Office of the Inspector General (OIG)

OIG Semi-Annual Report to Congress
April 1, 2007 to September 30, 2007

Table of Contents

Visit http://www.archives.gov/oig/ to learn more about the National Archives Office of Inspector General.

Top of Page


Foreword

The National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) core mission is to serve democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of the Federal Government. The Office of Inspector General plays a critical role in supporting NARA in this regard. Our audits and investigations are geared to help NAEA staff accomplish their work in the most effective and efficient manner possible while identifying and investigating instances of waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement.

As in previous reporting periods, we have defined the Electronic Records Archives (ERA) program as the to management challenge facing NARA The importance of ERA cannot be minimized in an era in which paper records are giving way to electronic records being born digitally. Thus the need to capture, protect, and make readily available records of our democracy before they are lost is crucial. To place risk in context, if someone attempted to play a 1960's-era 8-track tape player can be located. this analogy illustrates the challenge of preserving and accessing electronic records in an age of rapid technological evolution. This forward, for example, is being saved in Word 2002; will it be retrievable in the year 2100? This is a microcosm of the challenge ERA is tasked to fulfill.

The shortages in staffing of the NARA OIG have been well documented to Congress, the Office of Management and Budget, and the American public. With the support of the Archivist, we were able to hire an additional staff member during this reporting period whom we will dedicate to providing essential ERA audit coverage. This is a positive development and certainly welcome. However, the operational needs of this office for additional investigators and program auditors remain unfunded and thus unfulfilled. It is my hope that this situation will be addressed to enable us conduct the essential work that our stakeholders expect of us.

Paul Brachfeld Inspector General signature


Top of Page

Executive Summary

This is the 38th Semiannual Report to the Congress summarizing the activities and accomplishments of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Office of Inspector General (OIG). A summary of NARA's top challenges is provided under the section titled “Top Ten Management Challenges.” The highlights of our major functions are summarized below.

Audits

In this reporting period, the Audit Division continued to examine the security of NARA's Information Technology (IT) systems and assess the economy and efficiency of NARA's programs. This work has had positive impact upon agency operations and related controls in these critical areas. Recommendations directed to NARA officials will, upon adoption, translate into reduced risk for the agency and increased levels of security and control over NARA's financial assets, programs, and operations.

We issued the following audit reports during the reporting period:

  • Review of Selected Security Aspects of NARA's Computer Network Environment. This report addresses several security-related issues we identified during review of the NARA Novell Software Upgrade Project that adversely impact the security of the NARA computer network (known as NARANet) and the information contained within that network. To accomplish our objectives, we determined if (a) unidentified devices were connected to NARA's computer network, (b) network printers were properly configured, (c) Novell servers generated audit records, and (d) new users at the Presidential libraries undergo background investigations and receive security awareness training before access to NARA's computer network is granted. Our review found several significant weaknesses that adversely impact NARA's IT security program. We believe that the findings discussed in this report further strengthen our position that information security be continually reported by the agency as a material weakness. We made four recommendations that, when fully implemented by management, will assist that agency in correcting the reported deficiencies and in improving computer network security. Management concurred with all the recommendations (Audit Report #07-10, dated July 2, 2007.).
  • Audit of NARA's Energy Usage. Our audit assessing NARA's energy management practices found that NARA's Energy Management team has a positive and passionate attitude toward their responsibilities for energy management and has initiated and completed numerous efforts to reduce NARA's energy and water consumption, thereby mitigating the rising cost of energy. However, our audit revealed that additional opportunities exist to realize additional energy efficiencies by updating NARA's last reported comprehensive 1996 Energy Plan and making the plan available to Energy Management team members, revitalizing the Employee Energy Awareness Campaign, establishing procedures that ensure adequate documentation of energy projects, and evaluating the potential benefit of a full-time Energy Manager position. We made four recommendations designed to help NARA further reduce energy consumption and realize associated cost benefits. Management agreed with our recommendations and initiated corrective action. (Audit Report #07-08, dated June 8, 2007.)
David Coontz received an OIG Excellence Award for his audit efforts on the processing of records accessioned into the National Archives.  The audit identified inefficiencies that impacted NARA's ability to make records available to the public in an effective manner.Carol Seubert received an OIG Excellence Award for her outstanding audit efforts in assisting NARA in obtaining the agency’s first-ever clean audit opinion on its FY 2006 financial statements

