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Audit of the Office of Justice Programs Basic Scientific Research to Support Forensic Science for Criminal Justice Purposes Cooperative Agreement Awarded to IsoForensics Incorporated, Salt Lake City, Utah

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2015
31 pages
The findings and methodology are reported for the U.S. Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General's audit of the Office of Justice Programs' (OJP's) cooperative agreements awarded to IsoForensics Incorporated (Salt Lake City, Utah).
The funding was under OJP's Basic Scientific Research to Support Forensic Science for Criminal Justice Purposes Program, which sponsors research to provide objective, independent, evidence-based knowledge and tools to meet the challenges of crime and criminal justice, particularly at the State and local levels. The specific goals of the IsoForensics awards were related to determining whether or not strontium isotope analyses could be used as a diagnostic tool to precisely estimate the recent regions of origin of humans through chemical analyses of scalp hair. IsoForensics was awarded two cooperative agreements totaling $710,005. As of April 20, 2015, IsoForensics had drawn down $619,632 of the total funds awarded. The audit examined IsoForensics' policies and procedures, accounting records, and financial and progress reports. It found that IsoForensics had not fully complied with essential award conditions related to expenditures, Federal financial reports, and program performance. Specifically, IsoForensics charged unallowable indirect costs to the awards; submitted inaccurate financial reports; did not maintain support for progress reports; and did not meet all special conditions. The audit's recommendations to OJP involved remedying unallowable costs charged to the awards; working with IsoForensics to ensure financial information reported is accurate and not estimated; ensuring progress-report support is maintained; ensuring proper approval for the successor to key personnel; ensuring compliance with 28 C.F.R. 46 for the 2011-DN-BX-K544 award; and coordinating with IsoForensics in developing policies and procedures for ensuring that all award requirements are met. The audit's objective, scope, and methodology are appended. 2 tables