Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General

The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General was established along with the Department of Homeland Security itself in 2002 by the Homeland Security Act. Its website describes its mission as "supervis[ing] independent audits, investigations, and inspections of the programs and operations of DHS, and recommends ways for DHS to carry out its responsibilities in the most effective, efficient, and economical manner possible."[1]

PurposeEdit

The United States Congress enacted the Inspector General Act of 1978 to ensure integrity and efficiency in government. The Homeland Security Act of 2002, as amended, established an Office of Inspector General (OIG) in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Inspector General is appointed by the President and subject to Senate confirmation.

The Inspector General is responsible for conducting and supervising audits, investigations, and inspections relating to the programs and operations of the DHS. The OIG is to examine, evaluate and, where necessary, critique these operations and activities, recommending ways for the Department to carry out its responsibilities in the most effective, efficient, and economical manner possible.

The office's mission is "to serve as an independent and objective inspection, audit, and investigative body to promote effectiveness, efficiency, and economy in the Department of Homeland Security's programs and operations, and to prevent and detect fraud, abuse, mismanagement, and waste in such programs and operations."

List of Inspectors GeneralEdit

  • Richard Skinner (2005–2011)[2][3]
  • Charles K. Edwards (acting) (2011–2013)[3]
  • John Roth (2014–2017)[4][5]
  • John V. Kelly (acting) (2017–2019)[6][7]
  • Jennifer L. Costello (acting) (2019)[7][8]
  • Joseph V. Cuffari (2019–present)

ControversyEdit

Charles K. EdwardsEdit

Charles K. Edwards, who served as acting DHS inspector general, during the years of Barack Obama’s presidency, from 2011 through 2013, resigned in December 2013 following allegations of abuse of power, withholding documents, misspending of funds, nepotism, and making his staff do his homework for his Ph.D.[9][10] It was also alleged that he routinely shared drinks and dinner with department leaders and gave them inside information about the timing and findings of investigations, according to the report from an oversight panel of the Homeland Security and Government Operations Committee.[11]

Claire McCaskill, chair of the FCO Subcommittee, stated in her report to the Senate: "The Subcommittee found that Mr. Edwards jeopardized the independence of the Office of the Inspector General and that he abused agency resources."[12]

On March 6, 2020 Charles K. Edwards was indicted by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). A federal grand jury returned a 16-count indictment against Edwards. Which states that he allegedly stole both proprietary software and confidential databases from the United States government. Which was part of a scheme to defraud the government.[9][13][14]

Sono PatelEdit

On April 4, 2019, Sono Patel, a former federal technology manager with DHS-OIG, admitted to conspiring with a former acting inspector general of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, believed to be Charles K. Edwards, to steal a database managing more than 150,000 internal investigations and containing personal data of nearly 250,000 DHS employees.[15] From October 2014 until 2017, Patel admitted to using her position within the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General to access and create copies of EDS’s source code, the investigative database used by DHS-OIG, and also containing personal identifying information of DHS and Postal Service employees, so as to provide to Edwards. Their intent was to develop a private, commercial version of EDS to sell back to the U.S. government.[16]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "What We Do". OIG website. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  2. ^ "Skinner retires as DHS inspector general". Federal News Network. January 14, 2011. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Dennett, Lydia (March 13, 2014). "Department of Homeland Security Finally Has a Permanent IG". Project On Government Oversight. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  4. ^ Davidson, Joe (May 6, 2019). "Terrorism, immigration efforts hampered by Homeland Security vacancies". Washington Post. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  5. ^ "DHS | Homeland Security Newswire". www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  6. ^ "John V. Kelly" (PDF). Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Heckman, Jory (June 11, 2019). "DHS acting inspector general resigns earlier than expected after office pulled 'feel good' reports". Federal News Network. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  8. ^ Costello, Jennifer (July 2, 2019). "OIG-19-51 - Management Alert - DHS Needs to Address Dangerous Overcrowding" (PDF). Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Naham, Matt (March 6, 2020). "Former Obama Admin Acting DHS Inspector General Indicted on Theft, Fraud Charges". lawandcrime.com. Law & Crime. Archived from the original on March 6, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  10. ^ "DHS Inspector General Nominee Gets Warm Welcome in Senate". National Journal. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  11. ^ Leonnig, Carol D. (April 24, 2014). "Probe: DHS watchdog cozy with officials, altered reports as he sought top job". Washington Post.
  12. ^ "US Senate Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight". Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  13. ^ Lynch, Sarah N. (March 6, 2020). "Ex-inspector general at U.S. Department of Homeland Security indicted for stealing govt property". news.trust.org. Reuters. Archived from the original on March 6, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  14. ^ "Former Acting Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Indicted on Theft of Government Property and Scheme to Defraud the United States Government". www.justice.gov. United States Department of Justice. March 6, 2020. Archived from the original on March 6, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  15. ^ "Privacy Incident Involving DHS OIG Case Management System (Update)". Department of Homeland Security. January 18, 2018. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  16. ^ https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/legal-issues/dhs-tech-manager-admits-stealing-data-on-150000-internal-investigations-nearly-250000-workers/2019/04/04/da053180-56eb-11e9-9136-f8e636f1f6df_story.html

External linksEdit