Top of Page

Management Letters

  • Independent and Objective Oversight of the Electronic Records Archives Program Needed. During the period, we brought to the Archivist's attention the need to provide the OIG with immediate additional resources to enable oversight of the ERA program that would promote the program's success. The Chief Information Officer (CIO) expressed concern regarding the success of this mission-critical program in a recent briefing. The CIO noted that the program was beset with operational delays, funding setbacks, and material staffing issues. Since the inception of the ERA program, the OIG has lacked resources to perform oversight of the program. As far back as 2001 the OIG predicted that the program would experience problems without effective and independent oversight. The Archivist concurred with our management letter and took action to allow the OIG to pre-hire one of two ERA resources designated for the OIG in FY 2008. (Management Letter #07-11, dated July 13, 2007.)
  • Contingency Planning for Information Technology Systems. The OIG brought to the Archivist's attention that adequate contingency plans do not exist in the event of a service disruption or disaster. Furthermore, coordination among NARA Senior Managers has not been established to ensure IT systems, critical to NARA's mission, can be recovered quickly and effectively following such an event. Specifically, NARA Senior Management identified several systems in the NARA Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) as essential to their operations in the event of a regional or national emergency. According to the CIO, she lacks the organizational posture and baseline resources necessary to ensure that “critical” or “essential” systems will be available in the event of a regional or national emergency. We urged prompt resolution of this issue in order for NARA to develop, document, and implement plans that minimize the agency's risk and afford it the opportunity to recover critical IT services following an emergency. The Archivist concurred with our management letter and took immediate action. He noted that he would ask the CIO to prepare a methodology to ensure that the assumptions related to business recovery contained in existing system contingency plans are valid. He noted further that as part of the development of the COOP, the functional requirements and related systems specific to NARA's essential functions are being documented, and will be reviewed by the Senior Staff. Finally, the Archivist noted that when these activities are completed, he would ask both the NARA Continuity Coordinator and the CIO to prepare a report for Senior Staff that clearly delineates the processes that make up contingency planning and the associated responsibilities of the Senior Staff. (Management Letter #07-12, dated September 20, 2007.)

Top of Page

Investigations

During this reporting period, the Office of Investigations (OI) opened 10 investigations, closed 19 investigations, executed 2 arrest warrants, seized 2 vehicles, and recovered 3 records. The OI also received 81 complaints and closed 45 complaints. Additionally, the OI conducted joint investigations with the Department of Transportation OIG and the FBI. At the close of the period, there remained 25 open complaints and 34 open investigations.

The Office of Investigation completed investigations in areas including

  • Theft of Civil War records
  • Violations of NARA Security Policy
  • Threats to Employees
  • Improper Access to Classified Material
  • Destruction of Government Property
  • Grant Fraud

Our investigative staffing level is inadequate to fully discharge our duties. Presently, just three special agents share the investigative burden that comes with a 3,000-person, 36-facility, nationwide agency that includes the Presidential Library system. This broad-based area of operations, combined with our limited staffing, hampers our efforts in meeting our statutory mission of preventing and detecting fraud and abuse in the programs and operations of the National Archives and Records Administration. At present staffing levels, we are unable to perform any proactive investigative activity. Our most complex and high-profile cases demand the attention of our entire staff, which constrains our agents from vigorously pursuing more routine investigations. But for the impressive abilities of our assembled team, the successes we have achieved in the present environment would not have been possible.

Management Assistance

During the reporting period, the OIG

  • Referred 17 cases from the Archival Recovery Team to the Office of General Counsel pursuant to NARA Directive 1462.

  • Assisted the Office of General Counsel with an EEOC issue related to the OIG's audit of NARA's Enterprise Architecture.

  • Participated in a joint conference on holdings security with the Library and Archives of Canada. Presented a case study on holdings theft and discussed the creation of the Archival Recovery Team.

  • Provided assistance to Human Resources for an unemployment benefits issue impacted by the Privacy Act.

  • Provided assistance to NARA's EEO office on No FEAR and Whistleblower Protection training.

  • Provided information for a NARA Staff Bulletin article regarding Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and working at home.

  • Worked with the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) to establish a new telephone contact for customers with questions regarding their military service records. This allowed the OIG to avoid the unnecessary and inefficient step of opening hotline complaints when NARA customers simply had basic questions for NPRC.

  • Advised the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) on NARA policy set forth in NARA Directive 802: Appropriate Use of NARA Office Equipment.

  • Provided comment to NARA Notice 2007-217: Clearance of Proposed Revisions to Testimony by NARA Employees Relating to Agency Information and Production of Records in Legal Proceedings. The OIG commented that the production of OIG records or testimony of OIG staff needed to be a decision of the IG rather than determined by the agency.

Top of Page


Introduction

About the National Archives and Records Administration

Mission

The National Archives and Records Administration serves American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our Government, ensuring that the people can discover, use, and learn from this documentary heritage. Further, the agency ensures continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government and supports democracy, promotes civic education, and facilitates historical understanding of our national experience.

Background

NARA, by preserving the nation's documentary history, serves as a public trust on which our democracy depends. It enables citizens to inspect for themselves the record of what the Government has done. It enables officials and agencies to review their actions and helps citizens hold them accountable. It ensures continuing access to essential evidence that documents the rights of American citizens, the actions of Federal officials, and the national experience.

Federal records reflect and document America's development over more than 200 years and are great in number, diverse in character, and rich in information. NARA's traditional holdings amount to more than 3 million cubic feet and NARA's Federal Record Centers hold more than 25 million cubic feet of records. These holdings include architectural/engineering drawings, maps, and charts; moving images and sound recordings; and photographic images. Additionally, NARA maintains 543,564 artifact items and 10.5 billion logical data records.

