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Justice Grants Programs: DOJ Could Improve Decision-Making Documentation and Better Assess Results of DNA Backlog Reduction Program Funds

NCJ Number
243265
Date Published
July 2013
Length
38 pages
Annotation
This report to Congressional Committees provides information on how the U.S. Department of Justice could improve decisionmaking documentation and better assess results of DNA backlog reduction program funds.
Abstract
This study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) examined how the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) could improve decisionmaking documentation and better assess results of DNA Backlog Reduction Program funds. The study found that the documentation used by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to determine funding priorities was not very detailed or transparent and that not enough information was provided on why the agency was allocating its funding. In addition, the study found that while NIJ has a process to assess the performance of grantees it is unable to verify the reliability of the data being submitted by the grantees in these reports. The study suggests that the ability of NIJ to verify the data would help ensure that the data is reliable and the program is successfully meeting its goals. This study was conducted by GAO as required by the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012. The study had three main goals: addresses how NIJ has allocated its DNA and forensic program appropriation over the past 5 fiscal years, address the extent that NIJ has a process to determine its funding priorities for its DNA and forensic program appropriation, and examine the extent that NIJ verifies data on grant results submitted by grantees and measures the outcomes of the DNA Backlog Reduction Program. Recommendations for improving NIJ handling of the DNA Backlog Reduction Program funding are discussed. Tables and figures