The Drug Enforcement Administration today announced a comprehensive review of DEA’s international operations and foreign footprint, including administrative and financial support for those operations from DEA headquarters. Administrator Anne Milgram has recommended a top to bottom review of foreign operations that will be overseen by an independent team. As part of the review, the team will talk to DEA personnel posted in DEA’s foreign offices and headquarters who perform this critical work.
The threat of illicit foreign drugs to the health and safety of our citizens has never been greater. DEA’s international operations are critical to the success of its mission, and a comprehensive review of DEA’s international operations is needed to ensure maximum effectiveness and accountability in today’s world. Global threats, including international cartels, narco-terrorist violence, and precursor chemicals flowing from other countries, are endangering the health and safety of the American public. Currently, DEA has 91 foreign field offices in 69 countries across the world. These offices have seen an exponential increase of foreign-sourced drugs such as fentanyl, and their resultant danger to American citizens.
“This review will provide recommendations for my consideration upon completion. Specifically, I expect the team to provide an assessment of DEA’s current international operational capacity, and to identify areas for improvement to ensure DEA’s international operations are impactful and effective, with the appropriate structures, procedures, and controls to ensure integrity and accountability,” said Administrator Milgram.
The Drug Enforcement Administration appreciates the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (OIG) acknowledgement that DEA’s work through DEA-supported foreign law enforcement units is paramount to DEA’s global operations. DEA’s mission to protect the safety and health of the American public demands effective international operations. DEA appreciates the OIG’s efforts to identify areas for improvement in DEA Headquarters management of these programs during 2017 through 2019, the period covered by the OIG’s audit. DEA is committed to enhancing what works and fixing what does not so that we can maintain these critical partnerships, and thus, DEA concurs with the ten recommendations in the OIG’s report.