NARA involves millions of people in its public programs, which include exhibitions, tours, educational programs, film series, and genealogical workshops. In FY 2006, NARA hosted 3 million museum visitors while responding to 1.2 million written requests from the public. In addition, NARA responded to 10 million Federal agency reference requests, 21,367 Federal agency requests for appointments to review records, and provided records management training to 4,234 individuals. NARA publishes the Federal Register and other legal and reference documents that form a vital link between the Federal Government and those affected by its regulations and actions. Through the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, NARA helps to preserve and publish non-Federal historical documents, which also constitute an important part of our national heritage. NARA also administers 12 Presidential libraries that preserve the papers and other historical materials of all past Presidents since Herbert Hoover.

Resources

In FY 2007, NARA was appropriated an annual budget of $331 million and 2,808 Full-time Equivalents (FTEs), which included appropriations of $281 million for operations, $45 million for the Electronic Records Archives (ERA) program, $9.1 million for repairs and restorations of facilities, and $5.4 million for grants. NARA operates 36 facilities nationwide.

About the Office of Inspector General (OIG)

The OIG Mission

The OIG's mission is to ensure that NARA provides the American people with continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their Government by providing high-quality, objective audits and investigations, and serving as an independent, internal advocate for economy, efficiency, and effectiveness.

Background

The Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, established the OIG's independent role and general responsibilities. The Inspector General reports to both the Archivist of the United States and the Congress. The OIG evaluates NARA's performance, makes recommendations for improvements, and follows up to ensure economical, efficient, and effective operations and compliance with laws, policies, and regulations. In particular, the OIG

  • assesses the effectiveness, efficiency, and economy of NARA programs and operations

  • recommends improvements in policies and procedures to enhance operations and correct deficiencies

  • recommends cost savings through greater efficiency and economy of operations, alternative use of resources, and collection actions, and

  • investigates and recommends legal and management actions to correct fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement.

Resources

The FY 2007 OIG budget is approximately $2,060,300 for operations. The OIG now has 17 FTEs. At full staffing, in addition to the Inspector General and 3 support staff, 7 FTEs are devoted to audits, 5 to investigations, and 1 serves as counsel to the Inspector General. During the period the OIG was given a FTE for a new Investigative Archivist position. Additionally, the OIG filled 3 audit positions: one program audit and two IT auditor positions. Also, the OIG filled the AIGI and the Attorney-Advisor positions. The OIG is seeking additional audit and investigative resources to support the work of this office as defined in the FY 2008 and FY 2009 budget submissions to the Archivist.

Top of Page


Activities

Involvement in the Inspector General Community

President's Counsel on Integrity and Efficiency (PCIE) and Executive Counsel on Integrity and Efficiency (ECIE) Investigations Committee

The Inspector General (IG) served as one of two ECIE representatives to the Investigations Committee. The mission of the Investigations Committee is to advise the IG community on issues involving investigative functions, establishing investigative guidelines, developing training as facilitated through the IG Academy, and promoting best practices. The committee gathered at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia, in order to define the functionality of FLETC and how its resources could be best used to benefit the OIG community in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

PCIE/ECIE Award for Excellence

Special Agents Matt Elliott and Rachel Wilson, Computer Forensic Analyst Tom Bennett, and Special Agent Kelly Maltagliati received a PCIE/ECIE Award for Excellence for their efforts in the recovery of 161 Civil War records stolen from NARA's Philadelphia regional archives.

Special Agents Matt Elliott and Rachel Wilson, Computer Forensic Analyst Tom Bennett, and Special Agent Kelly Maltagliati received a PCIE/ECIE Award for Excellence for their efforts in the recovery of 161 Civil War records stolen from NARA's Philadelphia regional archives.

Council of Counsels to Inspectors General (CCIG)

The OIG counsel participated in meetings of the CCIG and communicated regularly with fellow members. Multiple topics were raised, discussed, and addressed including repeated agency challenges to OIG independence and authority under the IG Act; staffing and management of OIG Hotlines; evidence storage; warnings and confidentiality; security clearances; Memorandums of Agreement with local law enforcement and the OIG's law enforcement authority; and jurisdiction over various facilities owned and/or occupied by the National Archives.

Federal Audit Executive Council (FAEC)

The Assistant Inspector General for Audits (AIGA) continued to serve as an ECIE representative to the FAEC. During the period, the AIGA attended the FAEC's meeting to discuss topics such as financial statement audit issues, opinion reports on internal controls, and information security.

Response to Congressional Items

Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) of 2007

Together with the NARA Chief Information Officer (CIO) and the Senior Agency Official for Privacy (SAOP), the OIG provided the Office of Management and Budget the 2007 Annual Security Review report pursuant to the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA). FISMA requires Federal agencies to take a risk-based, cost-effective approach to secure agency-wide information and systems, identify and resolve IT security-control weaknesses, and protect agency resources against future vulnerabilities and threats. FISMA lays out a framework that is further specified by National Institute of Standards and Technology publications for risk-based controls, testing, and evaluation. Under this guidance, the Federal Government is able to quantitatively determine IT security-control progress and problems. This information is essential to ensuring that remediation efforts and IT resources are prioritized, properly included in the budget, and result in timely resolution of IT security weaknesses.

