI’s drug program workforce is composed of field agent positions funded through direct
                             FBI appropriations and those supported with OCDETF funds. The OCDETF Program was
                             established in 1982 to focus federal, state, and local law enforcement efforts against
                             organized crime drug trafficking organizations that pose the most serious threat to our
                             national interests.



                             Page 15                                                   GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
account for about 60 percent of the FBI field offices’ drug program staff
resources. Consistent with Director Mueller’s commitment, the FBI has
not reduced the number of agents in the OCDETF program.

Figure 4: Number of Special Agent Positions Allocated to FBI Field Offices for Drug
Work Since September 11, 2001

Number of field agent positions
1,400


1,200


1,000
           890         890           890       891       891

 800
                                                                    493
                                                                              335
 600


 400

           488         488           488       488       488        488       488
 200


    0
          4th          1st           2nd        3rd       4th       1st       2nd
        quarter      quarter        quarter   quarter   quarter   quarter    quarter
        FY 2001     FY 2002                                       FY 2003


                   Direct-funded
                   OCDETF

Source: GAO anlaysis of FBI data.



While this reduction represents a substantial decline in the number of field
agent positions allocated to drug work, in fact, the reduction in drug
enforcement workyears was actually larger than these figures reflect.
Specifically, as needs arose for additional agents to work counterterrorism
leads, field agents assigned to drug program squads were temporarily
reassigned to the priority work. As figure 5 shows, at the extreme, during
the first quarter of fiscal year 2002 (just after the events of September 11,
2001), while 1,378 special agent positions were allocated to drug work only
about half of these staff resources worked in the drug program area.
During fiscal year 2003, the allocated number of drug agent positions and
the average number of field agent workyears charged to drug matters start
to converge to the new targeted levels.


Page 16                                                                     GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
Figure 5: Comparative Analyses of FBI Field Agent Non-Supervisory Positions
Allocated and Agent Workyears Charged to Investigating Drug Program Matters


      Field agent positions
      1,500
                                                           9/11

      1,350

      1,200

      1,050

         900

         750

         600

         450

         300

         150

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    FY 2001                                               FY 2002                                        FY 2003

                           Special agent positions allocated to FBI field offices for the Drug Program
                           Average number of field agent workyears charged to investigating drug matters
    Source: GAO analysis of FBI TURK data.
a
 These periods closely approximate, but do not exactly conform to the TURK reporting periods
included in each quarter.


The reduction in drug enforcement resources has reduced the number of
drug squads in FBI field offices, according to FBI officials. The number of
FBI agents supporting the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA)
program initiatives has also been reduced, according to FBI officials.26

The significant reduction in agent-strength in the drug enforcement area
may be an important factor in the smaller number of drug matters opened
in the first two quarters of fiscal year 2003. As figure 6 shows, the number


26
 The HIDTA Program began in 1990 to provide federal assistance to help coordinate and
enhance federal, state, and local drug enforcement efforts in areas of major illegal drug
production, manufacturing, distribution, transportation, and use.



Page 17                                                                           GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                              of newly opened drug matters went from 1,825 in fiscal year 2000 to 944 in
                              fiscal year 2002 and to 310 in the first half of fiscal year 2003, indicating a
                              rate for the entire year that may be well below that of previous years.

                              Figure 6: Number of FBI Drug Matters Newly Opened, Fiscal Years 1998 through
                              Second Quarter Fiscal Year 2003

                              Number of newly opened drug matters
                              3,000



                              2,500      2,420



                              2,000                 1,871          1,825


                              1,500                                          1,413



                              1,000                                                    944



                                  500
                                                                                                 310a


                                    0
                                        FY 1998    FY 1999        FY 2000   FY 2001   FY 2002   FY 2003


                                                  OCDETF
                                                  Non-OCDETF

                              Source: GAO analysis of FBI data.
                              a
                              This figure includes only the first two quarters of fiscal year 2003.


                              We want to make clear that we are in no way intending to fault the FBI for
                              the reassignment of agents from drug enforcement to higher-priority areas.
                              Indeed, these moves are directly in line with their priorities and in keeping
                              with the paramount need to prevent terrorism.


DEA Is Taking Steps to Fill   The DEA, the lead federal drug enforcement agency, has taken a slightly
Some of the Drug              larger role in domestic drug enforcement through increasing its
Enforcement Gap               participation in interagency drug enforcement activities. For example, in
                              fiscal year 2002, DEA began shifting 34 agent positions from headquarters
                              and various field divisions to support the southwest border—a region that
                              has experienced a significant reduction in FBI special agent positions.
                              During the same period, the DEA also increased its authorized staffing
                              level for HIDTA programs by 13 special agent positions. For fiscal year

                              Page 18                                                                     GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                        2003, DEA received a budget enhancement that will fund an additional
                        216 special agent positions, to among other things, strengthen its financial
                        investigations and increase its participation in OCDETF. For fiscal year
                        2004, DEA has requested an enhancement to fund 233 additional agent
                        positions, plus the reassignment of 293 special agent positions from their
                        Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) and Regional Enforcement Team (RET)
                        to investigate priority drug trafficking organizations. Overall, in terms of
                        combined DEA and FBI drug agent positions, DEA enhancements
                        (received and planned) will fill some, but not all, of the drug program
                        personnel gap left by the reassignment of FBI drug program agents to
                        higher-priority work.


New Domestic Drug       According to the April 2003 Department of Justice Domestic Drug
Enforcement Strategy    Enforcement Strategy, DOJ’s drug enforcement effort, consistent with the
Focuses at High-Level   OCDETF initiative, will center on investigations of the most significant
                        international, national, regional, and local drug trafficking organizations.
Activity                Specifically, it focuses drug enforcement efforts on disrupting or
                        dismantling priority targets on its Consolidated Priority Organization
                        Target list. The proposed movement of resources out of DEA’s MET and
                        RET program is consistent with this new strategy.

                        In July 2001, we issued a report concerning the management of the MET
                        program.27 At that time we reported that, according to DEA, the MET
                        program was needed because (1) state and local police agencies did not
                        have sufficient resources to effectively enforce the drug laws and (2) local
                        law enforcement personnel were known to local drug users and sellers,
                        making undercover drug buys and penetration of local distribution rings
                        difficult and dangerous. DEA reported about 16,000 arrests as a result of
                        MET deployments from its inception in fiscal year 1995 through the third
                        quarter of fiscal year 2003.28 DEA also noted that about a quarter of its
                        MET investigations involved either drug traffickers operating on a broader
                        scale than the local jurisdiction of the deployment of international
                        traffickers.




                        27
                         See U.S. General Accounting Office, DEA’s Mobile Enforcement Teams: Steps Taken to
                        Enhance Program Management, but More Can Be Done, GAO-01-482 (Washington, D.C.:
                        July 2001).
                        28
                         This figure is as of June 2003.



                        Page 19                                             GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                         The overall reduction in combined FBI and DEA staffing of drug
                         enforcement positions and the change in strategy removes some drug
                         enforcement assistance from local jurisdictions at a time when many, if
                         not most, state and local budgets are under intense pressure.29 While this
                         may in fact be the best use of scarce resources, drug crime data of many
                         kinds should be monitored closely to assess the impact of these changes
                         and ensure that we are using our resources to the best advantage.


                         The FBI has made some progress in developing and implementing its
FBI Has Made             recruitment strategies and in its efforts to hire special agents and support
Progress in              staff with critical skills. While fiscal year 2002 special agent hiring goals
                         were met in terms of numbers, the FBI fell short of the desired critical
Recruitment and          skills mix. For support staff, hiring for that year was far lower than was
Hiring                   targeted. For fiscal year 2003, as of May, the outlook is better for both
                         special agents and some support staff skill areas. For special agents, only
                         in the language skills area has hiring lagged below a pace needed to meet
                         the goal. Support staff hiring seems on track to meet many, but not all, of
                         their critical skill targets.


FBI Made Progress in     As previously noted, in order to recruit staff to align with its needs and
Developing and           priorities after September 11, 2001, the FBI developed a National Special
Implementing Hiring      Agent Recruitment Plan for fiscal years 2002 and 2003. This plan
                         established recruitment and hiring goals, identified critical skills the FBI is
Strategies for Special   targeting, and established a timeline for achieving these goals. To
Agents                   implement its recruitment plan, in January 2002, the FBI began a hiring
                         initiative aimed at recruiting applicants with skills and backgrounds
                         identified as critical for new special agents. This includes a focus on skills
                         in computer science, specific foreign languages, physical sciences and
                         engineering, as well as experience in counterterrorism and
                         counterintelligence. The FBI has set specific numerical targets for these
                         skills to try to ensure that new agents as a group would be hired with the
                         targeted mix of skills. To enhance the special agent applicant pool in



                         29
                           In our report addressing challenges in an intergovernmental setting, see U.S. General
                         Accounting Office, Highlights of A GAO Symposium: Addressing Key Challenges in an
                         Intergovernmental Setting, GAO-03-365SP (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 2003), we note that as a
                         result of revenue declines, 37 states had reduced their budgets and that this shortfall
                         translated into, among other things, reductions in aid to local governments and across the-
                         board spending reductions. In addition, the National Association of State Budget Officers
                         suggests that states will face a fiscal gap of over $80 billion in fiscal year 2004.



                         Page 20                                                 GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                             certain critical skill areas, for example, the FBI established a Computer
                             Science/Information Technology Special Entry Program.

FBI Is Meeting Special       The FBI was successful in meeting its overall hiring goals for special
Agent Hiring Goals and Is    agents during fiscal year 2002. During that year, the FBI hired 923 agents
Improving in Hiring Agents   of the 927 planned. The FBI, however, was less successful in hiring the
                             special agents, who as a group possessed the mix of critical skills specified
with Critical Skills         under the fiscal year 2002 hiring initiative. The timing of this hiring process
                             may have been a factor in not achieving the targeted skill mix during this
                             year. The FBI announced its critical skill goals approximately 4 months
                             after September 11, 2001, and at the end of a 2-year hiring freeze.30 In order
                             to hire special agents quickly, in the months following September 11, 2001,
                             the FBI had to rely on its existing applicant pool, which largely consisted
                             of applicants with skills in accounting, law, and law enforcement. The
                             available applicant pool also included applicants with foreign language
                             skills, but not necessarily in the newly targeted languages.

                             During the first 8 months of fiscal year 2003, the FBI hired about
                             80 percent (or 550) of the special agents it needs to meet its hiring goal of
                             663 agents. In all of its identified critical skill areas, except agents with
                             foreign language skills, the FBI is on track to reach its stated hiring goals,
                             and in some areas has exceeded its goals. Appendix II contains additional
                             information concerning the FBI’s fiscal year 2002 and 2003 hiring.

