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Evaluation of Fingerprint Card and Final Disposition Report Submissions by Military Service Law Enforcement Organizations DODIG-2018-035

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Objective:

The objective of our evaluation was to determine whether all Military Services Law Enforcement Organizations (LEOs) had submitted fingerprint cards and final disposition reports for Military Service members convicted by court-martial of qualifying offenses, as required by DoD instruction. We reviewed these submissions for the period from January 1, 2015, to December 31, 2016.

Findings:

For this time-period, we identified a total of 2,502 convicted offenders from the Military Services whose fingerprint cards and final disposition reports were required to be submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) for inclusion in the FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) database.

The FBI NGI database is a national computerized system for storing, comparing, and exchanging fingerprint data and criminal history information for law enforcement purposes.

The FBI NGI’s primary function is to provide the FBI a fully automated fingerprint identification and criminal history reporting system. The failure to populate the NGI with all the required fingerprint records can allow someone to purchase a weapon who should not, hinder criminal investigations, and potentially impact law enforcement and national security interests.

We determined that the Military Services did not consistently submit fingerprint cards and final disposition reports as required. Overall, of the 2,502 fingerprint cards required to be submitted, 601 (24 percent) were not submitted. Of the 2,502 final disposition reports required to be submitted, 780 (31 percent) were not submitted.

The results differed by Service. As shown in the following table, the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps failed to submit many such fingerprint cards and final disposition reports, as required. The Air Force performed better, but still had missing fingerprint cards and final disposition reports.

Within the Services, the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps had more missing fingerprint cards and final disposition reports. The Army had 262 (28 percent) missing fingerprint cards and 385 (41 percent) missing final disposition reports. The Navy had 197 (29 percent) missing fingerprint cards and 243 (36 percent) missing final disposition reports. The Marine Corps had 37 (29 percent) missing fingerprint cards and 46 (36 percent) missing final disposition reports.

Recommendations:

We recommend that the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force ensure that all fingerprint cards and final disposition reports that we identified as not submitted during the period of our review, from 2015 through 2016, be promptly submitted to the FBI CJIS.

We recommend that the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force; the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence; and the Deputy Chief Management Officer immediately perform a comprehensive review of their criminal investigative databases and files to ensure that all required fingerprint cards and final disposition reports for qualifying offenses at least to 1998 have been submitted to FBI CJIS in compliance with DoD and FBI requirements. We recommend that the review extend back to at least 1998 because that is when DoD policy required the Military Services to submit such qualifying fingerprints and final disposition reports. We recognize that all these records may not still be available, but we recommend the reviews determine what information can and should be submitted.

We recommend that the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force; the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence; and the Deputy Chief Management Officer take prompt action to institute command, supervisory, and management oversight controls to verify compliance with fingerprint card and final disposition report submission requirements, in the past and in the future, and also ensure that such compliance is included as a special interest item in Service Inspector General inspections.

We recommend that the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force; the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence; and the Deputy Chief Management Officer conduct a comprehensive review of their criminal history reporting programs to ensure fingerprinting and final disposition report submission policy, training, and processes are consistent with DoDI 5505.11, the DoD policy covering the submission of fingerprints and final disposition reports, and are being implemented.

We recommend that the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force; the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence; and the Deputy Chief Management Officer also ensure that other required investigative and criminal history information, such as criminal incident data and Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) samples, has been submitted for inclusion in FBI databases.

Management Comments and Our Response:

The Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force; the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence; and the Deputy Chief Management Officer agreed with our recommendations. They also described actions they have begun taking and steps they intend to take to fully implement the recommendations.

This report is a result of Project No. 2017-C002.