Many of the control weaknesses noted in previous years continue to persist. We conducted an audit instead of an evaluation for this year's FISMA review in order to issue formal recommendations to management to address repeatedly identified FISMA weaknesses. Specific issues identified this year include 1) lack of a formal Plan of Action & Milestones (POA&M) process; 2) noncompliance of the Certification and Accreditation process with NARA policy or NIST SP 800-37; 3) operation of at least two classified systems without accreditation; 4) non-use of procedures for incident handling and response; and 5)ineffectiveness of contingency plan tests, which did not actually test the feasibility of the plan. An audit report that further details the weaknesses identified is forthcoming.

Top of Page

Inventory of Commercial Activities

We submitted to OMB, via NARA, our FY 2007 inventory of commercial activities performed by OIG employees. The Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act of 1998, Pub. L. 105-270 (the FAIR Act), requires Federal agencies to prepare and submit to OMB, by June 30 of each year, inventories of their commercial activities performed by Federal employees. OMB is required to review each agency's inventory and consult with the agency regarding its content. Upon completion of the review and consultation, OMB is required to list the available inventories in the Federal Register, and the agency head must transmit a copy of the inventory to the Congress and make it available to the public. NARA forwarded its FY 2007 inventory to OMB and published it to the NARA web site during this reporting period.

Presidential Artifacts Audit

Senator Charles E. Grassley, as Ranking Member of the Committee on Finance, with oversight responsibility of the National Archives, requested a detailed audit of the operations of NARA's Presidential libraries to include the security of Presidential artifacts. Presidential artifacts include collections of priceless and irreplaceable items, some of significant historical value. Subsequently, the OIG developed an aggressive audit plan involving auditors and investigators who began and completed field work during this reporting period. OIG staff visited six Presidential libraries and will submit its final report—Process of Accounting for and Safeguarding Library Artifacts—during the next reporting period.

Third Party Privacy and Data Protection Review

Pursuant to Title 42 U.S.C. § 2000ee-2(d), NARA is required to have an independent, third-party review of its privacy and data protection procedures to determine the accuracy of the description of the use of information in identifiable form; determine the effectiveness of privacy and data protection procedures; ensure compliance with stated privacy and data protection policies of the agency; and ensure that all technologies used to collect, use, store, and disclose information in identifiable form allow for continuous auditing of compliance with stated privacy policies and practices governing the collection, use and distribution of information in the operation of the program. The statute requires the Inspector General to contract with an independent, third party that is a recognized leader in privacy consulting, privacy technology, data collection and data use management, and global privacy issues to perform the review. Whereas OMB did not fund this initiative, the OIG requested funding from NARA to support this statutorily mandated contract. NARA did not allocate any funds for this contract during the reporting period and is not in compliance with this mandate.

Top of Page

Audits


Audits Overview

This period, we issued

  • 2 final audit reports and

  • 2 management letters

We completed fieldwork on the following assignments:

  • an audit of the process of accounting for and safeguarding Presidential library artifacts to determine whether sufficient management controls exist to safeguard and account for library artifacts
  • an audit of NARA's Purchase Card program to determine the adequacy of management controls over the program
  • an audit of NARA's Researcher Card Program to determine whether management controls are adequate to ensure that researcher information is accurate, verifiable, and properly safeguarded.

We also continued work on the following assignments:

  • an audit of Electronic Records Archives Program Management to determine if NARA's management of the program is sufficient to ensure that the ERA is completed on-time, within the approved funding, and will meet user requirements
  • an audit of NARA's Development of the Holdings Management System (HMS)to determine whether NARA has adequately managed the proposal and development of HMS in accordance with Federal and agency requirements
  • an audit of NARA's Mail Management program to determine whether controls are adequate and whether NARA is in compliance with Federal mail management policy and procedures.

Audit Summaries

Review of Selected Security Aspects of NARA's Computer Network Environment

This is the fourth and final product resulting from our review of the Novell NetWare/GroupWise Upgrade Project. The objective of the software upgrade project review was to monitor government and contractor effort associated with the Novell NetWare operating system and the GroupWise e-mail software upgrade. Specifically, we assessed whether the project was meeting cost and schedule requirements, and management was taking timely action to correct any actual or potential problems with project performance. This report addresses several security-related issues we identified during review of the Novell Software Upgrade Project that adversely impact the security of the NARA computer network and the information contained within that network.

To accomplish our objectives, we determined if (a) unidentified devices were connected to NARA's computer network by analyzing information and documentation provided by Information Technology Services (NHT) officials pertaining to the inventory of NARA computer network devices at NARA facilities; and by performing our own survey identifying the location and quantity of any unauthorized hubs and/or switches, and any other unauthorized devices, connected to the computer network; (b) network printers were properly configured by reviewing any documented network printer configurations; scanning the computer network using Peregrine Network Discovery (renamed HP OpenView Network Discovery) software, and by running Nessus scans for the network printers, to identify the services running on those machines and any security vulnerabilities that existed; (c) Novell servers generated audit records, NH officials regularly reviewed/analyzed audit records, audit reports were generated, a formal, documented, audit and accountability policy and implementation procedures existed, and the organization allocates sufficient audit record storage capacity and configures auditing to prevent such capacity being exceeded; and (d) new users at the Presidential libraries undergo background investigations and receive security-awareness training before access to NARA's computer network is granted.