                             It is important to note that the FBI hiring process for special agents has
                             been shortened considerably. While still lengthy, it is down to a minimum
                             of about 8 months from application submission to final processing, from
                             13 months several years ago. Appendix III includes a graphic presentation
                             of the steps in the hiring process and the time associated with each step.
                             Once new agents are hired, they are sent to 17 weeks of new agent training
                             at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, followed by a 2-year
                             probationary period during which time special agents receive
                             developmental supervision and on-the-job training. We note this to make
                             the point that it will take time to build up agent strength within the
                             Bureau.




                             30
                              During the hiring freeze the FBI only hired for positions that program managers deemed
                             critical.



                             Page 21                                                GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
Support Staff Hiring Goals                    About 60 percent of the FBI’s workforce is represented by support staff,
Not Met in 2002, but 2003                     which consists of analysts (e.g., intelligence and financial), scientists,
Shows Some                                    technical specialists, administrative support, laborers, and other nonagent
                                              personnel. In fiscal year 2002, the FBI did not meet its overall goal for
Improvements                                  hiring support staff, filling only 643 (44 percent) of 1,465 positions. The
                                              initial goal for hiring support staff in fiscal year 2003 was set at about
                                              2,000. However, the goal has been revised downward during the year to
                                              reflect attrition rates that were lower than anticipated, somewhat smaller
                                              enhancements for support staff than were anticipated, and a reevaluation
                                              of their overall budget situation.31 The capacity of the FBI to process new
                                              support staff applications was approximately 1,500 applications per year,
                                              according to FBI officials. The current target for support staff hiring is set
                                              at 1,023. As of May 2003, the FBI has hired 565 support staff, about 55
                                              percent of the goal as compared to 80 percent of its special agent goal.

                                              The FBI does not set hiring goals for all types of support staff but only for
                                              those that are deemed critical. Table 1 shows fiscal year 2003 hiring goals
                                              for selected support staff positions. As the table shows, the FBI is doing
                                              well in hiring for some critical areas but is lagging in others.

Table 1: FBI Support Staff Hiring for Some Critical Areas

                                                                                                 FY2003             FY2003 actual              Percent
 Critical support positions                                                                  hiring goal             (as of 5/6/03)             of goal
 Field investigative support                                                                          60                         2a                   3
 Scientist/forensic/HAZMAT                                                                            17                         37                 218
 Electronic technician/electronic engineers                                                           33                         37                 112
 Information technology specialists                                                                   44                         45                 102
 Intelligence analysts, research specialists, and operations specialists                             126                       115                   91
 Language specialists                                                                                 45                        20b                  44
 Special surveillance groups/lookout                                                                 180                         53                  29
 Security specialists                                                                                110                          0c                  0
                                              Source: GAO analysis of FBI data.
                                              a
                                                  Nineteen positions were filled with on-board employees.
                                              b
                                                  The FBI plans to fill the remaining 25 positions with existing contract linguists.
                                              c
                                                  According to FBI officials, 39 of these positions were filled with internal FBI personnel.




                                              31
                                                Because of the amount of overtime worked in fiscal year 2002, the amount anticipated to
                                              be worked in fiscal year 2003 and pay raise requirements that were not fully funded, the
                                              amount of funds available in the FBI’s Salaries and Expense account for regular pay was
                                              less than projected when the original goal was set, according to FBI officials.



                                              Page 22                                                               GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                      Consistent with Director Mueller’s plans to enhance its intelligence
                      program, the FBI has, as noted earlier, redefined and revised intelligence-
                      related analyst positions and has made some progress in hiring
                      intelligence analysts. In fiscal year 2002, the FBI did not specify hiring
                      goals in the intelligence area; however, in fiscal year 2003, the FBI
                      identified intelligence analysts as a priority hiring category. As of May
                      2003, the FBI has hired 115 new analysts in the intelligence area—
                      including intelligence analysts, intelligence operations specialists, and
                      intelligence research specialists. On the basis of its revised fiscal year
                      2003 target—to hire 126 analysts in this area—the FBI is well on the way
                      to reaching its target.

                      While still short of meeting its foreign language critical skill targets, the
                      FBI has been able to bolster its foreign language capacity by increasing the
                      number of contract linguists and language specialists. Before September
                      11, 2001, there were 405 contract linguists and 379 language specialists,
                      and as of May 2003, there were 712 contract linguists and 421 language
                      specialists. In the priority languages identified to support the FBI’s new
                      priorities, 195 contract linguists and 44 language specialists were hired
                      between October 2002 and March 2003.

                      Through our field visits, two other areas in which agents and managers
                      indicated that there were support staff challenges were information
                      technology and administrative support. For fiscal year 2003, the FBI plans
                      on hiring 44 information technology staff and 211 administrative staff. As
                      of May 2003, the FBI hired 45 information technology and
                      94 administrative personnel—exceeding its goal for information
                      technology and hiring about 45 percent of its goal for administrative
                      personnel.


                      In addition to hiring new employees with critical skills, the FBI’s
FBI’s Training        reorganization plans called for revisions to the FBI’s training program.
Program Revamped to   Over the past 12 months, the FBI has improved its ability to train its
                      workforce and to address priority areas. Encouraging steps taken by the
Address Priority      FBI include: (1) efforts to provide revised training to new agents and
Areas                 agents assigned to work in priority areas; (2) progress establishing the
                      College of Analytical Studies to train analysts; and (3) plans to reengineer
                      its overall training program to better meet the long-term training needs of
                      the Bureau’s workforce.




                      Page 23                                         GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
Agents Provided Revised      In January 2003, in an effort to focus on the delivery of training to agents
Training in Priority Areas   and analysts reassigned to work in the priority areas, the FBI cancelled
                             most of its training for on-board staff that was not focused on
                             counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and cyber crime investigations. This
                             allowed the FBI to shift resources to develop training for new agents and
                             those agents who were moved to work in counterterrorism,
                             counterintelligence, and cyber matters. For example, the FBI Training
                             Division revised existing new agent coursework to focus on the priority
                             areas and developed new courses for agents who were assigned to
                             counterterrorism and counterintelligence. Agents assigned to the newly
                             established Cyber Division are required to complete basic coursework on
                             cyber crime investigations and are encouraged to complete a core
                             curriculum consisting of eight classes, including technical coursework as
                             well as cyber investigative techniques.

                             As of April 2003, all new agents are to receive revised training in the
                             priority areas. In addition, as of May 2003, 545 of all agents assigned to
                             work on counterterrorism and counterintelligence investigations have
                             received revised training in these areas.32 Those agents who have been
                             designated by the Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence Divisions as
                             needing revised training will have completed the required training by the
                             end of the 2003 calendar year, according to FBI officials. We did not
                             evaluate the curriculum of the revised training courses. Appendix IV
                             provides additional details about the FBI’s allocation of $10 million
                             provided in the House Conference Report33 accompanying the fiscal year
                             2003 budget and revisions to the FBI’s training in priority areas.




                             32
                              Currently, the Training Division tracks the total number of agents who have completed
                             revised training in counterterrroism, but it does not track whether those agents were
                             permanently redirected from criminal programs to counterterrorism. The Special
                             Agents-in-Charge of the field offices have the authority to designate which agents—
                             permanently redirected or not—should receive revised training. For example, an agent who
                             was permanently redirected from a criminal program may have had prior experience in
                             counterterrorism investigations, alleviating the need for basic counterterrorism training,
                             according to FBI officials.
                             33
                              The Conference report for the Department of Justice Appropriation Act, 2003 (P.L. 108-7,
                             117 Stat. 49 (2003)) indicates that the Conferees provided $10 million above the FBI’s
                             budget request for training needs. H. R. Conf. Rep. No. 108-10, at 617 (2003).



                             Page 24                                                 GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
College of Analytical       To further enhance analysts’ skills and abilities,34 the FBI created the
Studies in Place to Build   College of Analytical Studies at its Quantico training facility in October
Analysts Skills             2001. The College of Analytical Studies provides training to new and in-
                            service analysts in tools and techniques for both strategic and technical
                            analysis.35 Completion of basic analytical coursework is required of new
                            analysts, while advanced analytical coursework is offered to experienced
                            analysts. The College of Analytical Studies trained 193 analysts in fiscal
                            year 2002 and is scheduled to train an additional 1,032 analysts in fiscal
                            year 2003.36 Additionally, the FBI is continuing to identify and schedule
                            additional analysts from the priority areas who should receive analytical
                            training, according to FBI officials. As with the revised agent training, we
                            did not evaluate the content of the curriculum offered by the College of
                            Analytical Studies. FBI officials told us that after each training course
                            students are asked to provide feedback, which may be used to revise
                            coursework. We did not evaluate this feedback.

                            Additionally, the FBI’s Office of Intelligence has been tasked to develop all
                            policies, including education requirements, with regard to analysts
                            working in the intelligence area. The Office of Intelligence intends to work
                            with the College of Analytical Studies to ensure that appropriate analytical
                            training has been provided, according to FBI officials. The FBI is also
                            pursuing accreditation for its College of Analytical Studies.

                            The FBI continues to work with other federal agencies to improve their
                            analytical capabilities. For example, the FBI is currently working with the
                            Joint Military Intelligence College to allow a select number of FBI
                            personnel with intelligence backgrounds to earn a Master of Science in
                            Strategic Intelligence. FBI officials anticipate that the program will begin
                            accepting applications from interested FBI personnel by the end of fiscal
                            year 2003, for consideration by FBI executives and final acceptance by the
                            Joint Military Intelligence College for classes in fiscal year 2004.




                            34
                              The College of Analytical Studies primarily provides training for analysts in the
                            intelligence area.
                            35
                             Instructors at the College of Analytical Studies include both FBI and CIA personnel. As
                            proposed in the training reengineering plan, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI
                            Academy will oversee the College of Analytical Studies.
                            36
                             In fiscal year 2003, the College of Analytical Studies, with the assistance of CIA
                            University, plans to train 188 analysts in basic analysis and 844 analysts in specialty
                            coursework.



                            Page 25                                                    GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
Reengineering of Training   To better address the longer-term training needs of its entire workforce,
Program Underway to         the FBI is implementing a plan to restructure its training programs. In
Address Long-Term Needs     March 2003, Director Mueller approved a series of proposals contained in
                            a reengineering project addressing FBI training activities, which included
                            a goal of establishing an Office of Training and Development. This office,
                            among other duties, would assess the career-long training needs of all
                            employees, standardize training, and centralize the tracking of staff
                            progress through the curriculum. The training reengineering plan calls for
                            the Assistant Director of Training to function as the chief learning officer
                            and to oversee both the Office of Training and Development and the FBI
                            Academy. The FBI Academy will continue its primary mission of training
                            new agents, as well as operating the College of Analytical Studies. While
                            the FBI, in announcing its training reengineering plan, acknowledges the
                            long-term benefits of enhancing training as an investment in human
                            capital, it is too soon to tell how effective the plan will be in improving
                            performance. And, as the overall human capital plan for the agency
                            develops there will be a need to revise and enhance training plans.
                            Appendix IV also provides additional details on the FBI’s training
                            reengineering plan.


