Department of Justice Reauthorization: Provisions to Improve Program Management, Compliance, and Evaluation of Justice Assistance Grants
Department of Justice Reauthorization:
Provisions to Improve Program Management,
Compliance, and Evaluation of Justice
Updated January 10, 2006
Analyst in Social Policy
Domestic Social Policy Division
Department of Justice Reauthorization: Provisions to
Improve Program Management, Compliance, and
Evaluation of Justice Assistance Grants
Since 1999, Congress has expressed an interest in the organizational structure
of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) Office of Justice Programs (OJP). The 109th
Congress passed legislation that restructures OJP and creates a new Office of Audit,
Assessment and Management to more closely monitor grantee compliance with grant
programs, among other things. The Violence Against Women and Department of
Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 was signed into law on January 5, 2006 (P.L.
OJP is the main agency within DOJ that awards grants to states, local, and tribal
governments, as well as nonprofit organizations to help develop the country’s
capacity to prevent and control crime, improve criminal justice systems, increase
knowledge about crime, and assist victims of crime. Since the 1990s, both the
Government Accountability Office (GAO) and DOJ’s Office of Inspector General
(OIG) have reported on issues facing OJP with respect to managing and conducting
sufficient evaluations of its grant programs. At issue is whether the current
organizational structure of OJP is capable of properly managing its grant programs
and monitoring grantee compliance with program requirements.
The Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act
of 2005 authorizes appropriations for DOJ for FY2006 through FY2009. The act
also codifies the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program
and the Community Capacity Development Office (CCDO). Furthermore, the act
reauthorizes and restructures grant programs under the Community Oriented Policing
Service (COPS) office as well as grant programs under the Violence Against Women
One of the more controversial provisions in the act is the creation of the Office
of Audit, Assessment and Management within OJP, which will audit, exercise
corrective actions with response to, and manage information with respect to any OJP
or COPS grant program. DOJ currently has two components that are tasked with
monitoring the effectiveness and efficiency of its grant programs: grant managers
and OIG. OJP grant managers, who are located in each of its bureaus and program
offices, are charged with monitoring the grants made by their office; the OIG is
charged with promoting economy, efficiency and effectiveness within the
The Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act
of 2005 seeks to address reported shortcomings at OJP; however, several questions
are raised. For example, while the act does not restructure audit and performance
measure activities under OJP’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) or the OIG, how
will the newly created audit and performance office compliment the oversight
functions of NIJ and OIG? Moreover, what will the role of OJP’s grant managers be
under the newly created office?
Current Legislative Developments.....................................1
In troduction ......................................................1
Office of Justice Programs...........................................2
Bureau of Justice Assistance.....................................3
National Institute of Justice......................................3
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention ................4
Bureau of Justice Statistics......................................4
Office for Victims of Crime......................................5
Community Capacity Development Office..........................5
Office of the Police Corps and Law Enforcement Education............6
DOJ Office of the Inspector General...................................6
Assessments of OJP Grant Management and Program Evaluations...........6
GAO Reports and Findings......................................7
DOJ OIG Reports and Findings...................................8
The Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization
Act of 2005.................................................10
The Office of Audit, Assessment and Management..................10
National Institute of Justice.................................10
OJP Grant Managers......................................11
Grant Management System.................................11
The Community Capacity Development Office and the Weed and
Seed Grant Program.......................................11
Possible Issues and Questions.......................................12
Department of Justice Reauthorization:
Provisions to Improve Program
Management, Compliance, and Evaluation
of Justice Assistance Grants
Current Legislative Developments
The Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act
of 2005 was signed into law on January 5, 2006 (P.L. 109-162). The act reauthorizes
many of the agencies and programs under the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s)
jurisdiction. It also includes several provisions that builds upon previous efforts to
restructure the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and improves its administration of
numerous grant programs to assist state, local, and tribal governments, as well as
nonprofit organizations with preventing and controlling crime.
