In response to a congressional request, the GAO conducted a review of three Department of Justice regional information sharing systems projects which provide a central information exchange and other services to member state and local law enforcement agencies to determine: (1) whether audit recommendations for financial management improvements have been made; and (2) the extent to which the projects provide services other than information systems and the value of these services.
In response to the audit recommendations, the three projects made financial and administrative management changes, including: (1) establishing better accounting procedures for determining personnel costs; (2) recording advance payments; (3) monitoring travel expenses and vehicle use; and (4) establishing national program guidelines and increasing project monitoring. Each project which the GAO reviewed has increased its project monitoring efforts.
The projects also provide services to their members, such as loans of equipment, funding for investigative support, analytical services, training, and telecommunications. These services are secondary to the information system in cost and use, and use of the optional services varies among the projects. The GAO found that law enforcement agencies using optional services were more apt to contribute to the data base than those not using the services. The use of the other services is not directly related to the information data base; however, they foster interagency communication and interjurisdictional activities.