                            The revised Attorney General’s Guidelines on General Crimes,
Implementation of the       Racketeering Enterprise and Terrorism Enterprise Investigations (the
Revised Attorney            “Guidelines”) are intended to provide the FBI greater investigative
                            flexibility to enhance its ability to detect and prevent terrorist acts and
General’s Guidelines        other federal crimes. As traditional investigative constraints are eased,
                            however, appropriate internal controls are needed to prevent investigative
                            abuses and ensure the protection of civil liberties. The Guidelines
                            themselves contain internal controls regarding specific investigative
                            procedures and prohibited activities, and the FBI and DOJ have other
                            internal control mechanisms in place to help ensure agents do not go
                            beyond their stated authorities. Although private sector groups we
                            interviewed have expressed concern regarding issuance of the new
                            Guidelines, neither we nor they have identified any reported allegations or
                            investigations of abuses under the new Guidelines authorities.

                            It should be noted that federal officials, including the FBI, have also
                            received additional investigative authorities from laws such as the USA
                            PATRIOT Act, and that FBI activities are also prescribed by various other
                            Attorney General guidelines. Our review focused on certain provisions of
                            the Attorney General’s Guidelines on General Crimes, Racketeering
                            Enterprise and Terrorism Enterprise Investigations. Among other
                            things, the revised Guidelines permit FBI agents to be more proactive by

                            Page 26                                        GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                              allowing certain investigative activities—such as visiting public places and
                              events or conducting online searches—to be conducted outside the
                              context of an investigation. We did not focus on internal controls
                              associated with other statutes and guidelines relevant to FBI
                              investigations. For example, we did not focus on the type of alleged
                              abuses recently reported by the DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General
                              (OIG) in June 2003 concerning the detention of 762 aliens who had been
                              held in connection with the FBI terrorism investigations. Appendix V
                              provides a brief overview of a few selected statutes and guidelines
                              relevant to FBI investigations that were not a part of our analysis.


Revised Guidelines Allow      Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States,
FBI More Investigative        the Attorney General ordered a review of all investigative procedures
Flexibility                   related to national security and criminal matters in an effort to eliminate
                              unnecessary investigative constraints and help prevent terrorism. As a
                              result, in May 2002, the Attorney General issued a revised set of FBI
                              domestic investigative guidelines—The Attorney General’s Guidelines on
                              General Crimes, Racketeering Enterprise and Terrorism Enterprise
                              Investigations—intended to provide consistent policy direction so that
                              FBI investigations are confined to matters of legitimate law enforcement
                              interest and protect individual rights, while also providing new
                              investigative flexibility. The Guidelines also delegate the authority to
                              initiate and approve certain types of investigations from FBI headquarters
                              to FBI field offices. Appendix VI presents more details on selected key
                              changes in the Guidelines.


Internal Controls Are         As we pointed out a year ago, the FBI should have appropriate internal
Intended to Protect against   controls in place to ensure that the new authorities permitted under the
FBI Noncompliance With        revised Guidelines are carried out in a manner that protects individual civil
                              liberties. Internal controls serve as the first line of defense in preventing
the Guidelines                and detecting errors, and they provide an organization’s management with
                              reasonable assurance of compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
                              Thus, internal controls are a key component for ensuring that these new
                              authorities are implemented in a manner that protects civil liberties. Under
                              federal internal control standards,37 a variety of internal control
                              mechanisms—including training, supervision, and monitoring—may be



                              37
                               U.S. General Accounting Office, Standards for Internal Control in the Federal
                              Government, GAO-00-21.3.1 (Washington, D.C.: Nov. 1999).



                              Page 27                                                GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                             used by agencies to ensure compliance with applicable laws and
                             regulations.

                             The Guidelines themselves are an internal control, establishing standards
                             and requirements governing the FBI’s investigative authority. In addition,
                             the FBI has the following additional internal controls in place to help
                             ensure compliance with the Guidelines and prevent agents from going
                             beyond the authorities granted in the Guidelines:38 (1) policies and
                             procedures, which communicate to agents in detail the levels of authority
                             and permissible activities; (2) training, which addresses civil liberties
                             issues so that agents understand the limitations of their authority; and
                             (3) supervision, which monitors agents’ use of the new authorities. Finally,
                             the FBI and DOJ have other internal control mechanisms in place to
                             monitor FBI programs and personnel, as well as to identify and address
                             alleged incidents of agent misconduct or abuse of civil liberties—
                             specifically the FBI’s internal inspection process and the investigation of
                             allegations of abuse by the FBI ‘s Office of Professional Responsibility
                             (OPR) and DOJ’s OIG. All of these mechanisms, of course, predate the
                             revised Guidelines. To protect against civil liberties abuses in relation to
                             the new investigative authorities allowed by the revisions, these controls
                             must incorporate the revisions into their implementation.


Internal Controls Included   In reviewing the key changes in the revised Guidelines, we looked for
in the Guidelines            evidence of internal controls in the document itself to help ensure
                             compliance and protect against potential civil liberties abuses. In some
                             cases, the Guidelines revisions include very specific internal controls
                             intended to ensure compliance. For example, the changes relating to the
                             process for conducting preliminary inquiries39 and terrorism investigations
                             specify criteria for authorizing the activity, who is authorized to approve
                             the activity, how long the activity may remain initially authorized until
                             reapproval is required, and what notifications of the activity are required
                             within and outside the FBI. On the other hand, changes related to the new
                             investigative authorities are not as specific in terms of controls to ensure
                             compliance. For example:



                             38
                              These controls are intended to ensure compliance with various FBI policies and
                             procedures and are not specifically focused on the Guidelines. The Guidelines are just one
                             of many areas that could be covered.
                             39
                              The FBI conducts preliminary inquiries in order to determine the validity of an allegation
                             of potential criminal activity and the need for a more in-depth investigative effort.


                             Page 28                                                  GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                       •   The FBI is now authorized to operate and participate in counterterrorism
                           information systems (such as the Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force),
                           and a periodic compliance review is required on any systems operated by
                           the FBI. However, there is no indication of when such reviews should be
                           conducted, what the review should entail (e.g., issues relating to access,
                           use, or retention of data), and whether any reviews are required if the
                           systems are not operated by the FBI.

                       •   The FBI is now authorized to visit public places or events, but retention of
                           information from these visits is prohibited unless it relates to potential
                           criminal or terrorist activity. However, there is no indication of whether or
                           how agents are to document the activity, how supervisors are to ensure
                           that the purpose of the activity is detecting or preventing terrorism, and
                           how compliance with the prohibition on maintaining information is to be
                           verified.


FBI and DOJ Internal       To implement the Guidelines themselves, the FBI and DOJ have other
Controls in Place          internal control mechanisms in place to help ensure FBI compliance with
                           the Guidelines and help protect against potential abuses of individual civil
                           liberties. Specifically:

                       •   Policies and procedures – The FBI’s policies and procedures manuals
                           provide agents with additional guidance on conducting investigations.
                           About 75 percent of the field agents who completed our questionnaire
                           considered themselves to be at least somewhat familiar with the
                           Guidelines. These agents indicated their familiarity came from a variety of
                           sources, including a hard copy version of the Guidelines, the FBI’s intranet
                           Web site, electronic communications and briefings from FBI management,
                           FBI program division or field office training, and supervisory on-the-job
                           training. Additionally, the FBI is in the process of updating its Manual of
                           Investigative Operations and Guidelines (MIOG) policies and procedures
                           manuals to provide agents with additional guidance on implementation of
                           the Guidelines.

                       •   Training – Training on the Guidelines is included in all new agent training
                           provided at the FBI Academy. Additional training and guidance,
                           coordinated through the FBI’s Office of General Counsel and field office
                           legal coordinators, was made available to on-board agents after the
                           Guidelines were issued. As of April 2003, just over one-half (about 55
                           percent) of the field agents who completed our questionnaire indicated
                           they had received either formal or informal training on the Guidelines.




                           Page 29                                         GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                         •   Supervision – Supervisory agents are to perform periodic case file
                             reviews on all cases being worked by their agents to, among other things,
                             monitor the progress of cases and verify compliance with applicable
                             policies and procedures, such as the Guidelines. As of April 2003, nearly all
                             the field agents who completed our questionnaire indicated that their
                             supervisors performed case file reviews at least every 90 days—more often
                             in some cases.

                         •   Inspections – FBI inspectors are to verify agents’ compliance with the
                             Guidelines and other applicable policies and procedures by reviewing case
                             files and supervisory case file reviews. In reviewing selected inspection
                             reports completed since October 1999, we found evidence that such
                             reviews were being performed. At the same time, we identified no findings
                             in the inspection reports of noncompliance with or misuse of the new
                             investigative authorities granted under the Guidelines.

                         •   Allegations of abuse – Both the FBI’s OPR and DOJ’s OIG have the
                             authority to investigate allegations of FBI misconduct; the OIG also
                             reviews all incoming FBI allegations to ensure the appropriate
                             investigative response. Between October 2000 and March 2003, OPR
                             investigated 1,579 cases of alleged FBI misconduct. The OIG investigated
                             another 85 cases of alleged misconduct and 35 cases of alleged civil rights
                             abuses between July 2001 and February 2003. However, based on the
                             descriptions of the alleged offenses, we found no allegations or
                             investigations that appeared to involve noncompliance with or abuse of
                             the new investigative authorities granted under the Guidelines. In June
                             2003, the OIG reported on allegations of mistreatment and abuse of aliens
                             detained on immigration charges in the aftermath of the September 11,
                             2001, terrorist attacks. These allegations did not relate to the FBI’s use of
                             investigative authorities under the revised Guidelines and, in fact, the vast
                             majority of these aliens were detained before the Guidelines were issued.


No Reported Allegations or   When the revised Guidelines were issued, private sector groups raised
Investigations of            concerns about what they saw as a relaxing of investigative controls over
Noncompliance with the       the FBI, which represented a potential threat to individual civil liberties. In
                             particular, they noted that the revised Guidelines allowed the FBI to use
New Guidelines               its new investigative authorities even in the absence of any prior indication
Authorities                  of criminal activity. However, the private sector officials we met with
                             could not provide any specific examples of the FBI abusing the new
                             authorities granted under the Guidelines. Rather, their concerns largely




                             Page 30                                          GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
stemmed from the belief that granting the FBI broader investigative
authorities ignores the lessons of past abuses and is unlikely to result in
tangible gains to law enforcement.40 Officials from the FBI’s OPR and
DOJ’s OIG told us they do not separately track allegations of
noncompliance with the Guidelines; nor could they identify any specific
cases that involved noncompliance with or abuse of the new investigative
authorities granted under the Guidelines.

