The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (OIG), Office of Integrity and Quality Oversight, Investigations Quality Assurance Division, conducted an oversight review of the DHS’ Office of the Chief Security Officer (OCSO), Internal Security Division (ISD) from October 2019 through February 2020. The review covered the division’s investigative activity from October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2019. OIG conducted this review as part of our planned, periodic reviews of Department component internal affairs offices, as mandated by the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended.
OIG assessed compliance with ISD’s internal policies and procedures, DHS policies, Attorney General Guidelines (including the Attorney General’s Guidelines for the Exercise of Law Enforcement Authorities, by Officers and Agents of the Department of Homeland Security under 40 United States Code (U.S.C.) § 1315 (b) & (f)), and other relevant laws and guidelines, as applicable. OIG also reviewed investigative case files closed during our review period.
OIG verified that ISD possessed all assigned technical equipment and Government-assigned vehicles. In addition, periodic background reinvestigations for ISD staff were current. Personnel also met operational training requirements for firearms.
Areas for improvement include standardized guidance for investigative operations; administrative requirements for evidence and firearms; accountability for law enforcement sensitive equipment; case file management, reports, and documentation; and compliance with DHS Management Directive 0810.1.
OIG made 20 recommendations to ISD to address these deficiencies and improve its operations. DHS concurred with all 20 recommendations. Also, OCSO leadership stated it is committed to ensuring it maintains current policies that help standardize operations, improve evidence handling procedures, address discrepancies regarding the management of firearms, and better manage case documents.