Since 1999, Congress has expressed an interest in the organizational structure
of the DOJ’s OJP. For example, in the Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY1999,1
Congress noted the “dramatic growth” of OJP and questioned its responsiveness to
the needs of state, local, and tribal governments. At issue was the apparent
duplication of efforts between OJP’s grant programs (as well as grant programs
administered by other offices in DOJ) and the various bureaus within OJP that were
charged with administering grants. Congress stressed the need for a management
structure that would allow “for greater centralization of accountability and2
responsibility for obligation of all OJP funds.” To achieve this goal, Congress
required OJP to develop a plan that would streamline the various grant programs3
under its jurisdiction. A subsequent appropriations act further required OJP to
submit a restructuring plan.4
1 P.L. 105-277; H.Rept. 105-825 (and language concerning the restructure of OJP in
H.Rept. 105-636, which was adopted in H.Rept. 105-825).
4 In the FY2000 Consolidated Appropriations Act, Congress required OJP to submit a
“formal reorganization proposal” by Feb. 1, 2000 (P.L. 106-113; H.Rept. 106-398). OJP had
previously submitted a restructuring proposal.
In addition, both the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and DOJ’s
Office of Inspector General (OIG) have reported on issues facing OJP and the
management of its grant programs. Both GAO and OIG found that the current
organizational structure of OJP may not be adequate to ensure its grant monitoring
problems are resolved (see discussion below).
At issue for Congress is whether there needs to be an independent office that has
oversight authority over OJP’s grant programs and the degree to which that office
would enhance or duplicate the efforts that are currently being performed by OJP’s
grant managers, the National Institute of Justice and the OIG. Additionally, should
a stand-alone office be responsible for providing state, local, and tribal governments,
as well as nonprofit organizations with training on OJP and other DOJ grant
programs compliance? And would such an office be duplicative of other functions
already existing within DOJ?
This report opens with a description of the current makeup of OJP. It then
discusses some of the issues facing OJP that have been identified by GAO and the
OIG that have led to the current congressional proposal to restructure the Office. A
description of the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice
Reauthorization Act of 2005 is discussed and analyzed within the context of
restructuring OJP. This report, however, does not discuss the Violence Against
Women Act (VAWA) provisions.5 The report concludes with a discussion of
possible issues and questions that could be raised with respect to the act’s
Office of Justice Programs
In 1984, Congress created OJP by passing the Justice Assistance Act of 1984.6
The Assistant Attorney General (AAG) for Justice Programs oversees OJP, which
has approximately 700 employees.7 OJP is the main agency within DOJ that awards
grants to states, local government, and nonprofit organizations to help develop the
country’s capacity to prevent and control crime, improve criminal justice systems,8
increase knowledge about crime and assist victims of crime. (There are other offices
within DOJ that also award grants, specifically the Violence Against Women Office
and the Community Oriented Police Office.)
5 For a discussion of these provisions see CRS Report RL30871, Violence Against Women
Act: History and Federal Funding, by Garrine P. Laney.
6 Title II, §603(a) of P.L. 98-473, 98 Stat. 2077.
7 U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, Semiannial Report to
Congress Apr. 1, 2004-Sept. 30, 2004, p. 18.
8 See [http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/about.htm] for a complete description of the role of OJP
within the DOJ. The site also provides a links to OJP’s bureaus and program offices.
The AAG assures that OJP’s policies reflect those of the President, the Attorney
General, and Congress.9 The AAG coordinates the efforts of OJP’s five bureaus and
two program offices, ensuring OJP’s mission is met. OJP’s five bureaus are the
Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the Office
of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Bureau of Justice Statistics
(BJS), and the Office of Victims of Crime (OVC). OJP’s two program offices are
the Community Capacity Development Office (CCDO) and the Office of the Police
Corps and Law Enforcement Education.
Bureau of Justice Assistance10
The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) provides leadership and assistance to
state, local, and tribal governments in support of local criminal justice strategies to
achieve safe communities. BJA’s purpose is to provide “funding, training, and
technical assistance to state and local governments, Indian tribes, and public and
private organizations to combat violent and drug-related crime and help improve the
criminal justice system.”11 BJA awards formula grants to state and local
governments (including U.S. territories and the District of Columbia) through its
Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program. BJA also administers a variety of
discretionary grant programs as well as payment and benefit programs such as the
Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program.12 BJA also makes a variety of competitive
awards through open solicitations for applications.13
National Institute of Justice14
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the research, evaluation, and
development agency for the DOJ.15 The mission of NIJ is to “advance scientific
research, development and evaluation to enhance the administration of justice and
public safety.”16 Major NIJ programs include:
!social science research and evaluation;
9 See [http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/aag/] for a complete description of the AAG’s office and
the role of the AAG at OJP.