Our review found several significant weaknesses that adversely impact NARA's IT security program. We believe the findings discussed in this report further strengthen our position that the agency should continue to report information security as a material weakness. We made four recommendations, each with sub-recommendations, that, when implemented by management, will assist the agency in correcting the reported deficiencies and in improving computer network security. (Audit Report # 07-10, dated July 02, 2007).

Audit of NARA's Energy Usage

The OIG evaluated NARA's energy management practices affecting the efficient use of energy resources to (1) determine whether NARA could take additional measures to reduce rising energy costs and (2) assess NARA's energy management efforts. Additionally, we reviewed NARA's compliance with National Energy Conservation Policy Act (NECPA), as amended by Energy Policy Act (EPACT) 1992 and 2005 and Executive Order 13123.

We found that NARA's Energy Management team has a positive and passionate attitude toward their responsibilities for energy management and has initiated and completed numerous efforts to reduce its energy and water consumption, thereby, mitigating the rising cost of energy. These recently completed efforts include capital improvements such as energy efficiency lighting, room occupancy sensors, and water efficient fixtures. Other energy conservation measures completed include the daily review of the maintenance contractor's operation of the building and revision to air handler run times, which has had a significant impact on energy reduction. Examples of efficiency measures planned include a replacement of constant-volume air boxes to variable-volume boxes and installation of a cooling tower well that is estimated to reduce water consumption by one third.

NARA, although exempt from the required energy reduction goals established by NECPA, EPACT 1992 and Executive Order 13123, has generally complied with all reporting requirements. Currently, NARA has requested exemption from energy reduction goals established by EPACT 2005. However, we found that NARA has reduced energy consumption (on a BTU by gross square footage basis) by 12 percent compared to Fiscal Year 2003 (the established base year), surpassing the required 2 percent reduction goal. Finally, in Fiscal Year 2005, the Office of Management and Budget recognized NARA's energy management practices by awarding the agency a Green Star Rating for its ability to complete planned energy reduction projects.

Our audit revealed that additional opportunities exist to realize additional energy efficiencies by updating NARA's last reported comprehensive 1996 Energy Plan and making the plan available to Energy Management team members, revitalizing the Employee Energy Awareness Campaign, establishing procedures that ensure adequate documentation of energy projects, and evaluating the potential benefit of a full-time Energy Manager position.

We made four recommendations designed to help NARA further reduce energy consumption and realize associated cost benefits. Management agreed with all the recommendations and initiated corrective action. (Audit Report #07-08, dated June 8, 2007.)

Top of Page


Investigations

Investigations Overview

During this reporting period, the Office of Investigations (OI) opened 10 investigations, closed 19 investigations, executed 2 arrest warrants, seized 2 vehicles, and recovered 3 records. The OI also received 81 complaints and closed 45 complaints. Additionally, the OI conducted joint investigations with the Department of Transportation OIG and the FBI. At the close of the period, there remained 25 open complaints and 34 open investigations.

Updates on Previously Reported Investigations

Theft and Recovery of Civil War Records

A NARA intern who plead guilty to felony theft for stealing Civil War records from NARA's Philadelphia regional archives, was sentenced to 15 months in jail in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Mishandling and Theft of Classified Documents

In 2005, former National Security Advisor Samuel R. Berger plead guilty to one count of 18 U.S.C. § 1924: Unauthorized Removal and Retention of Classified Material, a Class A Misdemeanor, and was subsequently sentenced to 2 years' probation, 100 hours community service, a $50,000 fine, and no access to classified information for a period of 3 years. During this reporting period, The District of Columbia Court of Appeals issued an order disbarring Berger from the bar of the District of Columbia.

Alleged Wire Fraud, Theft of Public Money, Money Laundering

A former NARA employee and a former NARA contractor who are alleged to have stolen nearly $1 million from NARA were indicted by a Federal grand jury in the District of Maryland. Arrest warrants were subsequently issued and executed. Both subjects made their first appearances in court, and NARA OIG seized two vehicles belonging to the former contractor.

Alleged Theft of Military Service Records

An active duty sergeant in the U.S. Army was found to have removed multiple Official Military Personnel Folders from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO. Upon recovery of the records, the OIG referred the case to the service member's command. The service member has transferred out of St. Louis. The case is under review by the U.S. Army Office of the Judge Advocate General.

New Investigation Highlights

Violation of NARA Security Policy

Several researchers were provided with special access to classified information to be reviewed in a NARA Classified Research Room, which is also a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility or SCIF. While reviewing this information, multiple external contacts were allowed to be made from within the SCIF via the use of cell phones by the researchers in violation of NARA security policies.

