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Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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OIG Reviews DHS Agencies’ Accounting for Drug Control Funds

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) has published three reports into the Department of Homeland Security’s accounting for drug control funds.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Circular, National Drug Control Program Agency Compliance Reviews, requires National Drug Control Program agencies to submit to the ONDCP Director by February 1 each year a detailed accounting of all funds expended for National Drug Control Program activities during the previous fiscal year. At least every three years, OIG is required to review the agency’s submission and provide a conclusion about the reliability of each assertion in the report. 

Williams, Adley & Company – DC, LLP (Williams Adley), under contract with OIG, issued an Independent Accountant’s Report on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Detailed Accounting Report. Based on its review, nothing came to Williams Adley’s attention that caused it to believe that ICE’s FY 2021 Detailed Accounting Report and related assertions are not presented in conformity with criteria in the Circular. Williams Adley said that ICE “continues to focus heavily on controls for all financial related systems, such as those used for financial management, invoice management, real property, time and attendance, and procurement”. Williams Adley also found that ICE has completed a full assessment of IT general controls for designated systems.

Williams Adley also issued an Independent Accountant’s Report on the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers’ (FLETC) Detailed Accounting Report. As with the ICE review, nothing came to Williams Adley’s attention that caused it to believe that FLETC’s FY 2021 Detailed Accounting Report and related assertions are not presented in conformity with the criteria in the Circular. The portion of FLETC’s total budget considered to be drug resources is identified by historical trends of drug-related training relative to total student-weeks of training and the associated budget authority required to conduct that training. Advanced training programs with a drug nexus are considered to provide 100% support to drug enforcement activities. State and local training programs with a drug nexus are also considered to provide 100% support. All international training has a drug nexus and is also considered to provide 100% support. FLETC drug enforcement training support is in the following three training functions: Investigations, 96%; State and Local Training and Assistance, 3%; and, International Training and Technical Assistance, 1%. Williams Adley also found that the percentage of the Salaries and Expenses appropriation that supports drug enforcement activities remains constant at 20.4%; however, it noted that the percentage of FLETC’s total budget authority in support of drug enforcement activities fluctuates. 

Finally, Williams Adley’s review of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Detailed Accounting Report for Drug Control funds was slightly hampered by the fact that CBP management was unable to provide supporting documentation for the methodology used in determining the drug control obligation percentages for each CBP program office. These percentages are applied to total actual obligations to estimate the obligations related to its drug control activities. CBP management was also unable to provide supporting documentation for the methodology used in estimating the percentages of drug control activity obligations allocated between interdiction and intelligence. As a result, Williams Adley was unable to assess the reasonableness and accuracy of the methodologies used and Drug Methodology assertion. However, Williams Adley found no other issues that caused it to believe that the FY 2021 Detailed Accounting Report and related assertions are not presented in conformity with the criteria in the ONDCP Circular. 

Williams Adley also noted in its report that of the 15 percent of obligations related to drug enforcement activities, U.S. Border Patrol determined that 3.5 percent of agents’ efforts are related to intelligence and 96.5 percent are related to drug interdiction. Also, historically, the 15 percent of obligations are related to drug interdiction only. These activities include staffing permanent border traffic checkpoints nationwide, including 888 canine units trained in the detection of humans and certain illegal drugs that are concealed within cargo containers, truck trailers, passenger vehicles, and boats. In addition, agents perform line watch functions in targeted border areas that are frequent entry points for the smuggling of drugs and people into the United States.

Kylie Bielby
Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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