(FBI photo)

OIG Finds DHS Law Enforcement Components Did Not Consistently Collect DNA from Arrestees

Department of Homeland Security law enforcement components did not consistently collect DNA from arrestees as required by the DNA Fingerprint Act of 2005 and the Code of Federal Regulations, the DHS Office of Inspector General said.

Of the five DHS law enforcement components we reviewed that are subject to these DNA collection requirements, only United States Secret Service consistently collected DNA from arrestees. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Federal Protective Service inconsistently collected DNA, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration collected no DNA.

DHS did not adequately oversee its law enforcement components to ensure they properly implemented DNA collection, OIG said. Based on analysis, OIG projected that DHS law enforcement components we audited did not collect DNA for about 212,646, or 88 percent, of the 241,753 arrestees from fiscal years 2018 and 2019. Without all DHS arrestees’ DNA samples in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s criminal database, law enforcement likely missed opportunities to receive investigative leads based on DNA matches. Additionally, DHS did not benefit from unity of effort, such as sharing and leveraging processes, data collection, and best practices across components.

OIG conducted this audit to determine whether DHS law enforcement components collected DNA samples as the DNA Fingerprint Act of 2005 and subsequent DOJ regulations require.

OIG recommended DHS oversee and guide its law enforcement components to ensure they comply with requirements of the DNA Fingerprint Act of 2005 and 28 C.F.R. § 28.12. DHS concurred with the four recommendations.

Read the OIG report

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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