Improper Access to Classified Material

A former NARA employee, now a volunteer and contractor, was provided inappropriate access to classified information, during which he improperly removed copies of classified information in violation of NARA's classified information security policy. This investigation revealed that the individual was reviewing classified material in an attempt to secure business for his employer. While the individual possessed a security clearance, he did not have a need to know the information he accessed. This access violated NARA's policies and procedures governing classified information.

Destruction of Government Property

A NARA employee, frustrated with a delay entering NARA's remote parking facility, exited his vehicle and proceeded to break the bollard gate arm barring access to NARA's annex parking lot. The misconduct was captured by NARA security cameras. The employee's parking privileges were suspended for 10 working days, and he was directed to pay for the damages.

Suitability

A NARA contractor was removed from a contract for providing false information on his Declaration for Federal Employment. The individual was under criminal investigation at his previous agency, and his misconduct there had been substantiated. The contractor subsequently lied to NARA OIG regarding his prior misconduct and was removed from the contract.

Time and Attendance Fraud

A NARA employee had been fraudulently reporting his arrival times to work for at least six months. When confronted by investigators, he lied about his actions. The employee was suspended for two weeks and subsequently terminated when he continued to have time and attendance issues.

Top of Page

Other Office of Investigation Activity

Archival Recovery Team (ART)

During this period, the Archival Recovery Team was staffed with a supervisory special agent and an investigative archivist. The team fielded 40 complaints, and 24 complaints and 4 ongoing investigations were closed. In addition, 17 ART non-criminal cases were referred to NARA for a recovery determination. At the close of the period, 15 ART complaints and 12 ART investigations remained open.

As part of the ART's outreach program, Office of Investigations staff attended the following shows to educate the public about the NARA OIG and ART:

  • The Northern Virginia Relic Hunters Collector Show in Chantilly, Virginia, April 14-15.
  • The 30th Annual Ohio Civil War Collectors Show and 15th Annual Artillery Show at the Richland County Fairgrounds in Mansfield, Ohio, May 5-6.
  • The Gettysburg Civil War Collectors Show in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, June 22-24.
  • The Richmond Civil War Show in Mechanicsburg, Virginia, August 18.

Computer Crimes Unit

Recognizing the importance of finding and analyzing valuable evidence located on the computers and networks of the subjects of our investigations, the Office of Investigations continues to invest resources in the development of our computer forensics lab. During this period, we obtained and configured a computer workstation dedicated to forensic analysis. In particular, we have incorporated specialized software designed for forensic web browser and internet analysis. In addition to developing the lab, we also sent staff to the Digital Evidence Acquisition Specialist Training Program (DEASTP) at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC).

Internal Staffing Activity

The Office of Investigations welcomed an Investigative Archivist to the staff, permanently assigned from a prior detail to OIG. We also elevated a Special Agent to lead the Archival Recovery Team (ART) and hired a permanent Assistant Inspector General for Investigations (AIGI).

OIG Hotline

The OIG Hotline provides a confidential channel for reporting fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement to the OIG. In addition to receiving telephone calls at a toll-free Hotline number and letters to the Hotline post office box, we also accept e-mail communication from NARA's internal network or the Internet through the Hotline e-mail system. Walk-ins are always welcome. Visit http://www.archives.gov/oig/ for more information, or contact us:

  • By telephone
    Washington, DC, Metro area: (301) 837-3500
    Toll-free and outside the Washington, DC, Metro area: (800) 786-2551

  • By mail
    NARA OIG Hotline
    P.O. Box 1821
    Hyattsville, MD 20788-0821

  • By e-mail oig .hotline@nara.gov

The Office of Investigations promptly and carefully reviews calls, letters, and e-mail to the Hotline. We investigate allegations of suspected criminal activity or civil fraud and conduct preliminary inquiries on non criminal matters to determine the proper disposition. Where appropriate, referrals are made to the OIG audit staff, NARA management, or external authorities.

Hotline contacts are captured as complaints in the Office of Investigations. The following table summarizes Hotline activity for this reporting period:

STATISTICAL SUMMARY OF INVESTIGATIONS
Investigative Workload
Complaints received/opened 81
Complaints closed pending response from NARA 2
Complaints closed final 43
Complaints open to Investigations 8

Top of Page


Top Ten Management Challenges

Management Challenges Overview

Under the authority of the Inspector General Act, the NARA OIG conducts and supervises independent audits, investigations, and other reviews to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness and to prevent and detect fraud, waste, and mismanagement. To fulfill that mission and help NARA achieve its strategic goals, we have aligned our programs to focus on areas that we believe represent the agency's most significant challenges. We have identified those areas as NARA's top ten management challenges. These challenges are listed below.

1. Electronic Records Archives (ERA)
NARA's main challenge is to build a system that will accommodate past, present, and future formats of electronic records. The ERA Program did not meet its September goal of producing an initial operating capability for ERA with planned incremental improvements that will eventually result in full system capability. Instead, the ERA program has experienced delivery delays, cost overruns, and staffing problems. The success of this mission-critical program is uncertain. The challenge will be to deliver and maintain a functional ERA system that will preserve electronic records for as long as needed.