10 42 U.S.C. §3741.
11 OJP’s Grant Manager’s Manual, §22.214.171.124.
12 See Office of Justice Programs Resource Guide, FY2005 edition., p. 1, available at
[http://www.oj p.usdoj .gov/ocom/ docs/OJ PResourceGuide05.pdf].
13 See [http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/BJA/grant/index.html] for a list of the programs BJA
14 42 U.S.C. §3722.
15 See [http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/about.htm] for a complete description of NIJ’s mission,
information about each of NIJ’s organizational components and information about NIJ’s
16 See [http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/about.htm].
!forensic laboratory capacity development;
!technology assistance for state and local public safety agencies; and
!dissemination of information through publications, websites and
NIJ sponsors research and development and technology assistance by awarding grants
to external organizations. NIJ also conducts internal evaluations of programs,
policies and technologies for the DOJ. NIJ actively solicits the views of criminal
justice professionals and researchers in its efforts to develop knowledge and tools
that can inform policy and practice. In so doing, NIJ often awards grants to evaluate
the effectiveness of OJP grant programs.
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention17
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)18 awards
grants to states and localities to help them improve their juvenile justice system
through programs that seek to incorporate proven prevention strategies, provide
treatment and rehabilitation and hold juvenile offenders accountable. OJJDP awards
formula grants to states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia through the
Juvenile Accountability Block Grant (JABG) program and through its Title V grant
program. OJJDP also makes awards through open solicitations for applications. In
addition, OJJDP sponsors innovative research, demonstration, evaluation, statistics,
replication, technical assistance and training programs to promote delinquency
prevention and response to juvenile violence and delinquency.19
Bureau of Justice Statistics20
The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) collects, analyzes, publishes, and
disseminates data on crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operation21
of the criminal justice system at all levels of government. The data are made
available to federal, state, and local government as well as the public to assist in
combating crime and to ensure the efficient administration of justice throughout the
country. BJS also provides technical assistance to state, local, and tribal governments
to help them develop their criminal justice statistical capabilities. While BJS does
administer grant programs, like the National Criminal History Improvement Program22
(NCHIP), the administration of grants is not the primary function of this bureau.
17 For additional information on OJJDP, see CRS Report RS22070, Juvenile Justice:
Overview of Legislative History and Funding Trends, by Blas Nuñez-Neto.
18 42 U.S.C. §5611.
19 OJP’s Grant Manager’s Manual, §126.96.36.199.
20 42 U.S.C. §3732.
21 See [http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/aboutbjs.htm] for a complete description of BJS’s
mission statement, organizational chart, programs, strategic plan and forthcoming
22 See [http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/aboutbjs.htm] for a list of programs funded by BJS.
Office for Victims of Crime23
The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)24 provides federal funds for victim
compensation and assistance programs across the country. OVC also provides
training for professionals working with victims, developing and disseminating
publications, supporting projects to enhance victims’ rights and services, and
educating the public about victim issues.25 Funds for OVC programs come from the
Crime Victims Fund established by the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA).26 The Crime
Victims Fund is authorized to use donations from private entities, bequests, or private
gifts by P.L. 107-56.27 OVC uses discretionary funds for training and technical
assistance and demonstration initiatives to enhance the knowledge, skills, and
abilities of victim service providers.
Community Capacity Development Office
The Community Capacity Development Office (CCDO) is responsible for
overseeing and managing the Weed and Seed Program.28 Until 2004, CCDO was
known as the Executive Office of Weed and Seed. CCDO was created in March
promote neighborhood revitalization. CCDO’s current mission is to develop,
evaluate, and implement policies that serve as models for community capacity
development efforts by providing counseling for federal, state, and local governments
and the private sector on a variety of justice-related community issues.30 CCDO also
hosts OJP’s American Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Desk, which was created to
enhance access to information about funding opportunities for federally recognized31
tribes, the availability of training and technical assistance and other information.
23 For additional information, see CRS Report RL32579, Victims of Crime Compensation
and Assistance: Background and Funding, by Celinda Franco.
24 42 U.S.C. §10605.
25 See [http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/publications/factshts/what_is_ovc/fs_000307.html#1]
for a complete description of OVC’s mission, a listing and description of its divisions and
links to recent publications.