FBI headquarters officials indicated that the supervisory case file review
process is the primary vehicle to ensure that agents comply with
applicable policies and procedures—such as the Guidelines—and do not
go beyond their stated authorities. Regarding the new authorities, FBI field
office managers told us that the number of leads that require followup,
plus the number of ongoing preliminary inquiries and investigations
related to counterterrorism, have field agents fully engaged. This,
according to FBI field office managers, does not afford agents time to visit
public places and events or search the Internet absent a legitimate lead. A
recent FBI informal survey of 45 of its field offices found that fewer than
ten offices had conducted investigative activities at mosques since
September 11, 2001. All but one of these visits was conducted pursuant to,
or was related to, open preliminary inquiries or full investigations.
Notwithstanding this, however, FBI headquarters officials are currently
considering whether to require mandatory supervisory approval prior to
allowing an agent to enter a public place or attend a public meeting.

Given the sensitivity of these issues and the FBI’s history of investigative
abuses, the FBI has been reaching out to communities to assure them that,
despite the emphasis on counterterrorism, investigating civil rights abuses
remains a high priority of the FBI. For example, FBI field offices have
been contacting Muslim leaders for the purpose of establishing a dialogue
and discussing procedures for alerting the FBI to civil rights abuses. In one
field office we visited, discussions had recently been held with the Muslim
community and its leaders covering topics related to homeland security,
FBI employment, and community outreach. Throughout the FBI, over 500
such meetings occurred in the first 5 months after September 11, 2001.
More recently, in February 2003, the FBI Director met with key leaders of




40
 The original Guidelines were adopted in 1976, in large part to curb a history of FBI
abuses—including surveillance and investigation of U.S. citizens when there was no
credible evidence of criminal activity.



Page 31                                                  GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                   national Arab-American, Muslim, and Sikh organizations to discuss the
                   FBI’s response to hate crimes and other civil rights issues.

                   The revised Guidelines are in their infancy in terms of implementation.
                   While it is a good sign that we have not identified any reported allegations,
                   investigations, or indications of abuse of the new investigative authorities,
                   this is not a situation that should result in reduced vigilance on the part of
                   DOJ or the Congress. Appendix VII presents more details about the
                   internal controls discussed above.


                   We continue to be ready to assist this and other congressional committees
Summary            in any oversight of the FBI’s implementation of its transformation efforts.
Observations       Based on our work, there are specific areas related to the transformation
                   of the FBI that seem to warrant continued monitoring. These areas include
                   (1) the FBI’s completion and implementation of a revised strategic plan;
                   (2) the FBI’s progress in integrating a human capital approach consistent
                   with its mission and goals; (3) the long term impact on state and local law
                   enforcement agencies, and the public, of the FBI’s shift of staff resources
                   away from drug enforcement and other criminal programs; and (4) FBI
                   agents’ compliance with the new investigative authorities granted under
                   the revised Attorney General’s Guidelines.

                   In closing, I would like to thank the FBI Director, DEA Administrator, and
                   their staff for their cooperation in providing documentation and
                   scheduling meetings needed to conduct our work. Especially, I would like
                   to note the cooperation and candidness of FBI officials—managers,
                   agents, and analysts—during our site visits to 14 field office locations.

                   Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, this concludes my
                   prepared statement. I would be pleased to answer any questions you and
                   the Subcommittee members may have.

                   For further information about this statement, please contact
GAO Contacts and   Laurie E. Ekstrand, Director, Homeland Security and Justice Issues, on
Staff              (202) 512-8777 or at ekstrandl@gao.gov or Charles Michael Johnson,
                   Assistant Director, Homeland Security and Justice, on (202) 512-7331 or at
Acknowledgments    johnsoncm@gao.gov. For further information on governmentwide human
                   capital or transformation issues, please contact J. Christopher Mihm,
                   Director, Strategic Issues, on (202) 512-6806 or at mihmj@gao.gov. Major
                   contributors to this testimony included David Alexander, Tida E. Barakat,
                   Karen Burke, Chan My J. Battcher, Gary A. Bianchi, Nancy Briggs,
                   Philip D. Caramia, Sue Conlon, Seth Dykes, Geoffrey Hamilton,

                   Page 32                                         GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
Mary Catherine Hult, Lori Kmetz, E. Anne Laffoon, Ronald La Due Lake,
Julio Luna, Jan Montgomery, Kay Muse, and Andrew O’Connell,
Sarah E. Veale.




Page 33                                     GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
Appendix I: Comparative Analysis of FBI
Field Agent Positions and Agent Workyears
Charged to Investigating Other Matters
                                                                                               As shown in figures 7 through 9, use of field agent workyears expended for
                                                                                               the cyber crime, violent crime, and white-collar crime program areas were
                                                                                               at or below their allocated staffing levels.1

Figure 7: Comparative Analysis of FBI Field Agent Non-Supervisory Positions Allocated and Agent Workyears Charged to
Investigating Cyber Crime Matters

Field agent positions
 700
                                                                                                                      9/11                                                                                                                      Iraqi war effort

 600


 500


 400


 300


 200


 100


     0




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   10

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                    12



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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      12

 FY 2001                                                                                                   FY 2002                                                                                                       FY 2003               12

                                                                                                                 Special agent positions allocated to FBI field offices for the Cyber Program
                                                                                                                 Average number of field agent workyears charged to investigating cyber crime matters
Source: GAO analysis of FBI TURK data.
                                                                                               a
                                                                                                In March 2003, the FBI’s special agent positions in this program area were reduced by 307 positions
                                                                                               as a result of the transfer of the Key Asset Program to the Department of Homeland Security.




                                                                                               1
                                                                                                We excluded details on changes in the counterintelligence program because they are
                                                                                               classified.



                                                                                               Page 34                                                                                                                   GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
Figure 8: Comparative Analysis of FBI Field Agent Non-Supervisory Positions Allocated and Agent Workyears Charged to
Investigating Violent Crime Matters

Field agent positions
2,500
                                                                                                                     9/11                                                                                                                      Iraqi war effort


2,000



1,500



1,000



  500



      0
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                                                                                                               Special agent positions allocated to FBI field offices for the Violent Crime and Major Offender Program
                                                                                                               Average number of field agent workyears charged to investigating violent crime and major offender matters
Source: GAO analysis of FBI TURK data.




                                                                                            Page 35                                                                                                                 GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
Figure 9: Comparative Analysis of FBI Field Non-Supervisory Positions Allocated and Agent Workyears Charged to
Investigating White-Collar Crime Matters

Field agent positions
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                                                                                                              Special agent positions allocated to FBI field offices for the White-Collar Crime Program
                                                                                                              Average number of field agent workyears charged to investigating white-collar crime matters
Source: GAO analysis of FBI TURK data.




                                                                                            Page 36                                                                                                                 GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
Appendix II: FBI Special Agent Critical Skill
Hiring

                                           As shown in table 2, the FBI did not fully achieve its goal for the mix of
                                           critical skills for fiscal year 2002.

Table 2: FBI Success in Hiring Special Agents with Critical Skills in Fiscal Year 2002

                                                           Goal                                 Actual
 Critical skill                                      Number             Percent              Number            Percent         Percent of goal
 Law enforcement /military/law/other                    232                  25                 589                 64                     254
 Computer science/information technology                185                  20                  66                  7                      36
 Foreign language proficiency                           186                  20                  48                  5                      26
 Physical sciences                                       93                  10                  72                  8                      77
 Engineering                                             93                  10                  68                  7                      73
 Military intelligence experience                        46                   5                  26                  3                      57
 Counterterrorism                                        46                   5                  15                  2                      33
 Foreign counterintelligence                             46                   5                  39                  4                      85
 Total                                                  927                 100                 923                100
Source: GAO analysis of FBI data.

                                           Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.


                                           In fiscal year 2003, as shown in table 3, in all of its identified critical skill
                                           areas, except agents with foreign language skills, the FBI has already
                                           achieved over half of its stated goals for those areas.

Table 3: FBI Success in Hiring Special Agents with Critical Skills in Fiscal Year 2003

 Critical skill                                          Goal                            Actual (as of 6/1/03)
                                                     Number            Percent           Number          Percent               Percent of goal
 Law enforcement/military/law/other                     165                 25              184                33                          112
 Computer science/information technology                133                 20              114                21                           86
 Foreign language proficiency                           133                 20               45                 8                           34
 Physical sciences                                       66                 10               75                14                          114
 Engineering                                             66                 10               52                 9                           79
 Intelligencea                                           99                 15               80                15                           81
 Total                                                  663                100              550               100                           83
Source: GAO analysis of FBI data.

                                           Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.
                                           a
                                            In fiscal year 2003, the FBI combined military intelligence experience, counterterrorism, and foreign
                                           counterintelligence into the intelligence critical skill.




                                           Page 37                                                         GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
Appendix III: FBI Special Agent Hiring
Process

                                         As shown in figure 10, the FBI reduced the minimum time it takes to hire a
                                         special agent from 379 days to 236 days.

Figure 10: FBI Hiring Process and Timeline for Special Agent Positions




                                         Page 38                                       GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
Appendix IV: FBI’s Training in the Priority
Areas

                                        The Conference report for the Department of Justice Appropriation Act,
Additional Funding                      2003 (P.L. 108-7, 117 Stat. 49 (2003)) indicates that the Conferees provided
Provided to FBI                         $10 million above the FBI’s budget request for training needs.1 Table 4
                                        shows how the FBI plans to allocate these funds by program.
Priority Area
Programs
Table 4: FBI Workforce Training Requirements and Spending Plan for Priority Programs

                                                                     University      Classroom     FBI Academy
 FBI training      Curriculum        Distance      Courseware        education          training     classroom       Program
 program          development        learning     development         program         expenses         upgrades          total
 Cyber crime          $215,275       $163,723          $71,758                0        $768,420               0    $1,219,176
 Counter-
 terrorism           1,065,719        810,508          355,240                 0        477,000               0     2,708,467
 Counter-
 intelligence          532,860        405,254          177,620                 0        308,000               0     1,423,734
 Analytical
 training              586,146        445,779          195,382               0          265,000               0     1,492,307
 Other training        600,000        456,316          200,000        $300,000                0      $1,600,000     3,156,316
 Total              $3,000,000     $2,281,580       $1,000,000        $300,000       $1,818,420      $1,600,000   $10,000,000
Source: FBI.




