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Naval Criminal Investigative Service: Fraud Interview Policies Similar to Other Federal Law Enforcement Agencies

NCJ Number
W E Beusse; H E Brady; K Feng; M Speight; H Taylor
Date Published
16 pages
Section 1046 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997 directed the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) to review policies and practices of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) regarding agent interviews of suspects and witnesses during procurement fraud investigations.
Specifically the GAO review addressed NCIS policies on interviewing, including agent conduct and demeanor and the carrying and display of weapons; controls to deter inappropriate conduct by agents; and the desirability and feasibility of audiotaping or videotaping interviews and making the recording or transcription available to the person interviewed. The GAO review found NCIS interview policies are in accordance with generally accepted Federal law enforcement standards and applicable laws. They are similar to those of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). NCIS interview policies prohibit the indiscriminant display of weapons and the use of threats, promises, inducements, and physical or mental abuse by agents attempting to influence an individual during interviews. NCIS has established controls to deter, detect, and deal with agent misconduct. Further, judicial review of evidence acts as a deterrent to inappropriate agent conduct since inappropriate or illegal behavior may result in the evidence obtained not being admissible in court. NCIS policies do not prohibit audiotaping or videotaping of interviews and distributing written or taped results to the interviewee, although NCIS officials do not support the idea of routinely taping interviews. NCIS, DCIS, and FBI interview and interrogation policies are listed in an appendix.