26 P.L. 98-473, as amended.
27 See P.L. 107-56, the USA PATRIOT Act.
28 The Weed and Seed is a discretionary grant program designed to “weed out” crime in
selected neighborhoods, and “seed” them with coordinated crime prevention and human
service programs. See CRS Report RL32827 , Selected Federal Crime Control Assistance
to State and Local Governments, by Cindy Hill.
29 See [http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/pressreleases/OJP04011.htm] for the complete OJP press
release announcing the restructuring of CCDO.
30 See [http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ccdo/about/faq.html] for a complete listing of CCDO’s
frequently asked questions.
31 See [http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/americannative/whats_new.htm] for a brief description of
the role of the American Indian/Alaska Native Affairs Desk along with links to funding for
Office of the Police Corps and Law Enforcement Education
The Office of the Police Corps and Law Enforcement Education funds state
Police Corps programs to combat crime by providing state and local law enforcement
with a greater pool of highly qualified candidates. To this end, the office awards
competitive scholarships to students who agree to be law enforcement officers for
four years after they complete a four-year degree.32 Police Corps programs also
award noncompetitive scholarships to dependent children of law enforcement officers
killed in the line of duty who are enrolled in accredited universities.
The next section discusses the role of the DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General
(OIG) in auditing OJP and other DOJ offices’ management of grant programs. Later
in the report, the auditing functions of the OIG are discussed in the context of the
legislative proposal to create an audit office.
DOJ Office of the Inspector General
DOJ’s OIG is responsible for oversight of DOJ activities and programs,
including OJP’s administration of several federal law enforcement assistance
programs. The OIG Audit Division performs “financial and performance audits of
organizations, programs and functions within the Department.”33 Performance audits
conducted by OIG’s Audit Division review economy, efficiency and programmatic
issues. The OIG also has an Evaluation and Inspection Division that provides the
Attorney General with an alternative method to the traditional audit for evaluating
the effectiveness of DOJ programs and activities. The Evaluations and Inspection
Division’s work usually results in ways for DOJ to streamline operations, eliminate
unnecessary regulations, and minimize inefficient and ineffective procedures.
Assessments of OJP Grant Management
and Program Evaluations
Since the 1990s, both GAO and OIG have reported on the following issues
facing OJP with respect to the administration of its grant programs:
!lack of monitoring and grantee compliance;
!lack of outcome-based evaluations;
!failure to adequately review grant applications; and
tribal communities and links to publications on tribal issues.
32 See [http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/opclee/about.html] for a complete description of the Police
33 See [http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/offices/organization.htm].
!failure to undertake more aggressive and timely corrective action on
GAO Reports and Findings
Since 1996, GAO has reported on issues pertaining to OJP’s management and
monitoring of its grant programs. Recent GAO congressional testimony revealed that
OJP has encountered problems with respect to grants in the following programs:
Byrne, OJJDP Discretionary, and Violence Against Women Office (VAWO).35 After
a review of several of OJP’s grant files that were active in FY1999 and FY2000,
GAO noted the following: (1) the grant files did not regularly document monitoring
activities in accordance with the monitoring plan for the grantee; (2) a “substantial”
number of the grant files did not include all of the progress and financial reports and
many of these reports were submitted late; and (3) the grant files did not always
include closeout documents.36
According to GAO, OJP has implemented some of the recommendations that
resulted from the GAO’s review of OJP’s grant files. OJP created the Grants
Management Manual (GMM) to ensure a consistent set of grant monitoring standards
across OJP’s bureaus. Additionally, OJP implemented “Operation Closeout,” which
resulted in an accelerated process for closing out grants by revising related
guidelines. OJP also implemented an agency-wide grant management system.37
GAO has also raised issues pertaining to OJP evaluations of its grant programs.
For example, in 2001, GAO issued a report that concluded that OJP evaluations of
grant programs may be problematic.38 GAO examined grant programs in OJP’s
OJJDP. After reviewing 10 OJJDP-funded evaluations, GAO expressed concerns
about the methodology used in the evaluations.39 GAO noted that five of the
34 U.S. Congress, House Committee on the Judiciary, Department of Justice Appropriations
Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 2006 Through 2009, report to accompany H.R. 3402, 109thst
Cong., 1 sess., H.Rept. 109-233 (Washington: GPO, 2005), p. 90.