                                        The FBI has taken steps to provide revised training to FBI personnel
Revisions to the FBI’s                  assigned to the priority areas. Table 5 summarizes specific revisions to the
Training Programs in                    training programs offered to new agents in the priority areas, agents
                                        assigned to priority areas, other agents involved in counterterrorism work,
Priority Areas                          and analysts.




                                        1
                                        H.R. Conf. Rep. No. 108-10, at 617 (2003).



                                        Page 39                                                GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
Table 5: Selected Revisions to FBI Training Programs in the Priority Areas Since September 11, 2001

                                                               Number to be
 Staff                              Start date             trained in FY2003               Description of revisions
                                                                             a
 New agent training in              April 2003                  425 estimate               Integrated international terrorism fact pattern
 counterterrorism and                                                                      used throughout training at Quantico and other
 counterintelligence                                                                       coursework.
 New agents assigned to             On-going, as                   40 estimateb            CD-ROM, depending on assignment.
 counterterrorism and               assigned                                               New agents assigned to counterintelligence must
 counterintelligence                                                                       also complete the 4-week course given to agents
                                                                                           reprogrammed to counterintelligence.
 Agents reprogrammed to             February 2003                           480c           CD-ROM, “Introduction to International
 counterterrorism                                                                          Terrorism”
                                                                                           1-week course, lecture-based.
 Agents reprogrammed to             October 2002                             213           CDROM, “Introduction to Counterintelligence”
 counterintelligence                                                                       4-week interactive course.
 Agents participating in Joint      March 2003                               224           2-day course.
 Terrorism Task Force (JTTF)                                                               Prepares trainer to provide 8-hours of training for
                                                                                           FBI and JTTF members in the field.
 Intelligence analysts              October 2001                          1,032d           5-6 week Basic Intelligence Research Specialist
                                                                                           course.
                                                                                           CIA assistance in course development and
                                                                                           instruction in at least 2 weeks of the course.
Source: GAO analysis of FBI data.
                                             a
                                              Prior to revising the new agent counterterrorism and counterintelligence training, between October
                                             and March 2003, the FBI Academy added 32 hours of counterterrorism and counterintelligence-
                                             related training to the new agent-training curriculum. During this timeframe, 373 new agents received
                                             an additional 32 hours of training.
                                             b
                                              Approximately 5 percent of each new agent class is assigned to counterterrorism or
                                             counterintelligence squads immediately following graduation from the FBI Academy.
                                             c
                                              There were 480 agents permanently reassigned to counterterrorism; however, according to FBI
                                             officials, SACs have the authority to designate which of these agents need the revised
                                             counterterrorism training. FBI officials said that they are planning to extend classes in Basic
                                             International Terrorism Operations to the end of the calendar year to ensure that all agents who need
                                             the training will be provided an opportunity to take the class.
                                             d
                                              The 1,032 analysts are to include 188 to be trained in basic analysis and 844 to be trained in
                                             specialty analysis. Additionally, in fiscal year 2002, 55 analysts were trained in basic analysis and 138
                                             analysts trained in specialty coursework.




                                             The FBI’s training programs in the priority areas, as of June 1, 2003, are
Current Training                             summarized in table 6.
Offered to FBI
Employees in the
Priority Areas



                                             Page 40                                                          GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
Table 6: Summary of Training Provided in the Priority Areas, as of June 1, 2003

 Category of staff                                         Summary of training provided             Examples of courses offered
 New agent training at FBI Academy
 All new agents                                            •   17 weeks (684 hours)                 •    Legal Instruction, Ethics,
                                                           •   Integrated case scenario                  Leadership
                                                           •   Independent study project            •    Civil Rights, Firearms,
                                                                                                         Interviewing
                                                                                                    •    Behavioral Science, Forensic
                                                                                                         Science
                                                                                                    •    Concepts and Tactics for
                                                                                                         Survival
                                                                                                    •    Undercover Operations,
                                                                                                         Surveillance
 Counterterrorism/                                         110 hours of Middle Eastern              •    Investigating Criminal
 counterintelligence                                       Criminal Enterprise case study,               Enterprises
                                                           domestic terrorism-related training      •    Middle Eastern Cultural Issues
                                                           • Integrated classroom                   •    International Terrorism
                                                              investigative, counterterrorism       •    Asset Development
                                                              and counterintelligence training
                                                           • Additional hours of reading
 Cyber                                                     2-hour course specifically on Cyber      •    Cyber Crime Exercise
                                                           Division investigations                  •    Computer Skills Development/
                                                                                                         Data Analysis
                                                           25 hours of general computer
                                                           training
                                                           • 4 to 8 hours on cyber crime
 New agent training for agents assigned after completion
 of FBI Academy
 Counterterrorism/                                         •   CD-ROM, 15-hours additional          •    Introduction to International
 counterintelligence                                           training                                  Terrorism; Introduction to
                                                           •   4-week interactive course for new         Counterintelligence
                                                               agents assigned to                   •    Counterintelligence Operations
                                                               counterintelligence
 Cyber                                                     •   1-week, required introductory        •    Introduction to Cyber Crime
                                                               course                                    Investigations
                                                           •   Continuing education include 8
                                                               core courses from entry level to
                                                               advanced curriculum offered
 Agents shifted to work in priority areas
 Counterterrorism                                          •   1-week course, lecture-based         •    Basic International Terrorism
                                                                                                         Operations
 Counterintelligence                                       •   4-week course, interactive course    •    Counterintelligence Operations
                                                               for new agents assigned to                Course
                                                               counterintelligence
 Cyber                                                     •   1-week, introductory course          •    Introduction to Cyber Crime
                                                               required                                  Investigations
                                                           •   Continuing education includes
                                                               8 core courses from entry level to
                                                               advanced




                                            Page 41                                                     GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
 Category of staff                                    Summary of training provided                 Examples of courses offered
 Agents
 All agents                                           •   All agents must take at least 15         •    Arabic Romanization Training
                                                          hours of training per year               •    Bloodborne Pathogens
                                                      •   Training is offered at Quantico,         •    Financial Underpinnings of
                                                          regionally, and in FBI field officesa         Crime
                                                      •   Agents must apply and get                •    Hate Crimes
                                                          approved
 Agents participating in JTTF                         •   8-hours train-the-trainer course on      •    Counterterrorism awareness
                                                          counterterrorism                              training
                                                      •   Course material will then be
                                                          offered to FBI field office
                                                          personnel and JTTF membersb
 Intelligence analysts
 All analysts                                         •   College of Analytical Studies            •    Analytical Thinking and
                                                          provides 5-6 week course on                   Presentation
                                                          basic analysis                           •    Arabic Romanization
                                                      •   CIA assisted in development of           •    Asset Vetting
                                                          curriculum and teaches 2 weeks
 Analysts, with 2 years or less                       •   College of Analytical Studies            •    Basic Intelligence Research
 experience                                               provides coursework                           Specialist (IRS) Course
                                                                                                   •    Lexis/Nexis, PenLink
                                                                                                   •    Project Gateway/Basic Financial
                                                                                                        Analysis
 Advanced Analysts, with 2                            •   College of Analytical Studies            •    Statement Analysis for the IRS
 years or more experience                                 provides coursework                      •    Strategic Thinking
                                                                                                   •    Writing National Level Threat
                                                                                                        Assessments
Source: GAO analysis of FBI data.
                                    a
                                    Course offerings are subject to change due to FBI priorities, according to FBI officials.
                                    b
                                    This may include state and local law enforcement officers.


                                    The FBI has begun to implement a plan to restructure its training program.
FBI Revised Overall                 As reflected in figure 11, the plan established several units to establish
Training Program to                 curriculum, develop courses and tools, and deliver training for all FBI
                                    personnel, special agents, as well as support staff.
Enhance Training to
Entire Workforce




                                    Page 42                                                            GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
Figure 11: Proposed Training Division Organization Chart




                                        Page 43            GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
Appendix V: Selected Statutes and Guidelines
Relevant to FBI Investigations

                       To provide the intelligence community and law enforcement with
USA PATRIOT Act        additional means to fight terrorism and prevent future terrorist attacks,
                       Congress enacted a wide range of investigative enhancements in the
                       Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools
                       Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act.1
                       Among other things, the USA PATRIOT Act provides federal officials with
                       enhanced surveillance authorities to intercept wire, oral, and electronic
                       communications relating to terrorism. The act also provides the authority
                       to seize voice-mail messages pursuant to warrants. The act further
                       contains a number of provisions authorizing information sharing between
                       intelligence and law enforcement agencies—such as the sharing of foreign
                       intelligence information obtained as part of a criminal investigation with
                       any federal law enforcement, intelligence, protective, immigration,
                       national defense, or national security official in order to assist the official
                       in the performance of his or her official duties.

                       The USA PATRIOT Act also seeks to enhance federal law enforcement
                       agency abilities to, for example, investigate and combat financial-related
                       crimes by adding new money laundering and counterfeiting crimes and by
                       increasing related criminal penalties. The USA PATRIOT Act further seeks
                       to strengthen federal criminal laws against terrorism by, for example,
                       making it a crime to engage in terrorist attacks or other acts of violence
                       against mass transportation systems. The act also made it a crime to
                       harbor or conceal terrorists where a person knows, or has reasonable
                       grounds to believe, that the person harbored or concealed has committed
                       or is about to commit a specified terrorism-related offense.


                       The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978,2 (FISA) as amended,
Foreign Intelligence   established legal standards and a process that the Attorney General,
Surveillance Act of    including the FBI, must use to obtain authorization for electronic
                       surveillance and physical searches when seeking foreign intelligence and
1978                   counterintelligence information within the United States. FISA also
                       created a special court—the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court—with
                       jurisdiction to hear applications for and grant orders approving FISA
                       surveillance and searches. FISA orders may be issued, in general, upon a
                       FISA Court finding of probable cause to believe that a suspect target is a
                       foreign power or an agent of a foreign power, and that the places at which


                       1
                       P.L. 107-56, 115 Stat. 272 (2001).
                       2
                       P.L. 95-511, 92 Stat. 1783 (1978).



                       Page 44                                          GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                     the surveillance is directed are being used, or are about to be used, by
                     such targets.

                     The USA PATRIOT Act amended various FISA provisions to authorize, for
                     example, roving surveillance under FISA to, in essence, follow a person
                     who uses multiple communication devices or locations, where the FISA
                     court finds that the actions of the target may have the effect of thwarting
                     the identification of a specified person. Another amendment allows senior
                     level FBI personnel, in certain circumstances involving international
                     terrorism or clandestine intelligence, to apply to the FISA Court for an
                     order for the production of tangible items—such as books, records,
                     papers, or documents.