2. Electronic Records Management (ERM)
NARA directs the Electronic Records Management (ERM) initiative, one of 24 Government-wide initiatives. The ERM initiative will provide guidance to agencies in managing and transferring to NARA, in an increasing variety of data types and formats, their permanent electronic records. NARA and its Government partners are challenged with determining how to manage electronic records, and how to make ERM and e-Government work more effectively.

3. Improving Records Management
Part of NARA's mission is to ensure that Federal officials and the American public have access to essential evidence as soon as legally possible. NARA must work with Federal agencies to make scheduling, appraisal, and accessioning processes more effective and timely. The challenge is how best to accomplish this component of our overall mission and identify and react to agencies with critical records management needs.

4. Information Technology Security
Information technology continues to present major challenges for NARA. The authenticity and reliability of our electronic records and information technology systems are only as good as our IT security infrastructure. Each year, the risks and challenges to IT security continue to evolve. NARA must ensure the security of its data and systems or risk undermining the agency's credibility and ability to carry out its mission.

5. Expanding Public Access to Records
In a democracy, the records of its archives belong to its citizens. NARA's challenge is to more aggressively inform and educate our customers about the services we offer and the essential evidence to which we can provide access. Of critical importance is NARA's role in ensuring the timeliness and integrity of the process of declassifying classified material held at NARA.

6. Meeting Storage Needs of Growing Quantities of Records
NARA-promulgated regulation 36 CFR Part 1228, “Disposition of Federal Records,” Subpart K, “Facility Standards for Records Storage Facilities,” requires all facilities that house Federal records to meet defined physical and environmental requirements by FY 2009. NARA's challenge is to ensure compliance with these regulations internally as well as by other agencies that house Federal records.

7. Preservation Needs of Records
The Archivist identified preservation as a material weakness under the Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act (FMFIA) reporting process. NARA cannot provide public access to records to support researchers' needs unless it can preserve them for as long as needed. As in the case of our national infrastructure (bridges, sewer systems, etc.), NARA holdings grow older daily and are degrading. NARA is challenged to address this condition and related challenges.

8. Improving Project Management
Effective project management is essential to obtaining the right equipment and systems to accomplish NARA's mission. Complex and high-dollar contracts require multiple program managers, often with varying types of expertise. NARA is challenged with planning projects, developing adequately defined requirements, analysis and testing to support acquisition and deployment of the systems, and oversight to ensure effective and efficient results within costs. These projects must be managed and tracked to ensure that cost, schedule, and performance goals are met.

9. Physical and Holdings Security
The Archivist has identified security of collections as a material weakness under the FMFIA reporting process. NARA must maintain adequate levels of security to ensure the safety and integrity of persons and holdings within our facilities. This is especially critical in light of the new realities that face this nation, post–September 11, and the risks that our holdings may be pilfered, defaced, or destroyed by fire or other natural disasters.

10. Strengthening Human Capital
The GAO has identified human capital as a Government-wide high risk. NARA's challenge is to adequately assess its human capital needs in order to effectively recruit, retain, and train people with the technological understanding and content knowledge that NARA needs for future success.

Top of Page


Reporting Requirements

Statistical Summary of Investigations
Investigative Workload
Complaints received this reporting period 81
Investigations pending at beginning of reporting period 42
Investigations opened this reporting period 10
Investigations closed this reporting period 18
Investigations carried forward this reporting period 34
Categories of Closed Investigations
Fraud 4
Conflict of Interest 0
Contracting Irregularities 0
Misconduct 6
Larceny (theft) 4
Other 4
Investigative Results
Cases referred – accepted for prosecution 0
Cases referred – declined for prosecution 5
Cases referred – pending prosecutive decision 0
Arrest 2
Indictments and informations 2
Convictions 2
Fines, restitutions, judgments, and other civil and administrative recoveries 1
NARA holdings recovered 3
Administrative Remedies
Employee(s) terminated 1
Employee(s) resigned in lieu of termination 0
Employee(s) suspended 2
Employee(s) given letter of reprimand or warnings/counseled 2
Employee(s) taking a reduction in grade in lieu of administrative action 0
Contractor (s) removed 1

Top of Page

Summary of Prosecutorial Referrals
Requirement 5(a)4

Accepted for Prosecution

Theft and Recovery of Civil War Records
A NARA intern who plead guilty to felony theft for stealing Civil War records from NARA's Philadelphia regional archives, was sentenced to 15 months in jail in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Alleged Wire Fraud, Theft of Public Money, Money Laundering
A former NARA employee and a former NARA contractor who are alleged to have stolen nearly $1 million from NARA were indicted by a Federal grand jury in the District of Maryland. Arrest warrants were subsequently issued and executed. Both subjects were arraigned, and NARA OIG seized two vehicles belonging to the former contractor.