35 Testimony of Laurie E. Ekstrand, Director of the Justice Issues at the GAO, in U.S.
Congress, House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime, Office of Justice
Programs: Problems with Grant Monitoring and Concerns About Evaluation Studies,thnd
hearings, 107 Cong., 2 sess., Mar. 7, 2002, [http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d02507t.pdf].
36 Reviews were conducted on the following bureaus’ grant files: Bureau of Justice
Assistance (BJA) Byrne grant program, the Violence Against Women Office’s (VAWO)
discretionary grant program and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
(OJJDP) grant programs.
37 In addition to the OJP-wide reforms, BJA, OJJDP, and VAWO each implemented their
own changes to ensure more efficient grant monitoring.
38 U.S. Government Accountability Office, Juvenile Justice: OJJDP Reporting
Requirements for Discretionary and Formula Grantees and Concerns About Evaluation
Studies, GAO-02-23, Oct. 2001.
39 The report, however, does note the difficulty of evaluating OJJDP’s programs. The
programs vary from grantee to grantee because the grant adjusts the program to meet the
evaluations were in the formative stage and five were being implemented. Three of
the evaluations that were in the formative stage and two that were being implemented
lacked comparison groups. In addition, three of the five evaluations that were in the
implementation stage were experiencing problems with data collection.
Another GAO report noted many of the same methodological problems.40 GAO
reviewed 10 evaluations sponsored by OJP’s National Institute for Justice (NIJ); five
evaluations of VAWO grant programs and five evaluations of BJA Byrne grant
programs.41 Of the four impact evaluations that had moved past the formative stage,
only one, the Byrne Children At Risk Program, was found to be methodologically
DOJ OIG Reports and Findings
The Inspector General’s memorandums on the Top Management Challenges in
DOJ for the years 2002-2004 note that OJP continues to have problems managing its
grants.43 According to the OIG, part of the problem stems from the large influx of
grant funds into DOJ since the passage of the Violent Crime Control and Law
Enforcement Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-322). Like GAO, the OIG found that many
grantees were not submitting their progress reports or financial reports. In addition,
OIG’s audits found that site-visit reviews were not consistently addressing all of the
In its FY2003 memorandum, the OIG found DOJ’s grant programs to be
fragmented, resulting in decreased efficiency and increased costs to award and
needs of the community it is serving.
40 GAO, Justice Impact Evaluations: One Byrne Evaluation was Rigorous, All Reviewed
Violence Against Women Office Evaluations were Problematic, GAO-02-309, Mar. 2002.
41 All five of the VAWO evaluations were designed as both impact and process evaluations,
only one of the five Byrne grant evaluations was designed as an impact evaluation.
42 The other three evaluations, which were VAWO programs, had methodological issues that
the GAO felt might impact the ability of the evaluation to produce definitive results. GAO
presented these findings to the AAG who agreed with them. In the case of the Byrne grant
and VAWO grant program evaluations, the AAG noted that NIJ had begun or planned to
make changes based on GAO’s recommendations. Both reports note that the AAG identifies
problems with doing an impact evaluation on OJP grant programs. The AAG notes it is
hard to evaluate OJP grant programs because each grantee implements its program to fit the
needs of the community.
43 The 2000 memorandum can be found at [http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/challenges/2000.htm];
the 2001 memorandum can be found at [http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/challenges/2001.htm];
the 2002 memorandum can be found at [http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/challenges/2002.htm];
the 2003 memorandum can be found at [http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/challenges/2003.htm];
the 2004 memorandum can be found at [http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/challenges/2004.htm].
administer the grants.45 OIG audits also discovered duplication in some of the grants
under OJP’s jurisdiction and grants under the Community Oriented Policing Service
(COPS) program.46 Additionally, OIG found some of DOJ’s grant programs lacking
an online application system for grantees. The OIG found, however, that OJP was
working toward fully automating the entire grant process with an online system.
Nonetheless, the 2004 memorandum47 sheds light on some problems that continue
to exist with OJP programs. An audit of OJP’s training and technical assistance
grants found that program offices making training and technical assistance awards
did not consistently conduct regular programmatic and financial monitoring and grant
managers did not always ensure that financial and progress reports were accurate and
submitted on time.