                     When conducting investigations, the FBI is subject to various sets of
Selected Attorney    guidelines established by the Attorney General.3 The Attorney General’s
General Guidelines   Guidelines on General Crimes, Racketeering Enterprise and Terrorism
                     Enterprise Investigations provide general standards and procedures for
                     the FBI’s conduct of criminal investigations. They are designed to govern
                     the circumstances under which such investigations may be begun, the
                     permissible scope, duration, subject matters, and objectives of such
                     investigations. Under these guidelines, for example, the FBI may conduct
                     investigations when the facts and circumstances reasonably indicate that a
                     federal crime had been, is being, or will be committed. Preliminary
                     inquiries may be performed when there is not yet a reasonable indication
                     of criminal activities but where information requires further scrutiny
                     beyond a prompt and limited checking of initial leads.

                     The Attorney General has also issued a separate set of guidelines
                     prescribing the FBI’s investigative authority related to international
                     terrorism—that is, terrorist activities occurring totally outside the United
                     States or which transcend national boundaries. The Attorney General
                     Guidelines for FBI Foreign Intelligence Collection and Foreign
                     Counterintelligence Investigations (significant portions of which are
                     classified) govern all foreign intelligence, foreign counterintelligence,
                     foreign intelligence support activities, and intelligence investigations of
                     international terrorism. These guidelines also apply to FBI investigation of


                     3
                      Other guidelines include the Attorney General’s Guidelines on FBI Undercover Operations,
                     the Attorney General’s Guidelines Regarding the Use of Confidential Informants, and the
                     Attorney General’s Procedures for Lawful Warrantless Monitoring of Verbal
                     Communications.



                     Page 45                                                GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
espionage statutes and investigations on behalf of, or in cooperation with,
foreign governments.




Page 46                                        GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
Appendix VI: Comparison of the 2002 and
1989 Attorney General’s Guidelines

                                        Table 7 presents a side-by-side comparison of the key changes in the
                                        2002 Guidelines, as compared with the most recent previous version of the
                                        Guidelines, which were issued in 1989 (and amended slightly in 1994).

Table 7: Comparison of Selected Changes between the 2002 and 1989 Attorney General’s Guidelines

                                  1989 Attorney General’s Guidelines                   2002 Attorney General’s Guidelines
Section I:
General Principles
                                  Preliminary inquiries and investigations shall be    No significant change except:
                                  conducted with as little intrusion into individual   • FBI shall not hesitate to use any
                                  privacy as needs permit.                               authorized investigative technique.
                                                                                       • Intrusive techniques are warranted based
                                                                                         on seriousness of crime or strength of
                                                                                         information indicating its commission.
                                  Inquiries and investigations should not be           No significant change.
                                  initiated based solely on the exercise of
                                  constitutionally protected rights.
Section II:
General Crimes Investigations
Preliminary inquiry
General authority                 May be initiated in response to information          No significant change except:
                                  indicating possible criminal activity.               • duration is subject only to the maximum
                                                                                         specified limitation on length.
                                  Measured investigative response, as little
                                  intrusion as possible, and short duration.
Authorizations                    Authorized for up to 90 days.                        Authorized for up to 180 days.
                                  Renewal for 30-day periods.                          Renewal for 90-day periods.
                                  FBI HQ grants all renewals, based on a written       Field office Special Agent-in-Charge (SAC)
                                  request and statement of reasons.                    may grant two renewals, based on a
                                                                                       statement of reasons.

                                                                                       FBI HQ may grant further renewals, based on
                                                                                       a written request and statement of reasons.
Investigative techniques          Matter of judgment considering:                      No significant change except matter of
                                  •  intrusiveness, privacy concerns, and damage       judgment should also consider:
                                     to reputation;                                    • objectives and available resources.
                                  • seriousness of possible crime, and
                                  • strength of evidence.
                                  All lawful techniques authorized except :            All lawful techniques authorized except:
                                  • mail covers                                        • mail openings
                                  • mail openings                                      • nonconsensual electronic surveillance
                                  • nonconsensual electronic surveillance
                                  Specified techniques require no FBI supervisory      No significant change.
                                  agent approval.

                                  Other lawful techniques require FBI supervisory
                                  agent approval, except in exigent
                                  circumstances.




                                        Page 47                                                   GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                                       1989 Attorney General’s Guidelines                2002 Attorney General’s Guidelines
                                       Generally should be less intrusive than full      Given a choice, consider less intrusive
                                       investigation.                                    methods if they would be just as timely and
                                                                                         effective.
                                       Highly intrusive techniques should be approved
                                       only in compelling circumstances.                 Do not hesitate to use intrusive techniques if
                                                                                         warranted by the circumstances.
Full investigation
General authority                      May be initiated when facts or circumstances       No significant change.
                                       reasonably indicate that a crime has, is being, or
                                       will be committed.

                                       May be conducted to prevent, solve, or
                                       prosecute such activity.
                                       For future criminal acts, facts and circumstances No significant change.
                                       must reasonably indicate that such a crime will
                                       occur in the future.
Authorizations                         FBI supervisory agent may authorize.              No significant change.

                                       Notification to U.S. Attorney, DOJ, and FBI HQ
                                       required for sensitive criminal matters.

                                       No specified limit on duration.
Investigative techniques               See section IV below.                             See section IV below.
Section III:
Criminal Intelligence Investigations
Racketeering enterprise
investigation
General authority                      May be initiated when two or more persons are     May be initiated when two or more persons
                                       engaged in racketeering for monetary or           are engaged in racketeering as defined in
                                       commercial gain.                                  federal racketeering statutes.
                                       Racketeering must involve violence, extortion,    If federally-defined terrorism is involved,
                                       narcotics, or public corruption.                  investigation is to be conducted under
                                                                                         terrorism enterprise investigative standards.
                                       Otherwise, requires approval by FBI Director
                                       and Attorney General (AG).
Authorizations                         SAC may authorize defined racketeering, with      SAC may authorize based on written
                                       notification to AG or designee (1994              statement of facts, with notification to FBI
                                       amendment). Otherwise requires approval by        HQ, DOJ Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney,
                                       FBI Director with AG concurrence.                 and AG.

                                       AG may request status reports.                    DOJ may request status reports.
                                       Authorized for up to 180 days.                    Authorized for up to 1 year.
                                       Renewal for up to 180-day periods.                Renewal for up to 1-year periods.
                                       FBI HQ grants all renewals, with AG               SAC may grant renewals, with notification to
                                       concurrence if needed initially.                  FBI HQ, DOJ Criminal Division, and AG.
Investigative techniques               See section IV below.                             See section IV below.




                                             Page 48                                                 GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                           1989 Attorney General’s Guidelines                  2002 Attorney General’s Guidelines
Terrorism enterprise
investigation
General authority          Domestic security/terrorism investigation may be Terrorism enterprise investigation may be
                           initiated when two or more persons are involved initiated when two or more persons are
                           in:                                              involved in:
                           • furthering political or social goals through   • furthering political or social goals through
                               force or violence and a violation of federal    force or violence and a violation of federal
                               criminal law.                                   criminal law,
                                                                            • terrorism that involves a violation of federal
                                                                               law, or
                                                                            • committing a federal act of terrorism as
                                                                               defined in federal law.
Authorizations             FBI HQ may authorize, with notification to DOJ   SAC may authorize, with notification to FBI
                           Office of Intelligence Policy Review (OIPR).     HQ, DOJ Criminal Division and OIPR, U.S.
                                                                            Attorney, and AG.
                           AG may request status reports.
                                                                            DOJ may request status reports.
                           Authorized for up to 180 days.                   Authorized for up to 1 year.
                           Renewal for up to 180-day periods.               Renewal for up to 1-year periods.
                           FBI HQ grants all renewals.                      SAC may grant renewals, with notification to
                                                                            FBI HQ, DOJ Criminal Division, OIPR, and
                                                                            AG.
Investigative techniques   See section IV below.                            See section IV below.
Section IV:
Investigative Techniques
General authority          Unless otherwise indicated, all lawful techniques   No significant change.
                           are authorized.
                           Matter of judgment considering:                     No significant change except matter of
                           • intrusiveness, privacy concerns, and damage       judgment should also consider:
                              to reputation;                                   • objectives and available resources
                           • seriousness of possible crime, and
                           • strength of evidence
                           Before employing a technique, consider whether      Given a choice of techniques, consider less
                           less intrusive means could be used as timely        intrusive methods if they would be just as
                           and effectively.                                    timely and effective.

                                                                              Do not hesitate to use intrusive techniques if
                                                                              warranted by the circumstances.
Specific techniques        Specific requirements or restrictions apply to use Specific requirements or restrictions apply to
                           of the following techniques:                       use of the following techniques:
                           • Confidential informants,                         • Same as 1989 guidelines, plus
                           • Undercover operations,                           • Classified investigative technologies.
                           • Nonconsensual electronic surveillance,
                           • Pen register/trap and trace,
                           • Access to stored wire and electronic records,
                           • Consensual electronic surveillance,
                           • Search and seizure, and
                           • Persons represented by counsel.




                                 Page 49                                                  GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                                   1989 Attorney General’s Guidelines                  2002 Attorney General’s Guidelines
                                   If undercover or informant activities may           If undercover or informant activities relate to
                                   influence an organization’s exercising of its 1st   an organization’s exercising of its 1st
                                   Amendment rights:                                   Amendment rights:
                                   • Must be approved by FBI HQ, with notification     • Must fully comply with AG’s guidelines on
                                       to DOJ.                                             undercover operations and confidential
                                                                                           informants.
                                   For consensual electronic surveillance:             For consensual electronic surveillance:
                                   • Advance authorization must be obtained from       • Advance authorization must be obtained
                                     SAC and U.S. Attorney                                 from SAC or Assistant SAC, and U.S.
                                                                                           Attorney or Assistant AG.
Section V:
Dissemination and Maintenance of
Information
Information systems                Not included.                                       FBI shall maintain database of inquiries and
                                                                                       investigations that permits retrieval of status
                                                                                       and subjects.
Section VI:
Counterterrorism Activities and
Other Authorizations
Counterterrorism activities        Not included.                                       Regarding information systems:
                                                                                       •  FBI may operate and participate in
                                                                                          identification, tracking, and information
                                                                                          systems for purposes of detecting,
                                                                                          prosecuting, or preventing terrorism.
                                                                                       • System information may come from
                                                                                          sources permitted by law, prior or ongoing
                                                                                          investigations, government sources, public
                                                                                          sources, and voluntary private sources.
                                                                                       • Systems operated by the FBI shall be
                                                                                          reviewed periodically.
                                   Not included.                                       Regarding public places and events:
                                                                                       • FBI may visit any place and attend any
                                                                                          event that is open to the public, for
                                                                                          purposes of detecting or preventing
                                                                                          terrorism.
                                                                                       • No information may be retained from such
                                                                                          visits unless it relates to potential criminal
                                                                                          or terrorist activity.
Other authorizations               Not included.                                       Regarding general topical research:
                                                                                       • Online sites and forums may be searched
                                                                                          and accessed on subject areas generally
                                                                                          useful to investigations.
                                                                                       • Research is not allowed on individual
                                                                                          names or identifiers except where
                                                                                          incidental to topical research.
                                   Not included.                                       Online resources are generally authorized for
                                                                                       the purposes of detecting or preventing
                                                                                       terrorism or other criminal activities.
                                   Not included.                                       FBI may prepare general reports and
                                                                                       assessments on terrorism or other criminal
                                                                                       activities for purposes of strategic planning or
                                                                                       investigative support.