Communicating Threats
A former NARA employee who was terminated for misconduct filed a civil action against NARA. Immediately prior to the civil trial, the former employee threatened NARA employees who were scheduled as witnesses and the Federal District Court judge hearing the case. The former employee was indicted and arrested. He subsequently plead guilty to 14 counts of threatening to assault and murder an official of the United States Government and 5 counts of obstruction of justice. He was sentenced to 36 months imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release.

Declined for Prosecution

Fraudulent Request for Veterans Records
An individual's ex-husband had been requesting her military records through NARA's Vetrecs online system using her personal identifiers. An Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) declined prosecution.

Fraudulent Request for Veterans Records
A veteran's sister-in-law and her husband forged signatures on forms used to request his military records. An AUSA declined prosecution.

Unauthorized Disclosure and Possession of Tax Records
Three NARA employees wrongfully inspected tax return information for a variety of celebrities and one well-known corporation and passed said information to fellow employees and others. An AUSA declined prosecution.

Unauthorized Possession of Classified Material
A former Presidential administration official was in possession of classified material that should have should have remained in government possession when the official left the administration. An AUSA declined prosecution.

Privacy Act Violation
A former NARA employee was in possession of Personally Identifiable Information of Government officials from her work at NARA on a non-Government computer that was exposed to the public. An AUSA declined prosecution.

Unlawful Removal of Military Records
A NARA employee unlawfully accessed and removed certain military personnel records from the National Personnel Records Center. The employee was terminated. An AUSA declined prosecution.

Destruction of Government Property
A NARA employee, frustrated with a delay entering NARA's remote parking facility, exited his vehicle and proceeded to break the bollard gate arm barring access to NARA's annex parking lot. The misconduct was captured by NARA security cameras. The employee's parking privileges were suspended for 10 working days, and he was directed to pay for the damages. An AUSA declined prosecution.

Pending Prosecutorial Determination

Alleged Theft of Military Service Records
An active duty sergeant in the U.S. Army was found to have removed multiple Official Military Personnel Folders from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO. Upon recovery of the records, the OIG referred the case to the service member's command. The service member's has transferred out of St. Louis. The U.S. Army Office of the Judge Advocate General is reviewing the case.

Suitability
A NARA contractor was removed from a contract for providing false information on his Declaration for Federal Employment. The individual was under criminal investigation at his previous agency, and his misconduct there had been substantiated. The contractor subsequently lied to NARA OIG regarding his prior misconduct and was removed from the contract.

Communicating Threats
A NARA employee had been terminated and subsequently began making threatening telephone calls to his former supervisor. The local district attorney's office is reviewing the case for a prosecutive determination.

Fraudulent Request for Veterans Records
The subject forged signatures of military veterans on release forms presented to the National Personnel Records Center to fraudulently acquire a veterans' service records.

Wrongful Possession of Classified Material
Classified records from a former Presidential administration that belong to NARA are in the wrongful possession of an individual who refuses to turn the records over.

Top of Page

List of Reports Issued
Requirement 5(a)(6)

Report No. Title Date Questioned Costs Unsupported Costs Funds Put to Better Use
07-08 Audit of NARA's Energy Usage 06/08/2007 0 0 $675,000
07-10 Review of Selected Security Aspects of NARA's Computer Network Environment 07/02/2007 0 0 0

Audit Reports with Questioned Costs
Requirement 5(a)(8)

Category Number of
Reports
DOLLAR VALUE
Questioned
Costs
Unsupported
Costs
A. For which no management decision has been made by the commencement of the reporting period 0 $0 $0
B. Which were issued during the reporting period 0 $0 $0
Subtotals (A + B) 0 $0 $0
C. For which a management decision has been made during the reporting period 0 $0 $0
   (i) dollar value of disallowed cost 0 $0 $0
   (ii) dollar value of costs not disallowed 0 $0 $0
D. For which no management decision has been made by the end of the reporting period 0 $0 $0
E. For which no management decision was made within 6 months 0 $0 $0

Audit Reports with Recommendations That Funds Be Put to Better Use
Requirement 5(a)(9)

CATEGORY NUMBER DOLLAR VALUE
A. For which no management decision has been made by the commencement of the reporting period 0 0
B. Which were issued during the reporting period 1 $675,000
Subtotals (A + B) 0 $675,000
C. For which a management decision has been made during the reporting period 0 0
   (i) dollar value of recommendations
that were agreed to by management
0 0
      Based on proposed management
action
0 0
      Based on proposed legislative
action
0 0
   (ii) dollar value of recommendations that were not agreed to by management 0 0
D. For which no management decision has been made by the end of the reporting period 0 $675,000
E. For which no management decision was made within 6 months of issuance 0 0

Other Required Reports
REQUIREMENT CATEGORY SUMMARY
5(a)(3) Prior significant recommendations unimplemented None
5(a)(5) Information or assistance refused None
5(a)(10) Prior audit reports unresolved None
5(a)(11) Significant revised management decisions None
5(a)(12) Significant revised management decisions with which the OIG disagreed None

Top of Page

PDF files require the free Adobe Reader.
More information on Adobe Acrobat PDF files is available on our Accessibility page.

Office of the Inspector General (OIG) >

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272

.