A 2005 report from OIG on awards to tribal governments reviewed several OJP
grant programs (and some COPS programs) found that of the 102 grant files
reviewed, only 4% contained sight monitoring reports, 12% contained evidence of
desk monitoring reviews and none contained evidence of telephone monitoring
reviews.48 The OIG found that 81% of the files reviewed did not contain one or more
of the required financial reports and those reports were not submitted in a timely
manner in 97% of the files reviewed.49 In addition, 80% of the grant files reviewed
were missing one or more of the required progress reports and those reports were not
submitted in a timely manner in 88% of the files reviewed.50 In addition to these
findings, the OIG also found that the program offices were not closing out grants in
a timely manner.51 The OIG report on awards to tribal governments suggests OJP is
still encountering problems with monitoring grants.
The OIG’s and the GAO’s findings seems to indicate that the current
organizational structure of OJP may not be adequate to ensure that its grant
monitoring problems are resolved; hence Congress has proposed the creation of an
Office of Audit, Assessment and Management.
46 The COPS office is an independent office within DOJ that awards and administers grants
to state and localities.
47 Memorandum to Reps. Sensenbrenner and Conyers from Glenn A. Fine, the Inspector
General, entitled “The Top Management Challenges in the Department of Justice 2004,”
Sept. 22, 2004, available at [http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/challenges/2004.htm].
48 See Administration of Department of Justice Grants Awarded to Native American and
Alaskan Native Tribal Governments, Audit Report 05-18, Mar. 2005, p. V, available at
[http://www.usdoj .gov/oig/reports/OJ P/a0518/final.pdf].
50 Ibid, p. VI.
51 Ibid, p. VIII.
The Violence Against Women and Department of
Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005
The act authorizes appropriations for DOJ for FY2006 through FY2009.
Among other things, the act authorizes appropriations for the Edward Byrne
Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program and codifies the Community
Capacity Development Office (CCDO). The act also reauthorizes and restructures
grant programs under the COPS office as well as grant programs under the VAWO.
One of the more controversial titles of the act seeks to make DOJ grant
programs more efficient by creating an Office of Audit, Assessment and
Management. DOJ currently has two components that are supposed to monitor the
effectiveness and efficiency of its programs: grant managers and the OIG. OJP grant
managers, who are located in each of OJP’s bureaus and program offices, are charged
with monitoring the grants made by their office and the OIG is charged with
promoting economy and efficiency within DOJ.52 The role of OJP grant managers
and the OIG in monitoring the effectiveness and efficiency of DOJ programs is
discussed in greater detail below. In addition to creating a new audit office, the act
would also codify and restructure the CCDO.
The Office of Audit, Assessment and Management
The act establishes the Office of Audit, Assessment, and Management (hereafter
referred to as “the Office”). The Director of the Office will be appointed by the
Attorney General. The Office is responsible for the following: (1) carrying out and
coordinating performance audits; (2) taking actions to ensure the compliance with the
terms of grants carried out by DOJ; and (3) managing information with respect to any
grant carried out by OJP or any other grant program under DOJ that the Attorney
General considers appropriate. This analysis centers on whether the oversight
provided by the Office would be duplicative of the oversight of grant programs that
is currently being provided by NIJ, OJP Grant Mangers and DOJ’s OIG.
National Institute of Justice. As stated above, NIJ is the agency in DOJ
that coordinates and oversees evaluations of other agencies’ programs. NIJ has an
Evaluation Division within their Office of Evaluation and Research that focuses on
the evaluation of other DOJ programs.53 The act requires that the performance audits
carried out by the Office not affect the authority or duty of the Director of NIJ to
carry out evaluations of DOJ programs, namely OJP grant program effectiveness.
The act also requires, however, that the Director of NIJ consult with the Director of
the Office when evaluating a DOJ program. While performance audits and
evaluations are not the same thing, it is not clear whether the performance audits
conducted by the Office will be completely exclusive of the evaluation of DOJ
programs conducted by NIJ. NIJ evaluations seek to determine whether the program
52 See [http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/offices/organization.htm].
53 See [http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/about.htm] for a NIJ organizational chart and a brief
description of the Evaluation Division.
was effective as opposed to determining if the grantee was in compliance with the
terms of the grant.