                                         Page 50                                                   GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                                                        1989 Attorney General’s Guidelines   2002 Attorney General’s Guidelines
 Privacy and other limitations                          Not included.                        FBI may not maintain files on individuals
                                                                                             solely for the purpose of monitoring First
                                                                                             Amendment activities or other rights
                                                                                             protected by the Constitution.
                                                        Not included.                        All law enforcement activities must have a
                                                                                             valid law enforcement purpose as described
                                                                                             in the Guidelines.
Source: GAO analysis of the 2002 and 1989 Attorney General’s Guidelines.




                                                                Page 51                                GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
Appendix VII: Internal Controls to Protect
Against Civil Liberties Abuses

                    The following sections present more detail about (1) the extent to which
                    internal controls have been incorporated into the Attorney General’s
                    Guidelines on General Crimes, Racketeering Enterprise and Terrorism
                    Enterprise Investigations, (2) other internal control mechanisms that are
                    in place to ensure FBI compliance with the Guidelines,1 and (3) concerns
                    about how the Guidelines may adversely affect the protection of civil
                    liberties.


                    The Guidelines themselves are an internal control—establishing the
Internal Controls   Attorney General’s parameters for the FBI’s investigative authority. For
Included in the     example, the internal controls described in table 8 are designed to ensure
                    that only valid, authorized transactions and events—in this case,
Guidelines          investigative activities such as preliminary inquiries2 and terrorism
                    enterprise investigations—are initiated or entered into by the FBI. These
                    controls specify who is authorized to approve the activity, how long the
                    activity may remain authorized until reapproval is required, and what
                    notifications of the activity are required within and outside the FBI,
                    thereby facilitating the verification of compliance.




                    1
                     These internal control mechanisms are intended to ensure compliance with various FBI
                    policies and procedures and are not specifically focused on compliance with the
                    Guidelines. The Guidelines are just one of many policies and procedures that could be
                    covered.
                    2
                     Preliminary inquiries are undertaken in order to determine the validity of an allegation of
                    potential criminal activity and the need for a more in-depth investigative effort.



                    Page 52                                                   GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
Table 8: Controls in the Guidelines Relating to Authorization and Renewal of Preliminary Inquiries and Terrorism Enterprise
Investigations

                                        Authorizing official                        Authorized length                 Required notifications
                              Initiation         Extension                       Initiation  Extension    Initiation                  Extension
 Preliminary                  FBI supervisor     • SAC,                          180 days    90 days      • Required for              None required
 inquiries                                         first two                                                 “sensitive criminal
                                                   extensions                                                matters” only
                                                 • FBI HQ, any                                            • SAC must notify U.S.
                                                   further                                                   Attorney or other DOJ
                                                   extensions                                                official
 Terrorism                    SAC                SAC                             1 year      1 year       • SAC must notify           • SAC must
 Enterprise                                                                                                  FBI HQ                      notify FBI
 investigations                                                                                                                          HQ
                                                                                                          • FBI HQ must notify        • FBI HQ
                                                                                                             DOJ Criminal Division       must notify
                                                                                                             and OIPR, and any           DOJ
                                                                                                             affected U.S. Attorney      Criminal
                                                                                                                                         Division
                                                                                                          • DOJ Criminal Division • DOJ
                                                                                                             must notify AG and          Criminal
                                                                                                             Deputy AG                   Division
                                                                                                                                         must notify
                                                                                                                                         AG and
                                                                                                                                         Deputy AG
Source: GAO analysis of the 2002 Attorney General’s Guidelines.


                                                                  Similarly, the controls described in table 9 are also designed to ensure that
                                                                  only valid, authorized transactions and events are initiated or entered into
                                                                  by the FBI—in this case, investigative techniques, including the new
                                                                  counterterrorism authorities granted under the revised Guidelines.




                                                                  Page 53                                          GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
    Table 9: Controls in the Guidelines Relating to Authorized and Prohibited
    Investigative Activities

                                       Authorized activities or           Prohibited activities or
                                       techniques                         techniques
     Preliminary inquiries             • All lawful techniques            • Mail openings.
                                          except those specifically       • Nonconsensual electronic
                                          prohibited.                        surveillance.
     Terrorism enterprise              • All lawful techniques.           • None identified.
     investigations
     Counterterrorism                  •   For counterterrorism           •   None identified, but systems
     activities and other                  purposes, FBI may                  must be periodically reviewed
     authorizations                        operate and participate in         to ensure compliance with
                                           identification, tracking,          applicable, laws, regulations,
                                           and information systems            policies, and guidelines.
                                           containing data from FBI,
                                           government, public, or
                                           private sources.
                                       •   For counterterrorism           •   Information from such visits
                                           purposes, FBI is                   may not be retained unless it
                                           authorized to visit places         relates to potential criminal or
                                           and events that are also           terrorist activity.
                                           open to the public.
                                       •   FBI is authorized to           •   General online or topical
                                           conduct topical and online         research may not be
                                           research, including                conducted on individual names
                                           accessing online sites and         or identifiers, except where
                                           forums.                            incidental to topical research.
                                       •   Authorized activities must     •   Maintaining files on individuals
                                           have a valid law                   solely for the purpose of
                                           enforcement purpose and            monitoring activities protected
                                           conform to applicable              by the 1st Amendment or other
                                           laws, regulations, policies,       rights secured by the
                                           and guidelines.                    Constitution is prohibited.
    Source: GAO analysis of the 2002 Attorney General’s Guidelines.


    Regarding counterterrorism activities and other authorizations as
    identified in table .9 above, the controls associated with these authorities
    are less specific when compared with those associated with the initiation
    and renewal of preliminary inquiries and terrorism enterprise
    investigations, as described in table 7. For example:

•   Regarding the FBI’s authorization to operate and participate in
    counterterrorism information systems, there is no indication of how
    agents are to document this activity, nor how supervisors are to ensure
    that the purpose of the activity is detecting or preventing terrorism.
    Further, there is no indication of when such systems should be reviewed,
    what these reviews should entail (e.g., verifying compliance with access,
    use, or data retention requirements), and whether any such reviews are
    required if systems accessed are not operated by the FBI.


    Page 54                                                               GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                        •   Regarding the FBI’s authorization to visit public places or events, there is
                            no indication of how agents are to document the activity, how supervisors
                            are to ensure that the purpose of the activity is detecting or preventing
                            terrorism, and how compliance with the prohibition on maintaining
                            information is to be verified.

                            FBI headquarters officials said that agents are not required to obtain
                            supervisory approval before accessing terrorism information systems, but
                            they are encouraged to seek legal guidance to ensure they comply with
                            applicable guidelines. Also, the process of creating such systems involves
                            reviews for compliance with the Privacy Act and other applicable
                            regulations, and any data that are collected, used, or disseminated are
                            subject to Privacy Act restrictions. Regarding visiting public places and
                            events, agents should obtain prior supervisory approval, if time permits,
                            and the date, time, and place of the visit should always be noted in the
                            case file. For either of these new authorities, the FBI’s supervisory case
                            file review process is the primary vehicle to ensure that agents comply
                            with the Guidelines and do not go beyond their stated authorities.


                            Regarding policies and procedures, FBI headquarters officials told us that
FBI Policies and            guidance such as that contained in the Guidelines is to be incorporated
Procedures, Training,       into the FBI’s investigative and administrative manuals on a regular basis.3
                            Consistent with this practice, the FBI is in the process of completing
and Supervision             revisions to its Manual of Investigative Operations and Guidelines (MIOG)
                            policies and procedures manuals to incorporate guidance on the
                            implementation of Guidelines.

                            Training on the Guidelines is included in all new agent training provided at
                            the FBI Academy. In addition, on-board agents received training on the
                            Guidelines through the FBI’s Office of General Counsel, in the form of
                            direct guidance provided to each field office, various in-service training
                            presentations, and as part of basic training provided to agents being
                            transferred to counterterrorism from other program areas. The field office
                            Chief Division Counsels also received Guidelines training, and they told us
                            this training was subsequently provided to agents in their field offices
                            during periodic legal updates. We found that about 55 percent of the field
                            agents who completed our questionnaire in April 2003 indicated that they



                            3
                            These are the Manual of Investigative Operations and Guidelines and the Manual of
                            Administrative Operations and Procedures.



                            Page 55                                               GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                   had received training relating to the Guidelines—but the majority of that
                   was on-the-job training. The FBI’s training program was recently re-
                   engineered to, among other things, update the new agent and in-service
                   training curriculum to better address the FBI’s shift in resources from
                   criminal programs to priority areas, such as counterterrorism. Training on
                   the Guidelines continues and is included in the new curriculum framework
                   for both new and in-service agents.

                   With respect to supervision, supervisory agents are responsible for
                   monitoring agents’ work and, more formally, they are to perform periodic
                   case file reviews at least every 90 days on all cases being worked by their
                   agents. During these case file reviews, supervisors are to monitor the
                   progress of cases by reviewing investigative work completed
                   accomplished, verifying compliance with any applicable policies and
                   procedures (including the Guidelines), and assessing the validity of
                   continuing with the case. They also review investigative work planned for
                   the next period—including, for example, any significant data collection
                   that will be employed—and discuss any issues associated with or
                   approvals needed to carry out the investigative strategy. Nearly all the field
                   agents who completed our questionnaire indicated that their supervisors
                   performed case file reviews every 90 days—more often in some cases. As
                   an additional oversight, FBI officials told us that field office Assistant
                   Special Agents-in-Charge periodically check supervisory case file reviews
                   to ensure the adequacy of the case file review process. No specific
                   changes to the FBI’s supervisory case file review process were made in
                   response to the issuance of the revised Guidelines.


                   The FBI’s Inspection Division is responsible for reviewing FBI program
FBI Field Office   divisions and field offices to ensure compliance with applicable laws and
Inspections        regulations and the efficient and economical management of resources.
                   The Inspection Division attempts to regularly inspect all FBI units at least
                   once every 3 years. Among other things, inspectors review field office case
                   files to (1) assess the adequacy of supervisors’ case file reviews and
                   (2) ensure that investigative work complies with administrative and
                   investigative policies and procedures. According to FBI headquarters
                   inspection officials, it is in the context of reviewing case files that
                   inspectors determine compliance with the procedures and other guidance
                   contained in the Guidelines.