OJP Grant Managers. The act requires the Director of the Office to take
action to ensure a grantee comes into compliance with the terms of a grant if found
to be in noncompliance. OJP’s Grant Manager Manual (GMM) outlines the duties
and responsibilities for an OJP grant manager; grant managers are currently
responsible for ensuring grantees are in compliance with the terms of their grants.54
In other words, they make sure that grantees are adhering to the special conditions,
which the program office has established for the grant. Grant managers are also
partly responsible for ensuring the program is meeting the goals and objectives as
outlined in the grantee’s application by making sure grantees submit their progress55
and financial reports in a timely manner. Grant managers monitor compliance
through desk reviews, telephone monitoring reviews with grantees, progress reports56
and site visits. Grant managers are authorized to suspend or cease a grantee’s
funding if they find the grantee is noncompliant and the grantee is not taking the57
necessary actions to come into compliance with the terms of the grant.
Grant Management System. The act requires the Director to establish and
maintain a modern, automated system for managing all information relating to the
grants made under covered programs. In many ways the system required by this
provision mirrors OJP’s Grant Management System (GMS), a web-accessible
computer system capable of processing grant applications and awards. All grantees
for FY2004 and FY2005 were required to submit their applications to OJP through
GMS. The GMS contains all award documents along with the grantee’s application.
Grant managers can add notes to document actions taken during the application
process and after the award has been made. Grantees are also required to submit
progress reports through GMS. OJP also uses GMS to assist with program
monitoring. Grant managers must review and approve a grantee’s progress report in
GMS. Grant managers are also required to enter their site visit reports into GMS.
OJP is requesting that grant managers use GMS to record all actions they have taken
on the grant. All data for each grantee are accessible to any grant manager through
The Community Capacity Development Office
and the Weed and Seed Grant Program
The act changes the structure and functions of the CCDO. The act creates an
Office of Weed and Seed Strategies headed by a Director. The Office of Weed and
Seed Strategies will be responsible for administering the Weed and Seed Program.
Prior to the enactment of the act, the Weed and Seed Program was administered by
CCDO. In effect, the act takes the Weed and Seed program out of CCDO and
54 OJP’s GMM, §§8.1.1-8.1.3.
55 Ibid., §§7.3.1 and 7.3.2.
56 Ibid., §§8.2.2, 8.2.3 and 188.8.131.52.
57 Ibid., §§7.3.3, 7.4 and 7.5.1.
reestablishes an office responsible for administering the program, as it was under the
Executive Office of Weed and Seed (the predecessor to CCDO). Under Section 1159
of the act, CCDO will be the exclusive provider of training for all OJP programs and
any other programs under DOJ that the Attorney General considers appropriate. The
training provided by CCDO will help grantees understand the procedural and
substantive requirements of the program. The training provided by other offices in
DOJ will transfer to CCDO.
Possible Issues and Questions
While the Administration has previously taken steps to restructure OJP, there
remain outstanding issues regarding OJP grant program evaluations and compliance
monitoring. At issue for Congress is whether OJP has done enough to fully correct
the identified deficiencies in its management and oversight of its grant programs or
whether another level of oversight is necessary to streamline OJP grant programs and
improve efficiency through greater monitoring of programs? The GAO and the OIG
reports raise questions about whether the current organizational structure of OJP is
capable of properly managing its grant programs. Are grant managers at OJP
accountable for the performance of the grants they manage? Has OJP done enough
to train grant managers to address the issues reported by the GAO and the OIG when
monitoring their grants? Has the Administration taken the steps necessary to ensure
that grantees are held accountable for submitting their reports and producing results?
In exercising its oversight role, Congress may want to explore how federal funds
are overseen and the findings of the OIG and the GAO are addressed. The creation
of the Office of Audit, Assessment and Management may raise questions about
possible duplication of efforts. The act appears to give the Office of Audit,
Assessment and Management many of the same oversight responsibilities that OJP’s
grant managers, NIJ and the OIG are already charged with. Congress may choose to
consider the following:
!Could proper oversight of federal funds be achieved with
improvements to OJP’s current structure?
!How will the Office of Audit, Assessment and Management
responsibilities be separate from those of OJP, the OIG and NIJ?
!Does the creation of OAAM provide the program evaluations that
would be the basis for a more fundamental realignment of OJP grant
programs as well as improve compliance with grant program
!Would a stand-alone Community Capacity Development Office
(CCDO) made responsible exclusively for providing state, local, and
tribal governments, as well as non-profit organizations with training
on OJP and other DOJ grant programs compliance be separate from
those functions already being provided by other entities?