                   We reviewed selected FBI inspection reports completed since October
                   1999—including the most recent inspections for the 14 field offices we
                   visited and 4 other field office inspections completed after the Guidelines

                   Page 56                                         GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
    were issued. Our review confirmed that inspectors were reviewing
    compliance with the Guidelines and adequacy of supervisory case files
    reviews during their inspection. We noted the following inspection
    findings:

•   In four inspections, a preliminary inquiry was not converted to a full
    investigation after expiration of the initial authorization period.

•   In seven inspections, some case file reviews were not performed in a
    timely manner.

•   In one inspection, an investigation was opened without approval by the
    field office Agent-in-Charge or notification to FBI headquarters.

    With respect to the new investigative authorities granted under the revised
    Guidelines, in reviewing the four inspection reports completed after the
    Guidelines were issued, there were no findings related to FBI
    noncompliance with these new investigative authorities.

    The FBI’s inspections process was reengineered in late 2002, resulting in
    revisions to the various inspection audit guides and checklists that
    inspectors use to gather advance data about program operations and
    investigative activities and plan their work.4 In reviewing these audit
    guides, we found two program review guides that included a reference to
    the Guidelines—that is, that inspectors should “verify compliance with
    Attorney General Guidelines relating to the initiation, renewal, or
    continuance of investigations or investigative techniques.” According to
    the FBI’s Chief Inspector, it is not necessary to incorporate specific
    references to the revised Guidelines into the inspection audit guides, since
    inspectors are already verifying compliance with all Attorney General
    Guidelines (and other policies and procedures) by reviewing case files and
    supervisory case file reviews.




    4
     For example, there are inspection audit guides covering the investigative programs,
    executive management of the field office, electronic surveillance procedures, and
    evaluation of internal controls.



    Page 57                                                 GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                        Within the FBI, the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) is
Investigations of FBI   generally responsible for investigating and adjudicating allegations of
Misconduct and          misconduct by FBI employees. OPR’s investigative case activity is shown
                        in table 10, below.
Abuse
                        Table 10: Allegations of FBI Misconduct Received and Investigated by FBI OPR—
                        October 2000 through March 2003

                                                                                  Fiscal year
                                                                          2001           2002       2003a
                            Cases opened                                    612           685         282
                            Number of offenses alleged                    1,154         1,188         408
                            Cases closed                                    551           689         326
                            Substantiated and disciplinary action taken     347           519         168
                        Source: FBI OPR.
                        a
                        As of March 2003.


                        OPR does not currently capture statistics regarding the total number of
                        allegations received or the number of allegations that are closed without
                        inquiry. However, OPR officials told us they were not aware of any cases
                        involving violations of the authorities in the revised Guidelines related to
                        terrorism investigations. Based on their standardized offense codes and
                        the time period identified above, they identified a number of closed cases
                        involving violations of Attorney General Guidelines, violations of
                        individual civil rights, and violations of investigative policies and
                        procedures. However, they told us that the only way to verify whether any
                        of these cases specifically involved some aspect of the revised Guidelines
                        would be to review each of the individual investigative case files. An OPR
                        official told us that a redesign of their computer system is in progress, and
                        additional information on allegations received and investigations opened
                        will be captured when the redesign is complete. However, no changes are
                        planned to allow the tracking of misconduct cases specifically related the
                        revised Guidelines.

                        Within the Department of Justice, the Office of Inspector General (OIG)
                        also has responsibility for ensuring that allegations of FBI misconduct are
                        appropriately handled. Beginning in July 2001, all allegations against FBI
                        employees were to be submitted initially to the OIG for review. The OIG
                        then decides which complaints it will investigate and which it will refer
                        back to OPR for investigation. As shown in table 11, most allegations of
                        FBI misconduct are referred to OPR for investigation or other disposition.
                        The OIG did not specifically track the number of allegations involving the
                        Guidelines, but they did report that the most common complaints received


                        Page 58                                            GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
were job performance failure, waste and misuse of government property,
and other official misconduct.

Table 11: Allegations of FBI Misconduct Received and Investigated by DOJ OIG—
July 2001 through February 2003

                                                                      Number of
    Disposition of allegations                                        allegations                Percent
    Referred to OIG’s Investigation Division                                   71                  5.6%
    Referred to OIG’s Office of Oversight and Review                           14                    1.1
    Forwarded to FBI OPR as “management issues”a                            1,061                   84.3
                                               b
    Referred to FBI as “monitored referrals”                                   41                    3.3
    Informational items filed for future referencec                            72                    5.7
    Total                                                                   1,259                100.0%
Source: DOJ OIG.
a
 This category includes allegations within the FBI’s jurisdiction but not against FBI employees;
complaints that cite no improper act by an FBI employee; and administrative issues such as lost
credentials and misuse of FBI equipment.
b
    Monitored referrals require FBI OPR to investigate the allegation and report their findings to the OIG.
c
 This category includes information that provides no viable leads to investigate, repetitive information
that has either been addressed or previously filed, and information from sources in which the
credibility of the source is in question.


The OIG also has responsibility under the USA Patriot Act5 to receive and
investigate all allegations of civil rights or civil liberties abuses raised
against DOJ employees. Between October 2001 and February 2003, the
OIG received 35 allegations involving FBI violations of individual civil
liberties, 2 of which were reported to involve noncompliance with
Attorney General Guidelines. Upon further review, however, one involved
an illegal search, one involved a coerced statement, and neither involved
noncompliance with the new authorities granted under the Guidelines. As
part of its mission to oversee DOJ programs and operations, the OIG
currently plans to conduct an evaluation of the FBI’s entire process of
employee discipline. Furthermore, in April 2003, the OIG began a review of
the FBI’s implementation of all Attorney General’s Guidelines that were
revised in May 2002—including the domestic investigative guidelines.




5
    P.L. 107-56, 115 Stat. 272, 391 (2001).



Page 59                                                             GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                           When the revised Guidelines were issued, private sector groups raised
Concerns about How         concerns about what they saw as a relaxing of investigative controls over
the Guidelines May         the FBI, which represented a potential threat to individual civil liberties.
                           For example:
Adversely Affect Civil
Liberties              •   Private sector officials said that the FBI is now allowed to gather
                           information at any place or event that is open to the public—even in the
                           absence of any indication of criminal activity. This encourages a return to
                           the days when the FBI sent agents into churches and other organizations
                           during the civil rights movement, in an attempt to block the movement and
                           suppress antigovernment dissent.

                       •   These officials also noted that liberalization of the Guidelines which
                           allows the FBI to access and analyze data from commercial and private
                           sector databases will result in a return to profiling of individuals and
                           building of intelligence dossiers. The inaccuracy or misuse of such data
                           could lead to innocent persons being suspected of crimes.

                           None of the private sector officials we met with could provide specific
                           examples of the FBI abusing the new authorities granted under the
                           Guidelines. Rather, their concerns stemmed from the notion that granting
                           the FBI broader investigative authorities—which can be used even in the
                           absence of any suspected criminal activity—not only ignores the lessons
                           of past abuses, but is unlikely to result in any tangible gains in law
                           enforcement.6

                           FBI headquarters officials said that the supervisory case file review
                           process is the primary vehicle to ensure that agents comply with
                           applicable policies and procedures—including the Guidelines. Regarding
                           the authority to visit public places and events, FBI field office managers
                           told us that, considering the number of legitimate leads coming in and the
                           number of ongoing preliminary inquiries and investigations, agents are
                           fully tasked to support existing work and do not have the time or need to
                           visit public places or surf the Internet to generate additional leads. Based
                           on our field visits, however, we found that some agents are proactively
                           using the new investigative authorities granted under the revised
                           Guidelines. As shown in table 12, as of April 2003, 64 (about 36 percent) of


                           6
                            In the mid-1970s, we reported on the FBI’s domestic intelligence program and also found
                           that, despite intensive efforts to disrupt dissident and subversive acts by domestic groups,
                           the program showed little evidence of advance knowledge of extremist acts or violence,
                           and overall showed few visible results.



                           Page 60                                                   GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
                                                                  the 176 agents who completed our questionnaire indicated they had
                                                                  accessed commercial information or databases, 53 (about 30 percent)
                                                                  conducted online Internet searches or accessed online sites, and 31 (about
                                                                  18 percent) visited public places or events, prior to opening a preliminary
                                                                  inquiry or investigation. In addition, most of the agents who completed the
                                                                  questionnaire indicated prior supervisory approval was not needed to
                                                                  perform these activities.

Table 12: Use of New Investigative Authorities under the Revised Guidelines by FBI Field Agents Who Completed Our
Questionnaires

                                                                                                                                           No prior
                                                                        Used prior to a           Used during a        Supervisory      supervisory
 Investigative                                                   preliminary inquiry or   preliminary inquiry or   approval prior to       approval
 activity                                                                investigation             investigation        the activity        needed
 Accessed commercial information or
 databases                                                                          64                      153                  11             150
 Accessed other public or private
 information or databases                                                           50                      143                  24             128
 Visited public places
 and events                                                                         31                      104                  48              96
 Conducted general topical or subject
 matter research                                                                    64                      128                   9             148
 Conducted online searches or
 accessed online sites or forums                                                    53                      122                  22             126
Source: Analysis of FBI field agent responses to GAO questionnaire.


                                                                  To help assuage public concerns about civil liberties issues, the FBI has
                                                                  been reaching out to communities to assure them that, despite the
                                                                  emphasis on counterterrorism, investigating abuses remains a high priority
                                                                  of the FBI. FBI field offices have been tasked to contact Muslim leaders
                                                                  for the purpose of establishing a dialogue and discussing procedures for
                                                                  alerting the FBI to civil rights abuses. For example, in one field office we
                                                                  visited, five meetings were held during the first 4 months of 2003—
                                                                  including meetings with Muslim community leaders and a panel discussion
                                                                  to answer questions from the public—covering topics related to homeland
                                                                  security, FBI employment, and community outreach. Throughout the FBI,
                                                                  over 500 outreach meetings occurred during the first 5 months after
                                                                  September 11, 2001. In addition, some FBI field offices have provided
                                                                  sensitivity training to field agents on the Islamic religion and culture.
                                                                  Finally, regarding the new investigative authority to visit public places and
                                                                  events, FBI headquarters officials are currently considering whether to
                                                                  require mandatory supervisory approval prior to allowing an agent to enter
                                                                  a public place or attend a public meeting.




(440161 and 440162)
                                                                  Page 61                                            GAO-03-759T FBI Reorganization
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